Lahore traffic police reform Lahore traffic police reform THE commissioning by by rjt15862

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									                                           Lahore traffic police reform
THE commissioning by the Punjab Police (PP) of a new cadre of city traffic police for Lahore is an admirable step forward.
The move comes as part of the PP‘s effort to modernise the section of the force tasked with traffic management in the
province‘s five big cities. The 8,445 new, urban, graduate recruits, of whom 75 per cent are dedicated to street patrolling,
are also being placed on duty in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan and Gujranwala. The batch includes 139 commissioned
women traffic police wardens, who have already taken up their duties in Lahore. With a respectable starting salary of
Rs16,000 per month and the privileges enjoyed by grade 14 personnel under the public service commission guidelines, the
new force comes equipped with mobile walkie-talkies, accident vehicle-cutting equipment and first aid provisions. The
squad also has at its disposal several dozen well-equipped patrolling cars and some 2,850 motorbikes. Initial reports from
Lahore suggest that citizens have responded positively to the new initiative aimed at bringing order to the city‘s chaotic
traffic. One hopes that the 32 per cent increase totalling nine billion rupees in the PP‘s budget for the fiscal year 2007-08
will act as a further incentive for different works.

These are long overdue developments and need to be emulated by other provinces too. Big cities elsewhere in the country,
like Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta, for instance, are crying out for similar upgrading in the working of their traffic police
forces. The turnaround in Punjab is being carried out under the reforms envisaged in the Police Order of 2002. While a lot
still needs to be done to implement reforms in all areas of policing to improve the department‘s working, Punjab has at least
made a beginning. It is time Sindh, Balochistan and the Frontier also took steps to modernise their respective police forces.
(Dawn-7, 02/07/2007)

                            Rains put work on II Chundrigar Road in doldrums
The current bouts of heavy pre-monsoon rains, including those caused by the cyclone (Yemyin), which passed close to the
city last week, has hampered work on the development projects initiated by the City District Government Karachi (CDGK)
across the metropolis. The most significant of these delays comes in the form of the set back suffered by the work on one
of the most important arteries of the city, its business hub II Chundrigar Road. The work on the road has been badly
damaged by the rains and its completion by the end of July seems to be an uphill task for the department concerned.

Informed sources told The News that the trenches on both sides of the road cannot be backfilled until it (the road) is fully
exposed to the sun. Moreover, the debris lying on either side of the dug up road could not be removed until the sun comes
out, as the dumping grounds were wet and causing trucks to get stuck in the morass.
The sources said that work on II Chundrigar Road could have been completed in time if there were no rains but one cannot
fight with natural events.

The main hurdle in the completion of the road, as cited by the project director of the project, was that the Karachi Electric
Supply Corporation (KESC) was also laying cables along Chundrigar Road right up to Fawara Chowk. The KESC‘s digging
work was started on June 10, the sources said, and added that once the laying of cables was completed, the backfilling of
the ditches would be started soon.

Open trenches could be seen on stretches alongside of the II Chundrigar Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road and other
adjoining thoroughfares.

Moreover, adding to the mulch of work, the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) has also dug up many points of
II Chundrigar Road to lay new water mains. The rains have also created hurdles in carrying out this work on water

The sources said that the work could not be completed unless the weather is favourable and the ground is dry.
The work on refilling of trenches along Altaf Hussain Road was almost complete. All the restoration work on the above
roads is supposed to be completed between July 7 to 15.
The laying work of sewerage lines at Shaheen Complex is also in doldrums thanks to the heavy pre-monsoon rains. This
project was supposed to be completed and backfilled by July 3.

The sources admitted that the laying of sewerage lines along Dr Ziauddin Road has been completed but the carpeting is
yet to be started and the recent rains have only further delayed work in this regard. Sewerage lines have been laid and the
debris has been cleared from Haqqani Chowk to Chundrigar Road and all the remaining work is expected to be completed
by July 14.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-13, 02/07/2007)

                              Hundreds suffer as intercity buses fail to set off
KARACHI, July 2: Hundreds of commuters are facing immense hardship as intercity bus services between Sindh and
Balochistan have come to a halt after gusty winds and rains triggered by cyclone Yemyin washed away the road network.

The cyclone had hit the region on June 25, destroying the road links between the two provinces.
While hundreds of people are desperately trying in vain to catch some transport to visit their affected relatives in
Balochistan, thousands of people stranded in different parts of the rain-battered province have no option but to wait for
government or divine help to survive.

The business of intercity bus service has suffered a major setback due to the flash floods that have made travel between
the two provinces highly risky.

A large number of buses, some of them with packed luggage compartments, are parked at the newly-built Intercity Bus
Terminal in Saeedabad on Hub River Road, ready to set off to their respective destinations in Balochistan but waiting for a
green signal.

‘Relatives trapped’
The desperation of intending travellers can be gauged from the fact
that the terminal operators have been receiving countless telephone
calls a day seeking information about when the first bus will leave for

However, the situation is so grim that even a tentative date could not
be predicted, according to the officials at the terminal.

One of the intending travellers, Iqbal Baloch, who visited the
terminal with the same query, told Dawn that he wanted to proceed
to Turbat where his family members were hit by the natural calamity.
―I want to reach there as soon as possible to rescue them but cannot
even enter Balochistan in the absence of some transport means,‖ he
said, frustration writ large on his face.

According to an official of the Intercity Bus Terminal, around 150
buses leave Karachi daily for different destinations in the
neighbouring province but since the suspension of the bus service
on June 25, none has set off yet.

Transporters in the dark
―Four of our buses carrying passengers and their luggage were
trapped in the affected areas of Agor and Hingol in Balochistan,‖ a
transporter, Murad Jaan who operates 14 buses, told Dawn.
He said he was in constant touch with the civil administration and the police in Karachi who appeared cooperative but the
response to his queries regarding the buses and passengers from the authorities in Balochistan was not satisfactory.

Mr Jaan said: ―My people travelled to the affected area in bus to help the trapped passengers but the military personnel and
the civil administration of Balochistan carrying out a rescue operation there did not cooperate with our men.‖ Ultimately, he
added, they had to return to Karachi.

About the prospects of intercity bus services‘ resumption, he complained: ―We are not taken into confidence with regard to
the situation in the calamity-hit areas… the Balochistan authorities keep telling us daily that the route will be opened
tomorrow but it has remained closed for a week now and still there is no hope for its reopening in the coming days.‖

Sitting deeply worried in his office at the terminal along with other equally anxious transporters, Mr Jaan said: ―All of us are
perturbed over the suspension of service as it has been causing us a loss of millions of rupees per day.‖
He said that owing to the relevant authorities‘ act of keeping transporters ill-informed about the condition of highways and
roads, they could not deal properly with the passengers who had booked their seats or goods and desperately seeking
some information about a precise date and time for the departure of the buses.
(By Arman Sabir, Dawn-17, 03/07/2007)

                                        Countering conveyance problems
Seventy-five CNG buses will arrive at Karachi Port on July 22. These will be operative from the first week of August,
provided that the weather situation is favourable.
City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal talked to The News exclusively right after presenting the city budget for the year 2007 to
2008 at the old KMC building. He said that Governor of Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ibad will present 22 buses of the total 250 which
are to arrive at Karachi Port in phases.

He stated that these buses are arriving in the city under a private-public partnership and this is a consortium of two private
firms. He added that it has been planned that 100 buses will arrive in Karachi each week so that the ensuing transport
problems can be resolved to some extent.

Furthermore, 50 of these buses will be 18 metres long with a capacity to hold 140 passengers. It has been proposed that
there will be two large CNG stations for these buses but initially these buses will acquire gas from two depots, one at
Surjani town and the other in Landhi.

On the other hand, PSO and the CNG Owners Association have agreed to provide assistance in this regard. Despite
several technical problems that surround CNG stations, private entrepreneurs will be encouraged to establish more of them
to meet the needs of these new city buses.

Since the Nazim was rushing to meet with the Prime Minister, another officer stepped in to provide further details. He
explained the details of various routes in the first phase; Surjani Town to Merewether tower, Gulshan-e-Hadeed to
Merewether Tower, Landhi to Baldia and from Korangi to Merewether Tower.

The officer said that since 2002, several large buses arrived in Karachi for but reasons better known to those in control
then, these were sent to the Punjab. The buses now arriving in Karachi are said to have a life of 10 years.

It may be mentioned here that CNG buses are being introduced to free the city from pollution and thick black smoke
emitted by diesel-run vehicles. It was also stated that the old, obsolete buses will continue to run alongside the new ones,
as the city is short of public transport and cannot afford to get rid of them.

DCO Karachi, said that although these old buses are operating in hazardous conditions, they are still providing transport to
the citizens. The officer further disclosed that Karachi with a population of 16 million requires 9000 buses. At present, the
city is falling short of 5000 buses. Each day 600 vehicles are registered in the city and this contributes towards the existing
chaotic traffic situation.

Moreover, Karachiites are currently facing serious parking problems and traffic congestion. The Nazim is of the opinion that
a Mass Transit System is the solution to this problem. With regard to introducing this system, talks with the Federal
Government are in the final stages. It is hoped that the system will be implemented this year.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-19, 03/07/2007)

                                      The tragic story of a billboard victim
Dreams of making it big in the city lure hundreds and thousands of boys to Karachi every year. Among them, was a young
and energetic boy who came from upcountry to this mega city. Unfortunately, his dreams were cut short tragically when he
became one of the victims of a billboard that fell after heavy rains on June 23.

Bakhur Ullah, 22, who was earlier identified as Irfan, met with this sad fate at Askari Park, Old Sabzi Mandi, Main University
Road. The deceased worked at a local hotel as a waiter. He was standing outside the Park, when a billboard installed
within the park‘s limits fell on him.

Sajjad Khan, a taxi driver and cousin of the deceased told The News that he had been informed by onlookers that several
of them tried their best to pull Ullah from beneath the billboard but were unable to move the board an inch due to its size
and weight. He added that they then asked machine operators to help rescue his cousin.

An extracting machine in use of the local town administration for ongoing projects on the road was thus used to attempt to
remove the board. However, the attempts met with failure at least three times as the machine could not support the weight
of the enormous billboard.

Eventually, they succeeded in lifting the billboard only to find that Ullah‘s body had been crushed to pulp splattered and
stuck to the billboard, stated Khan.

Furthermore, he stated that Ullah was still alive by the time onlookers managed to separate his body from the billboard. He
added that he was placed in an ambulance but as they tried to rush him to a hospital, it got stuck in the flooded University

Khan further stated that Ullah was thus shifted to another vehicle and rushed to Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre
(JPMC) for treatment where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.
―Around 7.00 p.m. one of the workers at the hotel informed me that one of my relatives had been injured by a falling
billboard was sent to JMPC for medical treatment,‖ said Khan. He added that ―I rushed to the hospital but could not get any
information regarding his condition. Then a doctor helped me and guided me to the morgue where I identified him by his
hair; he had small, tight curls.‖

Moreover, Khan informed that Ullah belonged to Kala Dhaka District of Batgram, Mansehra. The deceased‘s father,
Shahjee Khan, a rickshaw driver, had gone back to the village 25 days prior to the incident. He was helping out in
Mansehra as it was harvest season. The victim was the eldest among five brothers and two sisters.

Furthermore, it was revealed that the body was sent to Islamabad by air and from there after a six hour drive to Manshera
where it was laid to rest. Ullah‘s former employer managed to extract Rs25, 000 from the Askari Park Management to cover
travel expenses. No compensation has been provided to the family of the deceased as yet.

Moreover, Askari Park Management could not be reached due to the non-availability of officials during the park‘s visiting

A few days ago a government official came to ask for details regarding the deceased. However, any form of compensation
is yet to be received, revealed Khan while speaking to this correspondent at their ‗dera‘ in Pir Bokhari Colony, behind Edhi
Center opposite Gulshan Town Office.
(By M Zeeshan Azmat, The News-20, 06/07/2007)

                                           Four killed in traffic accidents
KARACHI, July 6: Four people died and two others were injured in separate accidents in different parts of the city, causing
protesters to torch the killer vehicles in some of the cases, police said.

Paras, a 20-year-old woman, was knocked down by a fast-moving bus (JA-9598) near the Numaish intersection on Friday
evening. The woman was rushed to the Civil Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Following the accident,
enraged people set fire to the Hyderabad-bound bus.

