Disco Gets ‘Signalized’

I just saw the traffic intersection at the Disco Bakery in Gulshan-e-Iqbal now sporting a functional traffic signal. City Government’s website details the installation of the signal and the demolition of the illegal encroachments in the area to ensure smooth traffic flow around the area. It was long over due but let us thank the UC Nazim and the CDGK for doing what was needed. The intersection had been a regular cause of painful traffic gridlocks.

Sept 15: On the directive of Town Nazim, Wasay Jalil a grand operation was launched to remove the encroachments for installation of signals before Disco Bakery a UC 9 Allama Shabbir Road by Land Department with a view to regulate the traffic.It may be recalled that signal installation work has been accelerated before Disco Bakery. In this connection road has been widened costing Rs. 25 million while parking area has been reserved besides, removing illegal encroachments.This step has been taken keeping in review rush in the morning as there are a number of Schools in this area.

But such changes mandated by new needs often happen at the cost of long held relationships that one develops with the old place and the way they used to be. The faster flow of the vehicles at the intersection due to the traffic signal will result in the corner loosing its characteristic placidity.

Disco Bakery spot was one such thing that I grew up with. Right from the late seventies, when we used to tell our relatives that we live in an uninhibited remote but new place called ‘Gulshan-e-Iqbal’, we have seen the famous shop known as Disco Bakery in Gulshan survive the ups and downs of life as a shop and a social spot. In the eighties, when traffic in this area, like so many other places in Karachi, did not merit a discussion of being a menace, the shop was a social landmark. People would buy stuff – everything from ‘papays‘ for the breakfast to cakes for parties and sweets for weddings when they visited someone nearby or took stuff with them went out to the city.

Even the paanwalas in the vicinity of the shop had been minting money due to an unusual flow of customers. From an unending variety of ‘paans‘ to remote controlled toys, gifts, calling cards and even men toiletries, these shops can truly be called ‘paan super stores’.

As anyone would expect, such a flourishing customer magnet area attracted the regular law and order problems of Karachi as well. There have been too many incidents of crime and unfortunate accidents near the shop – from car lifting to armed robberies and even killings over the past ~ 27 years.

The old spot that Disco Bakery will continue to exist in our collective memories. And just like a grandparent in a new-age family, it was growing old and, while still being loved, was becoming a problem. It shall fade away with time.

16 Comments so far

  1. Imran (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 12:46 am

    Things change, but nothing changes.

  2. Sufi (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 3:08 am

    A place where I happened to go a lot because of my schools in Block 6/7 and tuitions centers. I cant remember if there was anything special [really memorable] to eat at the disco bakery. I have tried several things over the last 14 years. Also, used to go there for lassi & photostat [N-Photostat].

  3. muz (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 6:46 am

    that is a good thing what they did on disco bakery but they seemed to be very confused on university road, they have already closed the U turns infront of pizza hut and ashfaq hospital, and they made a big one in the middle. I hope this one solves the problem but it will be a pain as its its gonna be the only U turn between nipa and civic centre

  4. dan (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 9:56 am

    So is Disco Bakery gone? I couldn’t figure that out from the post.

  5. Raza (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 10:17 am

    It ain’t gone – just not the same anymore apparently.

  6. IUnknown (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

    we need elevated univ. road over the current one.
    the eleminiation of u turn is good and bad both.

  7. Farhan (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

    Damn, MQM must be behind this fiasco….damn them.

    hey MQM and Muhajir Haters where are you , we miss you.

  8. IUnknown (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

    sorry but we are mqm haters not muhajir haters

  9. AH (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 4:23 pm

    Oh Farhan, there you go trying to start something stupid again. You really need to go get a life.

  10. zee (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

    I believe that all roundabouts in Karachi should be demolished and Signals shoulw be placed in place of them. Just the way they did at Disco Bakery. I used to live in Gulshan Block 6 so I also visited Disco hundreds of times and I still visit the place pretty often but, I do not agree with Tee Emm when he calls it as a place where “everyone” would go to buy stuff and that it’s a grandparent in a moderage-new family. No, there are lot more old places in Karachi that could be called Landmarks but Disco Bakery doesn’t make it. I know, it IS popular but to make it a landmark, it still needs a good number of years to go.

    Things change, roll with them. This is a good step. The Disco Bakery road is HUGE now. I believe we should not see any massive traffic jams in that area. We should make sure that we do not double park, not even for a single second. That is one of the major causes of traffic jams in Karachi. Good show CDGK!

  11. Ahmed (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 8:07 pm

    @Zee – I agree that all roundabouts should be eliminated! They take up too much space anyway!

  12. Kashif (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 3:36 am

    Title of this post is quite provocative. I got other ideas when I read about “Disco” getting signalized.

    About the things CDGK is doing, ahhhh, jo chahay aap ka husn-e-karishma saaz karay

    A real mess is made of the Hasan Square flyover these days.

  13. zee (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 4:08 am

    KASHIF: Please don’t be so short-sighted! If they don’t do it now, things would be far more horrible! These things should have been done YEARS ago, foreseen ages go but they were not and that is exactly why the traffic in Karachi is such an issue. I live in Gulistan-e-Johar. If you don’t live here, you have no idea how PAINFUL it has been for us here but things are getting better now. Some work is better than no work and currently, Mustafa Kamal is doing a LOT of work and that should be appreciated. Thori takleef uthanay main itna harj nahe hai, inshAllah, it’ll get much better once these bridges, loops and roads are constructed. Take a little tour to Nazimabad from Karsaz (if you haven’t already) and you’ll know what I mean.

  14. (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 9:57 am


  15. zee (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

    The above comment by AT has NOTHING to do with the post in question. Sheeeshh… lamers!

  16. Sooban (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 11:32 pm

    did anyone notice that the road in front of Disco Bakery is actually a five lane road and ppl park on three lanes.
    i have seen honda civics parked a mile from the parking spot , and blocking all traffic.

    on Disco not being important…. :( i think its important.

    Shops near disco stay open till three in the night, ppl come and shop, eat, drink, photocopy and what not.

    Nice Shawarma, the one closer to Shalimar pan shop.
    Nice French Fries. the stalls name is Hashim Fries, but he might leave them slightly undercooked if you hurry him.
    very thick mango shake which is value for money personified
    the super pan store, amazing shop man, the new height of expansion a pan shop can get to.
    the photocopy, although the level of expertise of photocopiers has gone down, they are still there.

    the signal was long time coming, you should see the jam that used to be there.

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