Bikers killed
Police said that two motorcyclists were hit by a speeding water tanker at Bilawal Chowrangi. The accident was so severe
that both victims died on the spot. The driver responsible for the deaths managed to escape following the accident along
with the vehicle.

Police shifted the bodies to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre through an Edhi ambulance. Their identities could not
be immediately established.Following the accident a large number of people gathered at the site of the accident and pelted
passing vehicles with stones.

In a somewhat similar case, a young motorcyclist died in a hit-and-run accident near Sohrab Goth on Friday morning.

Police said that Mohammad Salam was knocked down by a speeding dumper on Sharah-i-Pakistan near Sohrab Goth. The
victim suffered serious injuries and was rushed to a nearby private hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police later shifted the body to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for legal formalities.
Two injured
Earlier in the day, a speeding metro bus (LXC-2313) knocked down a motorcyclist near Tipu Sultan Road.
Both the motorcyclist and the pillion passenger — Mohammad Fazal and Tahir — suffered injuries in the accident and were
taken to the JPMC.
(Dawn-17, 07/07/2007)

                                             A city without traffic signals
GUJRANWALA, July 6: Gujranwala is the fifth largest city of Punjab and has a population of two million, but all its major
roads are without traffic signals. As a result, the city is suffering from the worst traffic disorders, and even an army of traffic
police has failed to handle the situation.

According to a survey report gleaned by Dawn, Chand da Qila Bypass, Lahori Bus Stop, Nigar Phatac, Sheranwala Bagh,
Adda Godlanwala, General Bus Stand, Trust Plaza Chowk, Sharifpura Underpass, Shaheenabad, Rawalpindi Bypass,
Sialkot Bypass, Farid Town, Upper Chenab Canal Bridge on Pasrur Road, Ferozewala Bridge, Pipliwala, Nawab Chowk,
Alipur Bypass, Awan Chowk, Khiali Chowk, Alam Chowk, Jinnah Road and Dhulley Chowk are the worst hit by traffic jams
because several government offices, hospitals, educational institutions, recreation parks and markets are located in these

Buses of franchised companies, oil-tankers, trailers and slow-moving traffic usually disrupt traffic on GT Road. Buses have
claimed lives of several people on the overcrowded GT Road. Shopkeepers have occupied the service road on the right
side of GT Road, forcing all slow-moving traffic to run on the main road.

The traffic police deployed on various roads of the city remain busy in minting money from the people instead of clearing
the traffic on roads.

The police had installed signals at the Rawalpindi Bypass intersection a few years ago, but they were disconnected after
the district council did not pay for the electricity consumed by these signals for two years. Later, nobody tried to reconnect
these signals.

According to the report, the traffic police identified 32 places in the city where signals were imperative for a smooth flow of
traffic and submitted a report in this regard to the government in 2006.

Later, Parliamentary Secretary Nayer Murtaza Lone visited seven of these places in the city along with traffic police officials
and promised that she would get these signals installed soon, but there is no development even after a lapse of six months.

Chief Traffic Officer Iftikharul Haq said the city was without traffic signals, but the police were in touch with Ms Lone
regarding installation of the same at all important points.

Ms Lone said traffic signals would be installed at seven places in the first phase, and added the Punjab government would
provide funds for the purpose.

Taufiq Butt, the opposition leader in the district council, said the city district government did not allocate funds in its 2007-08
budget for the installation of signals in the city.
(By Akram Malik, Dawn-4, 07/07/2007)

                                     The Clifton fire traps ignored by the city
It is a suffocating experience to shop at the Gulf Shopping Mall in Clifton or the adjoining shopping centres in the same
lane. Poor ventilation coupled with a total disregard for safety measures means that these shopping malls, which are a
favourite amongst many, are accidents waiting to happen.

Last month, the CTC Shopping Mall, situated along the same road suffered a massive fire which caused losses of millions
to shopkeepers and also put lives in danger. No inquiry has been set up to find out what caused the fire in the first place.
Such an exercise by the City Government could go a long way in introducing safety measures which in turn would save
lives and property in the future.

A visit to the Gulf Shopping Mall does show that many traders have been shaken by the CTC incident. However, the fact
that they are doing little to ensure that the same fire does not ignite in their building indicates that this concern is temporary.

Entering into Gulf Shopping Plaza seems like one is entering a maze of sorts. The alleys inside are so narrow that one
finds it hard to move. The deeper one goes, the lesser ventilation one gets. Shops seem to have been set up in every
conceivable place. There is no room to rest to recuperate. There are few open spaces.

Moreover there are some traders who cook food on the mezzanine floor of the mall. These types of shops may also
become a cause of some unfortunate incident at this market if proper care is not taken to ensure that they observe safety
measures. So far, no such measure seems to have been introduced.

The most stifling is the lack of ventilation. A shopkeeper, Muhammad Salim, said that non-existance of a proper ventilation
system becomes a horrible experience for the traders and for the visitors when there is a power breakdown. He said sweat
exudes from every pore of his body when electricity goes off. However, due to its reputation as a place where almost every
type of cloth and accessory is available, women shoppers swarm in here in droves. They are not bothered by a few hours
of heat.

One is worried to see that there are no fire exits of any sort in the shopping area. Neither are there any fire extinguishers.
An innocent inquiry about whether any fire drill has been conducted in the past or at any time to educate shopkeepers on
how to act if a fire breaks out draws blank stares.
Despite this, the traders say that they have become very conscious about safety measures at this shopping plaza after the
fire incident at the CTC Mall.But they seem more shaken by the losses suffered by their counterparts down the road.

Jamal-ud-Deen, who is the owner of one of the shops, said that after the fire incident at CTC the trader of Gulf Shopping
Mall have started many thinking about insuring their shops so that there would be some compensation if some fire incident
occured at the market.

The fire incident at CTC damaged around 250 shops and the shopkeepers suffered million of rupees in losses. The cause
is said to be a short circuit. At the Gulf Shopping Mall, electricity meters have been installed on the ground floor. There is
concealed wiring in the mall but some shopkeepers on their own initiative have taken connections of their own. These are
in the form of naked wires that pass underneath the ceiling on several points and above many shops. This is a fire hazard
and may cause some short circuits in the market.

Tailor master Muhammad Yasin said that traders are frightened over the fire incident at CTC but they have no option
except to continue their business over here. ―This is the only place where we can earn a decent living,‖ he commented.
This attitude of being resigned to one‘s fate seems to be popular amongst shopkeepers.

When asked, General Secretary of Gulf Way Traders Welfare Association, Muhammad Tariq Khan, said that his
association has issued notices to shop owners to cut down on the open wiring at their respective shops. He said gas
cylinders would also be completely removed from the market, which may become a cause of some fire incident at the

He said his association has purchased fire extinguishers, which would be put in where the electricity meters are installed.
But he did not say when this would happen. About the poor ventilation system in the building, he said his association would
instal steel net doors and at some places on one the side of the wall of the market. ―We will also place some large exhaust
fans which would cover the ground and mezzanine floor of the mall,‖ he added.

The most surprising aspect is that the CDGK has overlooked the issue instead of learning lessons from it and trying to
introduce safety measures and features in shopping plazas like the Gulf Mall. Also, the general public seems unpeturbed
by this lack of protection. This apathy speakes volumes about why the city is where it is today, say many.
(By Qadeer Tanoli, The News-13, 07/07/2007)

                                   Master plan defines routes of ring roads
KARACHI, July 8: The city government‘s soon-to-be-implemented Karachi Strategic Master Plan (KSMP) 2020 calls four
proposed ring roads an important initiative that will help reduce traffic congestion on principal arteries and create
alternatives near the port and the central business district.
These ring roads will create bypasses on the northern, eastern and western flanks of the city, facilitating freight traffic and
defining the boundaries of peripheral growth.

Central ring road (R1)
This 32kilometre loop will potentially have grade separations along its length, subject to grade separation adjustments, says
the KSMP 2020.

Using the Lyari expressway alignment, it will extend to Jail Road and the new MA Jinnah Road intersection along Shaheed-
i-Millat Road, subsequently following the Shaheed-e-Millat expressway extension to its intersection at Hino Chowk with
Korangi Road, and connect with Sunset Boulevard/ Khayaban-i-Rumi.

From there it will connect with the Mai Kolachi bypass, follow MT Khan Road till Jinnah Bridge, run northwards along
Mauripur Road and complete its loop at the spot where Mauripur Road meets the Lyari Expressway.

Inner ring road (R2)
Estimated at 32.5kms, the inner ring road will overlap at places with the central ring road, with which it also shares
alignment in the south western corner.

It will have separate northern and eastern alignments. On the western side, the inner ring road‘s alignment will begin at the
Lyari expressway intersection with Mauripur Road. After proceeding up to Gulbai, it will turn eastward along Sher Shah
Road, intersect the RCD Highway and Manghopir Road and reach the underpass at Nazimabad roundabout. Subsequently,
the inner ring road will turn eastwards to the second underpass in Liaquatabad No. 10, reach Sir Shah Suleman Road and
extend southwards to cross the Pir Sibghatullah Shah/Stadium Road interchange.
It will then head south along Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola Road until it reaches its interchange at Sharea Faisal.

Depending upon the progress of other roadworks, the inner ring road will either join the expressway on the right bank of the
Malir River or the proposed elevated Sharea Faisal expressway.

Northern ring road (R3)
This 65km-long road is to incorporate the existing Northern Bypass and extend it southward on both sides.

On the western side, the northern ring road will join the RCD Highway to the west of Karachi, while on the eastern side, it
will intersect University Road and head south, passing the western side of Malir Cantonment and continuing until it reaches
Sharea Faisal, east of the airport.
The northern ring road may extend further south to join the Malir River right bank expressway, thus completing a wide loop
around most of the city‘s currently urbanised areas.

Outer ring road (R4)
This is a long-term project that lies outside the timespan of the Karachi Strategic Development Plan (KSDP) 2020. Its
southern sections are partly in place and will be extended before 2020 but the north-eastern and north-western sections are
to be completed later.

According to the KSDP, The outer ring road is, in fact, two extensions, one western and one eastern, of the northern ring
road (R3) in the north and the inner ring road (R2) in the south.

The western extension will begin at the southern extent of the RCD Highway and continue west along the coast to Keamari,
presumably ending near Hawkes Bay. (After the plan period, a link between the western-most road and the Northern
bypass/RCD Highway intersection may be useful).

The eastern portion of the outer ring road will provide further accessibility to eastern parts of town: a coastal highway
running through Korangi, Landhi and Bin Qasim; then linking to the existing ‗link road‘ up to Education City in the north. But
the post-2020 expansion will link the Northern Bypass in Gadap, passing to the northeast, turn south and connect to the
Super Highway.

Referring to radial road improvement plans, the KSDP-2020 states that the proposed improvement of radial road centres
entails the rehabilitation of network choke-points.
This involves a large sub-group of recommended construction projects such as intersection improvements, grade
separation, general road and bridge widening, road upgrading and connecting up missing links.
It adds that many of the expressways will be elevated roads, in order to increase the capacity of existing passages.
(By Azizullah Sharif, Dawn-13, 09/07/2007)

                                             Railways’ real estate auction
INDIAN Railways is the biggest landowner as its track network is spread across 63,000 km across the nation. But it also
happens to be one of the most inefficient landlords, and has a terrible track-record of managing the vast tracts of land.

Even in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, where land is at a premium, the railways have mismanaged their estates,
resulting in hundreds of acres being occupied illegally by the land mafia. After the land sharks ‗acquire‘ the properties –
obviously in league with some officials – they put up slum colonies and rent out the shelters to the poor and needy.

Once an illegal shanty comes up on public property, it is a time-consuming and near-impossible task to get them relocated.
It is not just the courts and local politicians who are opposed to the forceful eviction of the occupants, but even international
organisations like the World Bank do not extend funding in the absence of a resettlement of persons likely to be displaced
by a project.

It is only recently that Indian Railways has realised the worth of the land owned by it. In places like Navi Mumbai, a satellite
town on the outskirts of India‘s financial and commercial capital, the railways have capitalised on their land holdings, putting
up sprawling IT parks and office complexes on top of railway stations.

Of course, these developments occurred because of a smart joint venture partner, the Maharashtra government-owned
City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), which has been ensuring commercial exploitation of the land.
Recently, Cidco and the railways auctioned off tens of acres of land outside new stations in Navi Mumbai, fetching them
billions of rupees.

Similarly, in the national capital, the Delhi Metro Corporation – which has built an impressive mass rapid transit network –
has been auctioning off land outside the new stations profitably, and top developers have built shopping malls and
commercial office blocks.

Railway stations are prime commercial properties because of the fact that thousands of passengers traverse through them.
Mumbai‘s suburban railway network carries over six million passengers daily, many of who would prefer to do their daily
shopping – for vegetables, fruits, groceries, and essential items – near the stations.

While Indian Railways failed to capitalise on this aspect, enterprising traders, hawkers and vendors have exploited it to the
hilt. But hawkers and vendors occupy narrow corridors leading from the stations to bus stands, resulting in further
congestion. In Mumbai, many of the railway over-bridges are also occupied by hawkers, who block the smooth flow of
passenger traffic.

But the suburban railway management has now realised the potential in exploiting the little land that is still left with it, and is
planning to auction off space above and below railway stations, and also in the neighbourhood.

Indian Railways, under the stewardship of Lalu Prasad Yadav – who has turned out to be a surprisingly shrewd and
pragmatic minister – is now launching an ambitious expansion project. It plans to promote two major dedicated freight
corridors – linking Delhi to Mumbai and Kolkata.

These access-controlled corridors would see high-speed freight trains lug cargo in modern containers, from and to the two
major ports (Mumbai on the west coast, and Kollkata on the east) to the country‘s heartland. Indian Railways has a pathetic
track-record in cargo movement, and many private companies prefer sending their goods (including automobiles, consumer
durables, industrial products, etc) by road – though the costs are higher – because of factors like safety and timely delivery.

Unfortunately, though Yadav announced the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai dedicated freight corridor ( the nearly 1,500-km-long
corridor would cost about $7 billion) nearly two years ago, there has been little movement on the ground. A special purpose
vehicle (SPV), the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation, was set up last year, but the project has been moving at a
painstakingly slow pace.

The Indian Railways, managed by a board, is a top heavy and centralised organised, with little autonomy for divisional
railways and other units. Even today, the Indian Parliament has to pass the railway budget, and even senior officers in
other parts of the country have little freedom and have to approach the board for clearances.

Allegedly autonomous corporations set up by the railways have failed miserably, as bureaucrats in Delhi are loathe to the
idea of allowing managers take decisions on their own. Organisations like the Delhi Metro Corporation, or the Konkan

Railway – which built a new railway line along the western coast of the country – have survived and thrived thanks to the
presence of strong chief executives who have refused to kowtow to the ‗babus‘ in Delhi.

The managing director of Delhi Metro, E. Sreedharan, is a much-respected professional, who brooks no interference from
any quarters. He built the metro in a record time, and has ensured its autonomy. Stung by an independent Delhi Metro
boss, the railways were reluctant to allow autonomy for metros in other cities.

But state governments, who are joint venture partners in metro corporations, have managed to win independence for new
corporations in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore. These mass rapid transit networks are being promoted under public-
private partnerships, with private (including international) partners managing the show.

The delay in building the Delhi-Mumbai corridor will prove to be prohibitively expensive for one of the biggest projects being
taken up in India. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), which will come up along the freight corridor, envisages an
investment of a whopping $90 billion over the next few years.

The corridor will see hundreds of industrial clusters, mega power plants, ports and airports come up along side. It is
expected to generate three million jobs in the manufacturing and processing sectors, lead to the rapid industrialisation of at
least half a dozen states, triple industrial output in the region and quadruple exports from the hinterland.

The corridor is being partly-financed by the Japanese government, and dozens of Japanese corporations are eager to
invest in units and in the infrastructure. Last week, Akira Amari, Japan‘s minister for economy, trade and industry, visited
Delhi and Mumbai, and worked out the modalities of the mega project with Kamal Nath, India‘s commerce and industries
minister. He also met top industrial barons in Mumbai.

The project, which was conceptualised last December, when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Japan, is likely
to kick off formally next month, during the official tour of Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe to India. Work on the project is
expected to begin in January, and is likely to be completed within seven years.

According to Amari, the corridor will trigger off an ―industrial revolution‖ in India. The Japanese delegation included top
executives from leading companies including Suzuki Motor Corp, Honda Motor Company, Mitsui & Co, Sony Corporation
and Hitachi Ltd. All of these corporations are eager to set up units, and hope to establish a regional base along the corridor,
to service the European and African markets.

Of course, Indian government leaders, stung by the controversies relating to land acquisition for special economic zones
(SEZs), have made it clear that the government would not be involved in acquiring land for the project. Investors will have
to negotiate with farmers and landowners, to prevent the kind of violence that broke out in West Bengal recently.

Politicians and state governments are also lobbying for a piece. Nath, the federal minister – who is from Madhya Pradesh –
was annoyed that the corridor would not cover his state. He warned that the project would not be a success if Madhya
Pradesh – India‘s largest state – was not included.

But analysts feel that the project – initially expected to cost around $50 billion – would become prohibitive if the government
now decides to divert the corridor to other near-by states and cities. A direct route between the north Indian markets and
the western coast ports would cut down travel time and also result in significant savings.

It remains to be seen whether the ambitious project will take off smoothly, and attract huge investments, or whether it will
fall victim to petty politicking.
(By Anand Kumar, Dawn-Economic & Business Review, Page-V, 09/07/2007)

            Quaidabad flyover delayed for second time, commuters continue to suffer
The opening of Quidabad Flyover officially named Pakistan Steel (PS) Bridge after its financer has been delayed for the
second time and it appears that remaining work will take another month to reach completion. However, the project manager
is of the opinion that the project will reach completion by the new deadline provided it doesn‘t rain. Meanwhile, this
prolonged construction has made commuting highly difficult owing to hours-long traffic jams witnessed here each day.

The project was initially awarded to M/s. Rail Cop and was scheduled to begin in May 2005 and completed by December
31, 2006. However, Manager Public Relations at PS stated that work on the project could not start on the due date owing to
various site constraints and shifting of essential services like water supply, sewerage disposal, electricity and sui-gas. The
site was finally handed over to M/s. RAIL COP in January 2006 and thereafter work on the project began in February/March
2006. Later the Chairman Pakistan Steel Maj. Gen. (retd) Mohammad Javed, after considering the view point of the
consultants and assessing ground realities gave the contractor a new target date of June 30 for its completion, he added.

Moreover, the contractor could not meet this date as well so it was first extended to July 15 and later to July 30 because of
recent strikes, site disturbances and bad weather which severely affected the progress of work, he stated.

Project Manager Asif Mateen stated regarding the delays that, ―Initially there was a problem of shifting essential lines such
as water supply, sewerage disposal, electricity and sui-gas but now there is no problem at all.‘‘ He added that ―We will
certainly meet the deadline this time if it doesn‘t rain anymore.‘‘

Whether or not the deadline is met this time remains to be seen but there seems to be no end in sight to the misery inflicted
on commuters by the construction work currently in progress at Quaidabad, one of the most important traffic intersections in
the metropolis.

The crossing, where a flyover is now being raised, is strategic in the sense that it is the only major thoroughfare connecting
interior Sindh with Sharah-e-Faisal. The latter is in turn the sole option available to vehicles bound for the industrial hubs of
Port Qasim, PS and Gulshan-e-Hadeed as well as parts of the interior.

Furthermore, traffic is at its worst during the morning and evening rush hours when large company coaches, especially PS
buses, are also on the road. Exacerbating the problem is the attitude of impatient Karachi drivers who pay no heed to the
traffic police and add to their own woes as well as those of others by driving recklessly. The heavy flow of traffic from the
Korangi industrial area is an additional nightmare for the traffic police.

Vehicles standing still all the way from Malir Bridge to Quaidabad on one side and from Abbott Laboratories to Quaidabad
on the other are a common sight from the day work on this project began. It can safely be said that commuters passing
through the intersection remain stuck in traffic for at least half an hour each day, and even longer during the peak hours.

Along with professionals, students are also victims of this chaos. Those heading towards National University and Textile
Institute of Pakistan face extreme hardship in going to or returning from their respective universities. Scores of students
from Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Steel Town, Landhi and Korangi are stuck in traffic gridlocks for hours each day while they are on
their way to and from the University of Karachi and NED University.

Ambulances, specially those going from interior Sindh to JPMC, face immense hardship in crossing the intersection.
Furthermore, public transport, private cars and motorcyclists, regularly violate traffic regulations at the intersection while
public transport specially intercity buses cause traffic congestion. This is worsened by heavy vehicles and goods carriers
late in the evening.

Those who regularly commute through this intersection have high expectations from this 9.6 metre broad flyover that would
be stretched to a length of 753metres and will be completed at a cost of Rs220million. This four lane bridge, once
completed will ease the traffic situation to a great extent, ensuring the smooth flow of traffic to or from up-country.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-20, 10/07/2007)

                    I.I.Chundrigar Road redevelopment causes problems for many
I.I. Chundrigar, one of the city‘s most important roads, is currently undergoing massive renovation, which started in March

Officials say that the road is expected to be completed in 90 days: carpeted, fixed with cat eyes and street lights, along with
storm water drains. This seems a dream now as the road is dug up at almost all points and is causing serious hardships for
the people.

The former Governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr Ishrat Husain, had, in his time, initiated a comprehensive plan for
the beautification of the road. However, it seems that the funds committed then have run dry.

Informed sources said that once the road is completed, then, depending upon the availability of funds, the plan for
beautification will be considered. The SBP might will, once again, ask businessmen and banks located at Chundrigar Road
to help complete this task. At the foundation laying ceremony held at SBP, the present Governor of the SBP, Dr Shamshad
Akhter, announced that a new financial district will be established in the area.

However, people are sceptical about the idea, for such a plan involving the establishment of a financial hub entails
meticulous planning and an in-depth study, which should be carried out keeping all stake holders on board.
The task is very tough and the SBP and CDGK will be required to pool all their resources for the beautification of this road.
A study has to be carried out by experts to note traffic patterns at Merewether Tower, M.T. Khan Road, and other adjoining
areas before beautification work could be undertaken, say many.

There are chances that smaller businesses might end up bearing the brunt of the beautification process by being made to
relocate. Hence these small companies must not only be facilitated but the government must keep intact an alternate plan
to provide them with adequate and alternative places to set up their businesses, said some officials while talking to The

Upon being asked about what he thought of the plans to renovate the road and the alleged closure spanning eight months,
Abdul Qadir Memon, spokesman of Khanani & Kalia International, money changers, said ―We are not living in the 16th
century, this is 21st century, hence work must be completed within 15 days.‖
He said they would be the worst affected, as transaction of millions of rupees takes place daily. The Manager of Glaxy
Exchange (Pvt) Ltd, Muhammad Ali Motiwala said that the businessmen are paying huge taxes hence the government
before taking any such decision should think of all those with businesses on this road.

Most of those contacted claimed that their businesses are already suffering and customers have stopped coming here due
to parking problems in this area. Many of the customers also registered their complaints and showed annoyance at the
proposed plan. They requested that an alternate parking area must be built because there is a huge risk involved in
carrying money to the cars that they are forced to park farther away from the exchange or banks they visit.

S.M. Saleem Manager of Malik Exchange located at Saima Towers said, ―This is a bad news for us as we are already
suffering. Earlier they imposed a ban on public transport, and now its closure for eight months or more will not only affect us
but leads towards disaster.‖

He said we are also the shareholders in the beautification of this road, and have been asked to donate for the purpose.
Shahid Yaqub Marketing Manager of Al Huda Travels located at Saima Towers said, ―Due to closure of vehicular traffic for
eight months, we would be worst affected. He said their main business is Haj and Umra, hence people intending pilgrimage
will not bother coming to I.I Chundrigar Road for that.

Salman Latif Manager Faysal Bank when informed about the closure of road said, ―Yes we would be affected,‖ but added
hastily that, ―in corporate business, people usually send their workers to draw out cash online.‖ Salman however admitted,
―We will have some problem in cash carrying and deposit, as the vehicle has to get some space for parking opposite the

A belt for the banks should be provided where they could park their vehicles easily and safely. Arif Rasheed President
Boulton Market Traders Association and Vice President Pakistan Plastic Manufacturers Association said there was no
problem with the beautification of I.I. Chundrigar Road, but the government should have developed consensus with the
stakeholders and businessmen on this road as they play a vital role in boosting trade and economic activity.

Arif further pointed out that there are about 100 factories adjacent to I.I. Chundrigar Road, which will also be badly affected.
The road is an important artery holding an important place in the entire road network of the city. Hence, if the plan has to be
implemented, the government must come up with an alternate route to alleviate the miseries of the people, they concluded.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-20, 10/07/2007)

                                      Petition filed against ‘killer billboards’
KARACHI: The Human Safety Foundation has filed a petition with the Sindh High Court seeking compensation for the heirs
of people who were killed by billboards during the rainstorms in Karachi.
The petition seeks the enforcement of the rules and regulations for billboards and advertisement hoardings, compensation
for the heirs of the victims in billboard-related deaths, electrocution and wall collapses. It was taken up on Monday by a
division bench but was adjourned as the counsel was absent.

The petition was filed through the foundation‘s authorized representative Husna Baloch who cited the chief secretary, city
nazim, managing director of Cantonment Board Faisal and managing director of KESC as respondents. The petitioner
maintained that 230 people died and 200 others were injured during the storm which lashed Karachi city causing a
maximum number of deaths in Gadap Town. People died when huge billboards fell upon vehicles, on those standing at bus
stops or passing underneath them. People also died when the billboards were uprooted by the strong winds.

The petitioner maintained through its counsel that according to the rules billboards cannot exceed 10m by 20m in size but
in Karachi these ―killer billboards‖ are bigger than allowed.

The petitioner prayed the court to direct the respondents not to sanction or grant permission for billboards bigger than the
standard size, fix compensation of one million rupees for the heirs of the victims, direct the CS and city nazim to recover the
compensation money from the owners of these billboards, fix compensation of Rs 0.5 million for the legal heirs of the
people who died by electrocution after recovery from KESC. The court was also prayed to fix a compensation of Rs 0.3
million wall collapse and fallen tree victims.
(Daily Times-B1, 10/07/2007)

                                   Natha Khan bridge — target of saboteurs
KARACHI, July 10: Natha Khan Bridge is perhaps the only section of the city‘s prime highway-like thoroughfare, Sharea
Faisal, which has been a victim of constant neglect although it has been serving for long a huge population shuttling
between the international airport and a vast territory of this metropolis.

A lack of proper and regular maintenance, as well as a strict check on unscrupulous elements, has turned the vital
installation into a dangerous path for commuters and pedestrians alike. Once strong, smooth and architecturally attractive,
the bridge now stands without a complete railing, smooth road and safe pavement. It had lost its colour years back and no
official has since bothered to pay attention to the defaced structure.

About 100-foot portion of the concrete railings on both sides of the bridge has fallen down or been damaged by
unscrupulous elements.

The road has also become bumpy as much needed carpeting has been planned several a times but put off for months,
apparently to avoid traffic jams on this thoroughfare.

Recent heavy rains had caused considerable damage to certain portions of the bridge prompting the authorities concerned
to fill up the wide cracks that had developed in its walls. However, the repair work was confined to the ‗heavily damaged‘

Deliberate damage
The painful aspect of the affair is the disclosure by a group of local people that unscrupulous elements deliberately cause
damage to the structure of the bridge. ―This practice has been witnessed over the last few months,‖ said a youth among
them, adding: ―Some people were seen pulling down a portion of the concrete railings, apparently to extract iron bars and
sell them to junk dealers.‖

Another person suggested that not only thieves and addicts but also stooges of the contractor mafia also indulged in such
activities. The damage would ultimately earn the mafia a fresh repair and renovation contract, he explained.

The bridge is also experiencing a rather natural decay of its foundations. Originally built over a storm-water drain parallel to
which is a rail track, it was supposed to last longer but the drain has since become a sewage channel carrying all sorts of
hazardous and toxic material, including industrial waste. The sewage is causing damage to its foundations and the local
people now apprehend that the bridge might not complete its estimated life.

As far as the deliberate damage is concerned, similar things had been faced by the Quaidabad Bridge in the past and the
authorities had to construct its railings afresh. Yet another bridge connecting the National Highway and Super Highway
near the New Malir Housing Scheme sustained damage due to the ruthless driving and excavation by the reti-bajri mafia,
which indulged in the illegal practice of lifting earth from the Malir River for sale to construction firms and contractors. Their
trucks and tools had caused considerable damage to the pillars of the bridge.The railings of the Expressway‘s portion
between Baloch Colony and Korangi have suffered damage although the facility has been built just a couple of decades
back. The authorities concerned are yet to pay attention to its repair.

Government apathy
The concerned residents of the localities around these bridges expressed their astonishment over the lack of interest on the
part of the government in ensuring protection and proper maintenance of these highly sensitive installations. They said that
damage to such facilities would not only create a major problem of mass movement but also put an extra burden on the
exchequer unnecessarily.

They wondered why no elected representative or official took notice of the deliberate damage being caused to bridges and
other installations despite the fact that they happened to be among thousands of people passing through the thoroughfares
day and night daily.
(By Zaheer Ahmed Khan, Dawn-18, 11/07/2007)

                            People suffer as govt drags heels over road projects
KARACHI, July 10: While road development figures high on the list of lofty claims made by city government
representatives, the situation on the ground is far from encouraging. Ill-planned and poorly-executed roadwork, inordinate
delays in making repairs, recurrent problems of broken water and
sewerage lines and high levels of atmospheric dust caused by the
excavations combine to become a nightmare for Karachi‘s citizens.

Dawn has learnt that several months ago, a number of central
thoroughfares were dug up under the city government‘s Tameer-i-
Karachi programme but no provisions were made for alternative
routes or diversion maps. Most of these so-called road development
projects are made all the more hazardous by deep potholes, ditches,
excavation debris and sewerage flowing from pipelines that burst
during the digging.

On over a dozen roads, one entire lane has been dug up which
leaves motorists no option but to drive on the opposite side, against
the flow of traffic. This results in gridlocked traffic and accidents, to
say nothing of the wastage of citizens‘ time and fuel.

The situation has worsened in wake of the on-going monsoon rains,
since driving hazards such as ditches created by the construction
work are hidden by the water flooding the roads.

Lanes closed for construction
The severity of the problem faced by motorists and commuters travelling by public transport can be gauged from the fact
that at a time when one lane of the main University Road (from New Town roundabout to Hasan Square) is closed to
vehicular traffic, citizens travelling from Liaquatabad via Sir Shah Suleman Road cannot go straight on to Stadium Road.
The routes to Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi Road – where there are two major hospitals – and Dalmia Road are blocked
because a portion of Stadium Road in front of the Expo Centre is closed for construction.

Similarly, the other lane of Sir Shah Suleman Road which leads to
Liaquatabad, Nazimabad and Site Industrial Area from Hasan
Square is also closed. This leaves vehicles no choice but to take the
long route along Sehba Akhtar Road and Yaseenabad before
turning left towards Karimabad from the Aisha Manzil traffic

The closure of one lane on Sir Shah Suleman Road also means that
residents of Liaquatabad and Nazimabad are forced to share Sehba
Akhtar Road with traffic from Federal B Area, North Nazimabad and
Gulshan-i-Iqbal – and that too on one lane only, since the other one
is dug up.

The section of University Road between Hasan Square and Jail
Road intersection was dug up for reconstruction over six months
ago and has still not been repaired. It is often inundated and now
sports a large number of ditches and craters.

One lane of a section of Tipu Sultan Road, from Adamjee Nagar to
the Shaheed-i-Millat traffic intersection, was dug up for
reconstruction more than four months ago. It has become a death-
trap for motorists and motorcyclists since the parapet wall of an
eight-ten foot wide storm water drain running along the road has also been demolished. Residents of the nearby Al-Hamra
Housing Society and Bangalore Town said that a car fell into this drain during the recent rains and its occupants were
seriously injured.

Other roads that have simultaneously been dug up around the city are:
• A portion of the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society, from Allahwala Chowk to the Sharea Faisal traffic
• Kashmir Road
• A major portion of Orangi town‘s main road
• Korangi‘s Road 8,000
• A portion of Shahrah-i-Pakistan
• A portion of main University Road from the Expo Centre to Bait-ul-Mukkarram Masjid

Who is meant to benefit?
Residents of Gulshan-e-Iqbal‘s Block 14, located behind the Busy Bee restaurant, complained to Dawn that traffic jams on
University Road force vehicles to drive through the residential areas, which causes noise and environmental pollution and
also damages the lanes.

Meanwhile, motorists complain bitterly about the various incomplete ‗road development‘ projects since they face gridlocks,
driving hazards and accidents. One fails to understand the city government‘s lax attitude towards these road construction
projects since they are causing great misery to the very people whom they are meant to benefit.
(By Azizullah Sharif, Dawn-18, 11/07/2007)

                                   SHC stays CNG station in residential area
KARACHI, July 10: A division bench of the Sindh High Court stayed on Tuesday the construction and installation of a gas
pump and station in a residential area of Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
The resident of a bungalow in block 15 of KDA scheme 36 submitted through Advocate Naveed Ahmad Khan that a
compressed natural gas station was being set up on the plot (No B-1/1) adjacent to his residence.

The petitioner said that the pump would cause health and environmental hazards. It was all the more hazardous because a
cellular tower had already been erected in immediate vicinity.

A division bench comprising Justices Mohammad Moosa K. Laghari and Mrs Qaiser Iqbal restrained the owner of the plot
from allowing installation of any gas plant or machinery and issued him and the city and provincial governments notices for
August 2. Two different benches had stayed the setting up of gas stations in residential areas in North Nazimabad and
PECHS last month.

Pemra ordinance
The bench gave the Pakistan Electronic Media Authority until July 16 to file its comments on a petition against the new
Pemra Ordinance.

Sindh Bar Council members Salahuddin Gandapur and Mohammad Aqil have challenged the June 4 ordinance for being
repugnant to the freedom of expression, profession and business guaranteed by the Constitution.

Pemra counsel Kashif Hanif sought 15 days for filing a rejoinder. The request was opposed by the petitioners‘ counsel,
Mustafa Lakhani, who said the authority had already taken long to respond and was employing delaying tactics.
The bench fixed July 16 as the new date and warned the respondent authority that the matter would taken up ex parte if it
failed to file its reply by that date. Another petition moved against the Pemra Ordinance by the People‘s Lawyers Forum
would also be heard on that date.

Protective bail
The bench also allowed protective bail to five members of a family till July 14 in the sum of Rs 100,000 each to enable them
to appear before the trial sessions court to seek pre-arrest bail.

Mohammad Ishaq, his wife Saeeda Begum and his three stepsons are alleged to have poisoned to death Shazia, wife of
one of the accused stepson.

The complaint had been lodged by the victim‘s father, who is brother of Saeeda Begum‘s former husband, Merajuddin. The
complainant said his daughter was married to Irfan, son of his brother Merajuddin whose wife contracted a second
marriage with Ishaq and lived with him along her three sons from the dissolved marriage. The case has been registered by
the Mobina Town police station.

The applicants submitted through Advocate Khwaja Saiful Islam that Shazia died a natural death and that they had been
implicated in the case at the behest of Merajuddin, who wanted to take revenge from Saeeda Begum and her family.
They said they wanted to surrender before the trial court of the district judge of East to seek bail but could be arrested by
police before approaching the court.

A petition filed by Advocate Qadir Khan Mandokhel against the city district government for allowing large hoardings was
adjourned to a date in office for compliance by the petitioner with the office requirement.
The office said the petitioner, who failed to appear on Tuesday, had neither paid the cost for executing service nor
furnished copies of the petition for dispatch to the respondents.
(By Shujaat Ali Khan, Dawn-17, 11/07/2007)

                                      Korangi Road, a commuting disaster
The chaotic state of existing traffic and public transport is one of the major civic issues today since problems such as traffic
congestion, encroachments and inadequate public transport, which in turn cause overloading, are found on almost every
thoroughfare of the city. However, Korangi road is a boulevard abounding in all of these problems and yet it is being
completely overlooked by the concerned authorities.

Firstly, there is a huge shortage of public transport on the aforementioned route and those available are highly
overburdened. During morning and evening peak hours, scores of people, especially labourers commute across this very
track and face extreme hardship due to the lack of transport facilities. Finding room on rooftops of buses is not possible for
many let alone the luxury of seats. Women, specially college students, have a number of complaints regarding the
harassment they face on the way due to the fact that men are allowed to travel in the ladies‘ compartment. This raises
questions about the efficiency of the traffic police that have time and again announced that they are running a successful
drive against overloading and violation of the ladies‘ compartment. Moreover, the abusive language used by conductors is
another cause of discomfort for women on board buses.
Furthermore, commuters are troubled by frequent traffic jams on several points of Korangi road. Hours-long traffic jams
caused by gridlocks are an everyday occurrence at Korangi No 1.5, and to add insult to injury, not a single policeman is
available on this road from Korangi Crossing up to Dawood Chowrangi. Consequently, no one clears up the regular
gridlocks witnessed on this road. A sergeant deployed at Korangi Crossing explained that this state of affairs is a result of
the fact that the patrolling team is not performing its duty honestly. Hence, its failure to check traffic jams on the said road
has made a mess of the traffic situation.

A somewhat similar situation can be observed at the Akhtar Colony intersection going up to the Qayumabad roundabout
where a huge flyover is now being raised. It seems that no one abides by the traffic signal at this intersection. To make
matters even worse, one of the lanes has been encroached by the ‗tanker mafia‘.

Moreover, one of the roads is closed for traffic on several points causing extreme hardship to commuters. Residents
complain that the work is being carried out at a very slow pace since it has been more than two years but the work doesn‘t
seem to be even half done.
It is important to note that on this very road, numerous accidents have taken place on account of reckless driving on the
part of both heavy vehicles and public transport. Numerous complaints received in this regard by this correspondent had
one thing in common; no action has yet been taken against these reckless drivers.

Similar to Sharah-e-Faisal and M.A. Jinnah Road, Korangi road is an important route that facilitates thousands of
commuters, particularly labourers belonging to the middle- and lower-middle class who complain that they are made to
undergo severe discomfort by the ‗transport mafia‘ each day. They further state that the latter is making the most of the
government‘s inability to provide transport facilities.

The recent announcement by the city government that some 75 buses are going to arrive in the city which will run along
five routes provides little relief to the poor ‗Korangians‘ since their needs exceed these meagre provisions by a landslide.
However, they are still hoping for a miracle that will render commuting easier for them.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-20, 11/07/2007)

                                               More buses for Karachi
The Transport and Communication Department, City District Government Karachi (CDGK) has invited tenders for setting up
of CNG stations in various localities of the metropolis as it plans to bring 8,000 CNG buses in Karachi to facilitate public
transportation. These new buses will run under a phase-wise schedule. In this regard, the CDGK has signed an MOU with
a Holland-based company. Meanwhile, the Transport and Communication Department (CDGK) has been forming strategies
to facilitate the private sector for the operation of CNG buses on urban routes. Efforts to establish modern bus
terminals/depots designed by the CDGK in collaboration with key players in the CNG industry, are underway. The
government has also invited suggestions for the setting up of a CNG station besides their operation, management and
maintenance at already established terminals in Sector 5-D and 7-A, Surjani Town. The Transport Department has also
prepared a report that includes RFP proposals to be issued as guidance for companies and potential bidders for the CNG
(The News-20, 11/07/2007)

                              UTS ghosts haunt new public transport scheme
KARACHI, July 11: The city government is making efforts to launch a CNG bus project and is offering transport companies
some incentives in this regard. However, transporters remain apprehensive and refer to the failed Urban Transport Scheme
(UTS) which was launched in 2002 with similar promises but fell flat.

Dawn has learnt that in terms of the latest plan, there is already some confusion over exactly how much of the loan‘s mark-
up is to be paid by the federal government.

At a meeting on Wednesday, City Nazim Mustafa Kamal announced that the federal government had approved a public-
private partnership project to import 8,000 CNG buses into Karachi and had allocated Rs500 million to it. Additionally, he
said, the federal government would pay 80 per cent of the mark-up on loans obtained by public transporters in this regard
and the city government would help transporters get privileges from banks and other financial institutions.

Mark-up matters
However, an official who was present at the meeting told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that, in fact, the federal
government offered to pay only 60 to 70 per cent of the mark-up on such loans, and Rs500 million had been allocated for
this purpose.

This sum was rejected by representatives of transporter groups, who demanded an increase to 80 per cent. The official
confirmed that the 80 per cent figure had not yet been approved by the federal government and a decision was expected
within the next 10 days. He added that the city or federal governments would not provide guarantees to financial institutions
and transporters wishing to benefit from the scheme would have to make their own arrangements to acquire loans.

The Wednesday meeting, attended by the additional secretary of the government of Pakistan‘s Planning Commission, Asif
Bajwa, and the chief of transport and communications of the Planning Commission, Aijaz Ahmad, also promised that
supporting infrastructural development would include CNG filling stations, bus stops, bus routes and parking facilities. Other
participants included the director-general of the Karachi Mass Transit Cell, Malik Zaheerul Islam, the EDO transport and
communications, Mohammad Athar, DIG Traffic Falak Khursheed and the chiefs of Karachi Transport and the UTS union,
Ittehad Irshad Bokhari and Rana Muner, respectively.

Why UTS failed
However, key areas of Karachi‘s transport issues remain unaddressed.
One of these is the re-registration of buses in other provinces, a matter which caused the city government great
embarrassment in the wake of the UTS initiative. Companies that had obtained buses under agreement with the city
government‘s 2002 project later took the vehicles to Punjab, where their re-registration constituted a great setback to the

In the current instance, the federal government has not assured the city government that a ban will be imposed on the re-
registration of buses in other provinces for a specific period of time. Sources pointed out that should the city government fail
to learn from past mistakes, the new project would suffer the same fate.

Five years ago, the city government put its weight behind the UTS and promoted it as the solution to the city‘s transport
problems. Soon after, however, the Green Bus Company, which had imported 28 large CNG buses, folded after failing to
follow the schedule of payments. Further shadows were cast on the UTS when a second company, Trans Livia, which had
imported 25 buses under the scheme, failed to pay the loan instalments and its vehicles were repossessed by the bank
concerned. As mentioned earlier, other companies took their vehicles out of Karachi. While officials claim that the number
of large buses operating under the UTS once touched the 300 figure and have gradually fallen to 230, sources in the
transport department maintain that no more than 100 buses imported under the 2002 scheme are currently operating in

Transporters who attended the Wednesday meeting at the city nazim‘s office said that the UTS failed because of the
disparity between fares and diesel prices. ―The former Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) raised diesel prices
every 15 days but bus fares did not match the trend,‖ said one representative, suggesting that since there is a slight
difference between diesel and CNG consumption, this could be increased to give the transporter the benefit.

The city nazim assured the meeting‘s participants that such issues would be discussed in further consultative meetings,
and the federal government would identify standard models and makes of the CNG buses so that fiascos such as the
Green Bus Company would not be repeated. Commenting on banks‘ seizure of buses leased under the UTS, transport
officials said that transport firms had over-invoiced in an effort to have huge sums sanctioned against the procurement of
the buses, and had subsequently been unable to pay the correspondingly heavy instalments.

However, it is worth remembering that such assurances were given at the launch of the UTS too, but all the promises made
by the officials proved hollow. Even before the UTS started facing financial and administrative problems, commuters had
been complaining of violation by UTS bus drivers — the failure to stop at designated stops, open doors on moving buses
and over-crowding, amongst many others.

As a result, transporters remain ambivalent about the new plan to import CNG buses and have demanded that the city
government address all apprehensions as well as offer additional incentives such as exemptions in customs and sales
taxes. Sources allege that City Nazim Mustafa Kamal is not reviewing past mistakes and fear that history will repeat itself in
the new scheme to provide transport to the city‘s 18 million people.
(By Arman Sabir, Dawn-17, 12/07/2007)

                                            146 vehicles seized, 25 held
Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) Karachi, during week-long raids, arrested 25 suspects involved in theft of cars and motorcycles
and tampering their registration numbers. It also claimed recovery of 64 cars and 82 motorcycles from their possession,
including those found abandoned.

ACLC Landhi-Korangi staff arrested four suspects and recovered two cars from their possession. In separate raids ACLC
Shah Faisal, Jamshed, Landhi-Korangi and Saddar Town teams recovered four cars which were stolen from Shah Faisal
Colony, Mithadar and Ferozeabad PS limits.

Besides, the ACLC Clifton staff arrested three motorcycle lifters and seized two vehicles which were stolen from the
jurisdictions of Darakhshan and Boat Basin police stations.

ACLC also recovered three motorbikes bearing registration numbers.
The arrested suspects were identified as S Abid Hussain Shah, Hassan Jamil, S Furqan Ali, Mirza Shoaib Baig, Adil, Shah
Nawaz, Salim Ahmed, Imran, Adnan Ali, Zawar Hussain, Salahuddin, Rizwan, Fazl, Irfan, Zohaib, Imran, Mehboob, Adnan
Manzoor, Akhtar, Abdul Razaq, Hafiz, Hamidullah, Zahoor Ahmed Bhatti, M Irfan and M Aslam.

Meanwhile, 44 four-wheelers and 71 two-wheelers that were recovered from different parts of the city have been returned
to their owners during the last 10 days. The ACLC, with the help of Excise Police, recovered 10 cars.
(The News-13, 12/07/2007)

                             Karachi’s poorly maintained bridges falling apart
Human lives are put at risk daily by the City Government which continues to ignore the state of some of the city‘s major
bridges that connect important areas and are used by thousands of vehicles daily. In one instance, a huge chunk of a
bridge fell out after developing cracks. In another, a man fell several feet below as a pavement slab was missing. Railings
have also disappeared with the result that several lives were lost some months back when a bus tipped over a bridge.
There are more accidents waiting to happen, say many.

The condition of the Natha Khan Bridge located on Main Shahrae Faisal near Shah Faisal Colony, the Jam Sadiq Bridge
linking Korangi Industrial Area, the West Wharf Bridge and the Quidabad Railway Crossing Bridge are all in a shape of

Last week alone, the Natha Khan Bridge broke at two different points. The bridge has been suffering from parts falling out
or cracking at vantage points over the past couple of years. Despite being an important bridge linking the rest of the city
with the airport and National Highway, it was ignored for a long time. After public uproar, the CDGK undertook some repair
work. However, observers say that this is clearly inadequate given the nature of the damage on the bridge.

To add insult to injury, a large number of grills have already been removed from the pavement of the bridge possibly by
drug addicts and more of the same can be expected in the coming days.

Similarly, the Jam Sadiq Bridge, a link between the Korangi Industrial Area and Qayumabad roundabout is another
important bridge that‘s deteriorating rapidly as it facilitates heavy traffic with more than 90 per cent heavy vehicles that pass
on it being goods carriers.

A portion of the bridge collapsed nearly a month ago. On Thursday, this correspondent saw some repair work being carried
out. Again, however, the work done to repair the damage seems to be inadequate. The Jam Sadiq bridge, named after a
famous Sindh politician and former CM, is more than 15 years old and needs proper maintenance as it facilitates
transportation of goods from a major industrial zone to the rest of the country.

Another important bridge that connects the city with an industrial area, the West Wharf Bridge, is also in a state of disrepair.
This bridge extends from one end of the Jinnah Bridge near the Port Area into the heart of the West Wharf Industrial Zone.
It is the lifeline of the various industries that are situated in the area.

Time as well as theft have taken a heavy toll on the bridge. Entire sections of the metal guard rails having been stolen by
unknown persons and are sold in the city‘s scrap yards.

The negligence on part of the concerned authorities have led to tragic accidents on this bridge. These include the falling
over of an overcrowded passenger bus on one side of the bridge some months back. Six people died as a consequence, In
another incident, a man walking across the unlit bridge accidentally stepped onto a missing slab of pavement and fell
several feet below. The fall, and the resulting trauma, not only resulted in broken bones and lacerations, but also in the loss
of consciousness.

The Quidabad Railway Crossing is another overpass that was built decades ago but was never properly maintained. The
bridge links heavy traffic from Landhi and Korangi with the National Highway. It also provides crossing to rail traffic
underneath. The tracks down below have been damaged due to the heavy movement of both public transport vehicles and
heavy vehicles from Korangi Industrial Area.

Amanullah Chachar, the Executive District Officer (EDO) Works and Services of the CDGK told The News when asked
about the state of the city‘s bridges: ―After the rains, we will conduct a thorough survey of the entire metropolis to check for
bridges and flyovers that require renovation and maintenance.‖

He added: ―We have also included adequate funds for repair and maintenance.‖ He further said that for a thorough repair of
Natha Khan Bridge, the CDGK would need to close the bridge for vehicular traffic which would cause extreme difficulty for
commuters since even a five minute closure can cause massive traffic jams.

―It was built with RCC structure, an old technology therefore only a complete appraisal will tell us how to renovate it,‖ the
EDO said, adding ―If the pillars and supporting beams are still strong, we will only repair the track otherwise the entire
bridge has to be repaired.‖

Commenting on the Jam Sadiq Bridge, Chachar said: ―The bridge is being repaired. There was a huge fault in its joints and
rains made it more difficult for us to carry out maintenance work.‖ He maintained that the overloaded heavy vehicles cause
damage to the bridge. ―When a bridge is built, it is designed as per standards of the heavy vehicles but due to overloading,
movement of these heavy vehicles over the joints of the bridge damages its structure.‖

Speaking on West Wharf Bridge, he said, it has a ―technical error‖ in its footpath since it does not have any concrete
support underneath its pavements. ―Consequently when a slab is removed, there is a gaping hole which can cause serious

Chachar stressed that in the past the bridges were built on RCC technology but now pre-stressed technology is being used
for all the new bridges that take the burden of heavy traffic comparatively better.

In the final analyses it seems that the entire focus of the CDGK seems to be on building new flyovers and underpasses
while those built decades ago have not been renovated or repaired despite the dangers they pose. Poor maintenance and
inadequate repair work makes the problem worse, say observers.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-13, 13/07/2007)

                          Secure railway track announced for Shah Faisal Town
The Town Municipal Administration in collaboration with the Pakistan Railway (PR) will soon make preparations in order to
provide safety to the public by securing a railway track within the limits of Shah Faisal Town.
A press release said that the town Nazim, Muhammad Imran, called on Mir Muhammad Khaskheli, Divisional
Superintendent (DS) Railway, Karachi, at his office on Wednesday. In the meeting, Khaskheli proposed to cooperate with
them in order to provide security to those who cross the railway tracks in a dangerous manner. Imran said that in view of
securing the railway track and providing precautionary measures, the two associations would make preparations with
proper planning.

In addition to securing the railway track, they will also improve the underpasses within the limits of their town, making them
commutable while PR will be required to assure their cooperation in this regard. Imran, in his meeting with the DS Railway,
discussed the problems faced by people while crossing the railway line and necessary measures needed against frequent

Having Drawn Khaskheli‘s attention towards an underpass at Malir Halt, Imran said that the construction work for should be
completed immediately since it has been delayed. He further said there are six underpasses within the limits of his town
and a few of them are not usable due to lack of cooperation on part of PR. Therefore, the PR should it in order to provide
the locals proper access to Shahrae Faisal.

GADAP TOWN: The Pakistan Army, while conducting relief operations in Gadap Town, has set up a free medical camp
and distributed relief goods among the rain and flood-affected people in Hindu Goth and Yousuf Goth, says an ISPR press
release issued on Thursday.
More than 5,000kg food items, including rice, flour, sugar, dry milk and pulses, were distributed among the people of Hindu
Goth. Over 300 families have been affected by devastating storms in the area. In Yousuf Goth, 50 houses were badly
damaged. The Army has provided construction material for 27 hutments and Pakistan Army doctors have also treated
hundreds of affected people and provided them with medicine. Most patients were suffering from water-borne diseases,
including gastroenteritis.

MALIR TOWN: Nazim Ansar Ahmed Sheikh visited various towns and inspected uplift work, cleanliness and the sewerage
system on Thursday. The Nazim also inspected CC flooring in UC 3 Noorani Masjid Nishtar Square, Saudabad and D4, S1
and H and laying down of sewerage lines in UC7, Sahabdad Goth.
Ansar Sheikh directed XEN Water‘s Abrar Hussain and XEN Sewerage‘s Abdul Ghaffar Shaikh to ensure the speedy
completion of ongoing projects. He said the dues of contractors, who used substandard material in uplift projects, would not
remitted. TMO Munawar Siyal was also present on the occasion.

GULSHAN-E-IQBAL: Town Nazim Muhammad Wasay Jalil and DS Railways, Karachi, Mir Muhammad Khaskheli
discussed a joint operation against illegal encroachments along the railway lines in the town here on Thursday.
The Nazim told DS Railways that a park spread over 7,000sq feet is being constructed at Darwaish Colony along the
railway line with a cost of Rs164 million. He further added that railway officials had stopped construction work on the plea
that the land belonged to Pakistan Railways and not to the City District Government Karachi (CDGK). ―This land will
continue to belong to The Pakistan Railways even after the construction of the park,‖ said the Nazim. Mir Muhammad
Khaskheli assured the town Nazim that he would talk to senior officers of his department regarding the issue. TMO Shafiq-
ur-Rehman and TO (Infrastructure) Mubin Siddiqui were also present at the occasion.
(The News-20, 13/07/2007)

                                      Unsuspecting cyclist killed by tanker
KARACHI, July 13: A cyclist was killed and two policemen got injured when a fast-moving water tanker hit them near the
Defence turning on Korangi Road here on Friday morning.
The water tanker (SI-5021) and a dumper truck (TKL-174) were trying to overtake each other when a policeman, Aijaz,
signalled them to stop. Instead the water tanker hit the policeman and his colleague Amjad Pervez and knocked down a
cyclist along the road. One of the police personnel is said to be seriously injured.

The cyclist, later identified as Bakht Rehman, died on the spot. The police arrested the dumper truck driver, Ziaur Rehman,
but the tanker driver sped away.

In another accident, a motorcyclist, identified as Pervez Feroz, 45, died after being hit by a vehicle on the Native Jetty
bridge. The body was sent to a hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Businessman killed
A businessman, Nadeem Umar, 35, was shot dead by a gunman at the victim‘s home in 100-quarters Korangi on Friday
morning.The victim‘s wife, Saima, lodged a case with the police. She said that a man knocked at their door in the morning
and as she opened the door, he entered and called out her husband.

According to her, after a brief conversation, the man pulled out a pistol and opened fire on Nadeem. He then fled. Police
suspect some business conflict to be behind the killing. However, they could not find a clue to the killer immediately.

Body found
The body of a three-year-old boy was found on the Malir riverbed in Shah Latif police limits here on Friday.
Police said that Dileep Daud had gone missing a day earlier and the parents, who lived along the river, were looking for
their boy. The police believed that the boy fell from a high place and received fatal injuries to the head. It did not appear to
be a murder case, the police claimed. However, investigations are under way.
(Dawn-17, 14/07/2007)

                                   Signal-free corridor 2: project under way
City District Government will start work on signal-free corridor 2 this month. According to the plan, CDGK will construct
flyovers at four intersections on this corridor namely Nagan Chowrangi, Gulshan Chowrangi, Johar Mor and the Askari 4
roundabout. This project will cost around two billion rupees.

A meeting held under the chairmanship of DCO Karachi, Jawed Hanif Khan has formed a committee to carry out the work
of identifying and shifting utility lines underground that lie along this corridor.

Moreover, Khan has asked the committee to complete this work within the next few days in close coordination and
cooperation with representatives of utility agencies such as the KESC and Sui Gas.

In this regard, a meeting was chaired by Khan at his office on Friday. It was attended by EDO Works and Services
Ammanullah Chacher, EDO Transport Mohammad Ather, Project Director Rauf Akhter Farooqi, representatives of KESC,
Sui Gas and Water and Sewerage Board, among others.

The committee which will carry out the survey, will be headed by Chacher. Khan asked the committee to begin work
immediately. He further said that work should begin at all four sites simultaneously. He also emphasised that the concerned
officials must ensure that all possible measures are taken to avoid traffic congestion during the construction of this project.
He said that alternate routes and diversion maps should also be provided.
(The News-19, 14/07/2007)

                                         Giving them wheels:
                           Transport Employment Scheme for the handicapped
Like any other rickshaw driver in Karachi, Babar Hussain travels the length and breadth of the city in search of a living. He
haggles with passengers over the rickshaw fare, discusses politics with his sawari and like any other rickshaw waala, he
too is very sensitive about the maintenance of the three-wheeler rickshaw he drives. His rickshaw however, is not like the
other rickshaws in the city. Babar's vibrant green three-wheeler-rickshaw is operated manually and reads 'Edhi Rozgar
Scheme Bara e Mazureen' (Edhi employment scheme for the handicapped).

35-year-old Babar is handicapped from the waist below. He got this auto through the Edhi Transport Employment Scheme,
a year ago. Babar along with forty other handicapped rallied against the insensitivity of authorities towards the plight of the
handicapped on December 3, 2005, the International Day for Disabled Persons, and threatened concerned authorities with
suicide. The gravity of the threats led to decisions being taken that day which culminated into the formulation of the
Transport Employment Scheme by the Edhi Foundation and Sindh Disablity Forum.

Babar contracted polio at the age of two, which caused his disability. He started selling tissue papers at a roundabout in
Sindhi Muslim Society nine years ago after the death of his father. "But I could not earn enough to make both ends meet,"
says Babar who was unable to earn a decent living for his wife and two children selling tissue papers.

Babar, with other disabled people, staged a 17-day hunger strike in front of the Karachi Press Club(KPC) demanding the
government to ensure employment and implementation of the two per cent quota for handicaps. When their demands were
not met, the protestors threatened the government with burning themselves alive in front of KPC. "We had even bought
kerosene oil for the purpose," Babar tells Kolachi. He was determined to get his fair share from life at any cost.

It was then that the Edhi Welfare contacted the protestors to help resolve their issue. "We told the Welfare that we could
drive three-wheeler autos and they provided us with the rickshaws on installments," he says, telling of the rickshaws lent to
the protestors as a provision of Transport Employment Scheme (TES) initiated by the Welfare.

According to the scheme the Edhi Welfare has given five rickshaws to the handicaps referred by Sindh Disability Forum, an
organization working for the mobility of the handicapped in Pakistan. This is an experimental scheme where rickshaws are
being provided on a no-profit-no-loss and non-collateral basis. The rickshaw drivers are to pay back the money in easy
installments in three years. "If bought from a showroom, a similar rickshaw would cost up to 250,000 rupees on installment,
with 25000 rupees to be paid in advance," says Babar. "Edhi Welfare however is providing the rickshaw on market rates
which are 118,000 rupees only and that too on a non-collateral basis," he adds.

TES is an experimental scheme and, on a smaller scale, replicates the concept of micro financing practiced by banks all
over the world. The scheme has completed one year and the Welfare plans to extend the scheme by giving 10 more such
rickshaws given the scheme proves successful.

"So far the scheme has proven to be quite successful and we are receiving installments regularly," Anwer Kazmi, the media
coordinator at Edhi Welfare tells Kolachi. Though the amount for monthly installments has not been fixed by the Welfare,
usually people pay back 3000- 3500 rupees per month on their own.

When asked if the rickshaw drivers earn enough, Anwer answered in the affirmative. "The drivers sometimes earn even
more than 400 rupees a day," Anwer adds that he is quite happy with he recovery rate at the organization.

Babar has paid back almost 19,000 rupees so far and is determined to pay back the rest of the loan. "I know they wont take
away the rickshaw even if I don't pay them back but I would never think of deceiving them as they have been very helpful to
me." The fact that the Welfare has not asked for a collateral or interest on the rickshaw has greatly moved Babar.

The concept of non-collateral, no interest loans is not a new one. The origin of Micro-finance Banking can be traced back to
1976, when Professor Muhammad Yunus initiated an action research project to develop a credit system aimed at the rural
populace; The Grameen Bank was established in 1983 as a result of this research. The concept of banking for the poor, on
a non-collateral basis is widely practiced by the banking sector all over the world today. Banking catering to the credit
needs of the poorest of poor, who were earlier considered "un-bankable" as they had no collaterals to offer, has given birth
to specialized Micro-financing Institutes (MFI's), which have aided the impoverished by helping them set up small

However, Micro-finance Banking in Pakistan is a relatively a new concept as compared to other countries in the region.
Recognizing Micro-finance as an important poverty alleviation tool, the Federal Government has adopted a Micro-finance
policy and has developed a legal framework, the MFIs Ordinance 2001, for establishing Micro-finance Banks in the private
sector. The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Khushali Bank, Rural Support Programs and Kashf Foundation are some of
the leading players in Micro-financing in Pakistan but they tend to focus on the poor and pay special attention to women,
which endorses the popular concept of Micro-financing but neglects the handicapped who make up 10 % of the total
population -i.e. 60,00,000 people.

Unlike the Micro-financing sector, NGOs like Edhi Welfare and the Disabled Welfare Association (DWA) have initiated
schemes for the handicapped, unknowingly replicating the concept of Micro- financing.
"I have never heard of Micro-finance Banking nor do I know if such banks exist," says Jawed Rais, President DWA, the
organization that provides handicaps with accessible bikes under its "mobility project" approved and funded by The World
Bank in 2006.

The World Bank in 2006 launched a project under the banner of Pakistan Development Marketplace and invited proposals
from various organizations. Jawed says that "Travelling is the biggest problem for the handicapped therefore we proposed
a mobility project." Out of 600 projects from all over Pakistan, only 9 were approved including the Mobility Project by DWA.
The World Bank financed the organization with 15,00,000 rupees. "We made 30 accessible bikes, operated manually, from
that money," says Javaid adding that one accessible bike costs from 30,000 to 70,000 rupees depending on its design.
These bikes are multi-purpose. They serve as Qing Qi rickshaws, wireless PCOs, tuck shops, mobile juice shops, mobile
shops selling phone and internet cards, mobile bakeries and sometimes simply as an accessible bike facilitating mobility of
a handicaped person on the job.
"This is a scheme that promotes self respect and is not a gesture of charity, we make our handicapped fellows mobile and
allow them to earn a living. Once they are established enough, we ask them to pay back the cost of the bike in
installments," explains Jawed, who is pleased with the results of the scheme.

Asad Karim, 20, drives an accessible bike provided to him through the scheme, he earlier earned money by begging on the

Born in a village in Punjab, Asad lost the ability to walk at the age of 9 as a consequence of severe fever. He came to
Karachi seven years back with some friends who abandoned him the very same night as they arrived. He searched for
them but could not find them. As he did not have enough money to return home, nor was he educated enough to gain
employment anywhere, he resorted to begging in front of the Capri Cinema in Saddar. He easily made around 200 rupees
a day and managed to send his family 3000 rupees a month. Embarassed, he tells Kolachi, "I spent seven years living this
way, I never told my family that I begged to make money and did not meet them all this time."

However, last year the Welfare contacted him and convinced him to work instead of begging "They taught me how to
operate an accessible bike and now a make living driving a Qing Qi rickshaw instead."Asad feels proud as now he not only
makes a respectable living but drives a rickshaw rather than dragging himself on the roads.He admits that he enjoys this
life more than before as, "I am learning to read, write and operate computers as well."

Asad is now determined to study and vows that he will never go back to begging again.
He earns up to 7000 rupees a month and takes pride in his earning power.He does however admit hesitantly that he has
not managed to save enough money to pay his installments.
"He hasn't established himself and needs time to pay us back," says Jawed.
Jawed admits that though the scheme has been quite successful but "The recovery rate is quite slow as people need time
to establish themselves."

Jawed is also apprehensive about the future of the project; "We only have a one year contract with The World Bank,"
adding that he is unsure of where the project will stand once the year is over. "We have pleaded with the government to
look into the matter and facilitate the project, but the government is involved with the project only to the extent of coming to
our programs and having their pictures taken with the disabled," adds Jawed regretfully.
Though Jawed himself is unaware of Micro-finance Banking, and therefore has not contacted any Micro-finance Banks, the
Micro-financing sector seems eager to sponsor similar schemes if contacted.

"Right now we don't have any schemes for the handicapped," says Mussarrat Siddiqui, President Network Micro Finance
Bank Limited, "but we are willing to support such schemes if contacted in this regard."

The worldwide success of Micro-financing is no longer an unheard of phenomenon. The project that started with only 300
dollars, has aided more than a 100 million people in the developing world. Bangladesh itself has 22 million people
benefiting from Micro-financing, and non-governmental organizations have spread over every nook and cranny of rural
Bangladesh giving credit to the poor, with the 95% recovery rate proving that that the poor are the most reliable borrowers.
Although the Edhi Foundation and the Sindh Disability Forum have initiated what could prove to be fruitful step towards
economic development, NGOs have only so many resources at hand. Recognizing the needs of a segment of the Pakistani
population which otherwise does not get much attention, the government must take measures to provide self-respect and
self reliance schemes for the handicapped the financial and managerial assistance they need to truly thrive.
(By Sabeen Jamil, The News-43, 15/07/2007)

                             Sindh sleeps on KCR as Lahore project approved
KARACHI, July 15: The ground-breaking ceremony of the Lahore Rapid Mass Transit Train project has been planned for
September while Karachi, despite being the seventh largest city of the world, has yet to see complete revival of the circular
railway service, which was available to citizens some four decades back.

A firm commitment to serve people is always considered as the basic component of good governance. Despite being part
of the same system, rulers in Punjab seemed always determined to serve their people.

Under the Lahore mass transit project, two rapid transit train systems — the green line and the orange line —would be
developed with a cost 2.4 billion dollars and 1.9 billion dollars, respectively. The green line system will have 12
underground and 10 overhead stations while six underground and 20 overhead stations would be established for the
orange line. With the financial support of Asian Development Bank, the first phase of the project will be completed in four

People of Lahore are fortunate to have a committed and compassionate leadership while Karachiites who a few years back
were quite optimistic about the revival of Karachi Circular Railway as well as the promised 8,000 CNG buses have now
almost lost their hopes and trust.

In 2004, President Musharraf had ordered the revival of KCR within two years (i.e. by 2006). Orders from the highest
authority resulted in partial progress on this project with the start of service from Landhi to Wazir Mansion in 2005.

The rulers and bureaucracy had claimed that the service would be extended to Nazimabad and Gillani stations after the
completion of KCR second phase. However, the work on the second phase could never start. In November 2005, the issue
was raised in a meeting between Sindh Chief Minister Arbab Rahim and State Minister for Railways Ishaque Khakwani at
the CM‘s House. The meeting approved a proposal for setting up of the Karachi Urban Transport Corporation to run the
circular railway.

It was decided that the proposed company would be set up under the Companies Ordinance 1984 and the federal
government would have a 60 per cent stake in it while the Sindh government would have 40 per cent ownership. It was also
decided that the proposed company would work in the limits of CDGK. It would run and maintain a local train service on the
main and circular railway lines.

In the second week of May last year, City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal discussed the issue with Federal Railway Minister
Shaikh Raheed Ahmad who was on a visit to Karachi. The minister assured that the federal railway ministry would give
assistance for the complete revival of Karachi Circular Railway.

Though statements regarding the KCR revival are issued off and on many people think that this vital issue has been put on
the back burner. In Karachi where 40 passengers vie for a single seat, it is intriguing why the authorities are reluctant to
revive the KCR.

The Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Higher Education Commission and Standing Committee on Scientific
and Technical Cooperation experts in a draft report titled ―Technology-Based Industrial Vision and Strategy for Pakistan‘s
Socio-Economic Development‖, had strongly recommended the government to revive the KCR under the public-private
partnership. However, the huge commissions, bribery and kickbacks involved in road-based transport system would be
unavailable to certain quarters if the circular railway is revived.
(Dawn-13, 16/07/2007)

                                      Billboard controversy refuses to end
Despite clear instructions from the Prime Minister that oversized hoardings have to be removed from the city‘s streets, the
City Government and Cantonment Boards alongwith other stakeholders are now playing a wait and see game over the

The PM had given the instructions after the death toll in last month‘s rain and storms in which some billboards crashed onto
people and property.

The CDGK has become silent on the issue while the Cantonment Boards are looking at ways to ensure that this damage
does not recur. At the same time, there is little talk of removing the billboards all together. Some citizens are saying that the
corporate responsibility function of the advertisers can be questioned as well as most have CSR policies.

Many people believe that the CDGK and other stakeholders are now bowing to commercial pressures to allow the
reinstallation of the billboards. Civil society organizations say that the government is playing a delaying game as the huge
and hazardous hoarding structures still stand at their places.

Though the sheets have been removed from most of the hoardings, the existence of the larger than life frames on which
the advertisements were mounted indicates that the advertisements will return after some time. Angry citizens want to know
as to why the authorities haven‘t gotten rid of these dangerous hoardings even after witnessing the destruction they had
caused last month.

For their part, the civic agencies claim that the structures will be removed soon. Cantonment Board Faisal (CBF) says that
it will shortly issue notices to all the concerned companies in order to remove their hoardings with a deadline of 10 days.
The Cantonment Executive Officer Faisal, Zeenat Ahmed, maintains action will be taken on non-compliance.
She said: ―If they do not remove their respective hoardings, we will ensure that the task be done.‖

Zeenat Ahmed added that the Cantonment Board Faisal was all set to join hands with the government if it declared Karachi
a hoarding-free city but instead of the entire city, ―the government‘s emphasis seems to be Main Sharae Faisal only.‖ She
believed that this was not right.

While many want these billboards to be removed once and for all and believe that Karachi must be declared a hoarding-
free city, there are others who do not agree with the idea and think that it would not be reasonable to stop the media
outdoor industry.

The outdoor media industry has also started a campaign to allow the billboards to remain. It is understood that millions of
rupees have been set aside for this purpose by the association which feels that its very future is at stake at the moment.
It may be recalled that the provincial government last year formed a committee to frame a master plan for the city and the
Sindh Governor headed this initiative. Amongst many other tasks, that committee also had to evolve a policy on city
billboards. Another sub committee was also formed headed by the City Nazim with the the task to ensure the
implementation of those policies the master plan committee would design.

Concerned citizens expressed their doubts on this and said that the mess of billboards in the city and the way they have
been erected clearly indicated that the committee was not functioning. However, Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul Ebad said that
the committee was ―definitely functioning but was in the process of consultation.‖ The Governor said that the committee had
initially held its meetings with other civic agencies but there are many factors involved in it because of which there was a

At the same time, the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) has said that they have started work on the formation of new and
improved safety parameters and want to come up with some permanent way out of the problem. ―It‘s time for the civic
authorities to form some sane policies and ensure their execution by all the stakeholders,‖ said Iftikhar Ahmed Mir, the CEO
of CBC.

He said that negotiations between the board and the stakeholders are going on and ―all will be finalized within two months.‖
Mir said that the new policies would be framed Keeping different factors keeping in mind in a bid to increase the safety
standards. ―Only professional and pre-qualified people would be inducted and building codes will be revised,‖ he promised.

The CBC chief said that companies without license are involved in the industry that should not happen in future. ―New
strategies for designs and fabrication will be formed only by authorized agencies,‖ he said.

Iftikhar Mir also said that insurance for persons erecting these poles and hoardings should also be introduced as well as
insurance against damage caused by these hoardings.

However, despite the promises and new arrangements that the Cantoment Boards and the City Government are intent at
bringing about, most citizens interviewed by The News stated that they would prefer that these billboards are removed
entirely. ―Karachi looks beautiful without these ugly, gigantic advertisements that have hidden the actual colours of the city
behind them,‖ commented one person when asked.

Jahanzeb, another city resident stated ―The view of the city has changed a lot only after the removal of the advertisements.
I hope our authorities will give us relief by removing the vacant structures too.‖ One enraged citizen said that those
companies, particularly multinationals, which advertise on the outsized billboards, can be blacklisted and their corporate
social responsibility committment questioned. Most of the advertisers on oversized billboards are telecom companies as
well as consumer product multinationals, it may be pointed out. Banks are also big advertisers.

However, as things stand, it is most probable that the government would give in to commercial pressure with the result that
these outisized and dangerous billboards will once again make a re-appearence in the city once the monsoon ends.

Name of Authority                No. of hoardings            Removed hoardings
Pakistan Navy                            17                          8
Civil Aviation Authority                 05                          05
Karachi Port Trust                       11                          11
Port Qasim Authority                     107                         –
DCO                                      370                         173
Pakistan Railways                        25                          25
KBCA                                     23                          07
Cantonment Board Karachi                 38                          16
Cantonment Board Clifton                 98                          72
Cantonment Board Faisal                  131                         127
Pakistan Air force                       No information provided

(Source: Government of Sindh)
(By Aisha Masood, The News-13, 16/07/2007)

                                  CNG buses likely to be run on new routes
With the arrival of 75 CNG buses in the megapolis, City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has to chalk out some specific routes
for these buses owing to the heavy traffic pressure on the already dilapidated city roads.

The biggest issue these days is debris and construction material scattered on both sides of 29 major roads in the city.

CDGK had recently carried out ―Traffic Volume Count‖ survey to determine traffic volume and pressure on the city roads.
According to sources, these reconditioned CNG buses would be initially plied on some specified routes in order to minimize
their maintenance cost or else these buses would end up in workshop after a short time and meet the same fate as that of
Green buses.

DCO Karachi, who is also the Chairman of District Transport Authority, will preside over a scheduled meeting to approve
the proposed routes in order to ensure minimum maintenance and operational costs as well as saving the transporters who
have entered into this business from major financial losses.

According to official sources in CDGK, all intersections in Karachi are over saturated. ―Once you enter the city you will find
almost every intersection overcrowded, and the only solution to ease this traffic congestion lies in inducting Transport
Master Plan,‖ said an official source. Prior to conducting Traffic Volume Count, a survey to this effect was conducted in
1993 and another in 2001.

When asked as to what were the major reasons behind this traffic congestion in Karachi, the sources said that absence of
parking lots, particularly at central business district, ever-increasing number of vehicles, encroachments and passage of
heavy vehicles virtually block traffic flow on the city roads.
―Existing roads cannot sustain the load of heavy vehicles. These inner cordon roads of the city are not designed to sustain
this heavy load as each and every road is built on a specification to bear so and so load and once these vehicles pass they
destroy the entire road.‖

Besides various solutions to ease traffic mess in Karachi, shifting of bus terminals was the need of the hour, the sources
said, adding, there was a move to shift central prison to some other place for security reasons and a huge bus terminal
could be set up there.

Anyway, one can imagine the present magnitude of traffic flow when the city roads are flooded with all sorts of vehicles and
their number is on constant rise.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-13, 16/07/2007)

                                                Regulating billboards
A photograph in this newspaper this past week suggested that a double game was being played by the civic agencies in
Karachi regarding the erection of large billboards. The picture showed many such structures without any metal sheets — on
which the adverts are mounted — but the main frame of the billboards remained untouched. This, after torrential rain last
month caused dozens of such billboards to fall, in the process killing nine people. While the death and destruction caused
by these towering, oversized billboards pointed at the poor engineering standards –- improper anchoring of the poles that
hold them, weak foundations, etc — that were employed in their erection, it also very rightly raised the question of the need
for having such monstrosities in the first place destroying whatever aesthetics is left of the urban landscape. Revealing the
very deadly and ugly face of advertising, it is obvious that there is no public accountability and check over the erection of
these giant billboards as they can be seen in almost all major cities of the country with the notable exception of Islamabad.
In the absence of any guidelines and ethics, advertising agencies have been having a field day -– putting up these
dangerous boards literally anywhere and everywhere. While in the rest of the world, even in a mega city like London, one
does not come across such gigantic billboards with there being a definite shift away from such oversized advertising, it
would seem we are going in the opposite direction with outdoor advertising having become something of a newfound
passion. In addition to the dangers that giant billboards pose to life and property, they are also an eyesore — destroying the
natural landscape and beauty of a place.

With the destructive capability of these billboards having become all too obvious in the recent rains in the country‘s biggest
metropolis, it is hoped that necessary attention would be diverted to solving this long-neglected problem. Hopefully proper
guidelines, rules and regulations would be formulated vis-a-vis the size and location/area where these billboards can be put
up. A drive must also be undertaken for the removal of dangerous giant billboards. But this is easier said than done as
according to a recent survey conducted by an NGO in Karachi, 13,000 of the 17,000 billboards in the city are illegal. A few
cases were registered in the deaths that occurred in Karachi but it is unclear what their current status is. Also, it remains
unclear whether any civic agency officials are going to be taken to task for what happened — given that the billboards could
not have been installed without the permission of the various land-owning agencies. Remarks by officials to the effect that
the blame is entirely that of the advertisers do not make any sense because any government agency cannot absolve itself
of its primary supervisory or regulatory role merely by passing on the buck to the private sector — something that seems to
have taken place in this matter. One hopes that the Karachi City District Government will not be party to the apparent
doublespeak on this issue — with the billboards reappearing once the monsoon season is over.
(The News-7, 16/07/2007)

                                             Mass transit system needed
WHILE the authorities in Karachi tinker with stop-gap solutions, Lahore seems to be thinking seriously about solving its
traffic and transport problems. Later this year, the Punjab capital will hold the ground-breaking ceremony for a mass transit
system that the citizens of Karachi can only envy. The Lahore rapid mass transit project envisages at least two train lines
with both overhead and underground stations, with more routes to be added later. While the huge cost involved and the
project‘s potential impact on the environment are causes for concern and must be addressed, it is clear that the problems
faced by commuters in a fast-growing city cannot be solved without an effective mass transit system. That is the only way
forward and this applies as much to Karachi as to Lahore — perhaps more so given the size of the port city‘s population
and the number of vehicles on its roads. It is estimated that some 10,000 new vehicles are registered in Lahore every
month. In Karachi, the figure is three times higher.

Despite the growing congestion, the Karachi city government is persisting with first aid when drastic surgery is needed.
Unlike the proposed elevated expressway, which is a major disaster in the making, most of the flyovers and new roads
being constructed in the city are clearly needed. Their efficacy, however, is confined to the short term. As the population
and number of vehicles continue to grow, the new roads and signal-free corridors will become incapable of handling the
traffic load in a few years‘ time. Space is limited in Karachi and only so many flyovers can be built. To be sustainable,
improvements in the road infrastructure must be accompanied by efforts to develop an effective and affordable mass transit
system. Full revival of the circular railway network is the logical first step towards this goal. Tracks, carriages and stations
must be refurbished and provisions made for shuttle services for passengers at every stop. Plans for a future underground
network also need to be drawn up. Funds can be found but the will to serve the people should be the sustaining force.
(Dawn-7, 18/07/2007)

                                  Shifting of illegal bus terminals still awaited
KARACHI, July 17: Despite tall claims made by the provincial and the city governments, most of the illegal intercity bus
terminals are still functioning in the city in connivance with the authorities concerned.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad while inaugurating the first intercity bus terminal in Baldia Town on RCD Highway in
November last year had directed shifting of all illegal bus terminals to the city outskirts.

Responding to the governor's call, City Nazim Mustafa Kamal had assured that the intercity buses being operated from
certain unauthorised terminals would soon be shifted to the new bus terminal but even after the passage of nearly a year,
no action has been taken in this regard.

Transporters plying intercity buses are still operating around 70 illegal bus terminals in various parts of the city including old
Sabzi Mandi, Al-Asif Square Sohrab Goth, Taj Complex on main M. A. Jinnah Road, Cantonment Railway Station,
Sultanabad PIDC, Mauripur, Garden Road, Nishtar Road, Banaras Chowk, Orangi Town, Al-Karam Square Liaquatabad,
and Nazimabad.

Initially, the city authorities had planned to establish three intercity bus terminals but during the last year, only one such
terminal that was started in the era of the former city nazim, Niamatullah Khan, at Yousuf Goth, Baldia Town on RCD
Highway could be made functional.

According to initial plans, two more such terminals had to be established at Razaqabad, Landhi on National Highway and at
Deh Bhatti Umeri, Scheme 33, on the Super Highway but no progress had so far been made on these two projects.
It was envisaged in the plan that transporters plying buses on Karachi-Balochistan routes would use the RCD Highway
terminal while those operating between Karachi and the interior of Sindh, Punjab and the NWFP would be restricted to use
Super Highway terminal. Similarly, transporters operating between Karachi and certain parts of Sindh were to use the
National Highway intercity bus terminal.

These three sites had been proposed by the Traffic Engineering Bureau (TEB) in its survey completed in 1999 and in 2001.
Nine months have passed since the announcement of City Nazim Mustafa Kamal regarding the completion of the
remaining two bus terminals but progress in this regard is still awaited.
(Dawn-18, 18/07/2007)
                                 Commuters suffer as roads remain dug up
For over one year now, commuters in Gulistan-e-Jauhar continue to suffer as all the major roads remain dug up. Since
there is a dispute between the Cantonment Board Faisal and City District Government Karachi (CDGK) regarding the
responsibility of carpeting the road, the main Gulistan-e-Jauhar road between Jauhar Mor and main Jauhar Chowrangi and
from Phelwan Goth to the in-between Blocks 14 and 15, has not been carpeted and is flooded by sewerage water most of
the year.

All main roads must be constructed and carpeted by the CDGK, a source at the Cantonment Board Faisal said while talking
to The News. He added that the Cantonment Board is responsible only for constructing service and interconnecting roads
and carring out fumigation drives. They are also developing some parks in various blocks of Gulistan-e-Jauhar.
He also said that they also look after the street lights within their limits. However, the area people claimed that not only
were they deprived of street lights, there are very few fumigation drives as well.

Taha Ali, 20, a resident of Haroon Royal City, Block 17, said the road in front of his apartment complex is flooded with
rainwater since the last shower in the city and not a single sweeper or senior official has visited the place, despite the
countless complaints made.

Zahra, a housewife and resident of Rufi Lake Drive, Block18, told The News that residents of Gulistan-e-Jauhar are
suffering because of the poor conditions of the roads that have been neglected for more than a year now.
―It takes 20 minutes to reach a place where I normally get to in seven minutes. The road is also not wide enough to support
the load of traffic at major thoroughfares of Jauhar.‖ She also said that ―dust particles and dirty water are permanent
companions and women with babies face more problems than others while driving.‖

Syed Asim, a resident of Qasim Complex, said the streets are in bad condition and on the other hand, roads are being dup
up everywhere for the installation of sewerage and water pipelines. All this has added up, thus bringing misery to the lives
of the people there.
He added that due to broken roads there are traffic jams everywhere, not to mention the fact that they are causing great
damage to vehicles. ―We have to think a thousand times before taking our vehicles out on the street,‖ he said.

Roads linked to Dubai and Kamran Chowrangi, the roundabout at Safoora Goth, Abdullah Apartments, Pink Residency and
the bridge at Jauhar Mor are mostly found to have sewerage on it.

S.F. Haider, a flight stewart for PIA and resident of PIA Housing Society Block 9, said that after the rains these broken
roads are filled with water which makes them barely visible and, thus, people have to second-guess the potholes and
ditches on this street while driving.
He added that this is resulting in accidents as well. ―Why have these roads been neglected? Is the government fulfilling the
promises it made? Who is looking after this situation? It‘s not only our cars. There are also buses, motorcycles and other
vehicles stuck in traffic jams,‖ he said.

―We put this case in front of the City Nazim. What is he doing? People are dying inside ambulances that do not have a way
to reach local hospitals situated on the main road in Block 14.‖ Also, people of Block 7, 10, 11, 13, 16, and 19 have also
been complaining about this problem.

Hussain, a former banker and resident of Block 8-A, said the roads of Gulistan-e-Jauhar connect to Malir Cantonment
where the situation is quite different. The latter‘s roads are much better and can actually be driven on. Does this mean that
the latter is an important area of Karachi while Gulistan-e-Jauhar isn‘t? Residents of this area have requested the
departments concerned to have mercy and complete pending work as soon as possible, as they felt that the area leads to
several important places, especially the Karachi Airport.

Meanwhile Shabeeh-Ul-Hasan, the Assistant District Officer, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, was unavailable for comment on the
issue even though several attempts were made to contact him.
(By M Zeeshan Azmat, The News-20, 18/07/2007)

                                   Mobile towers ‘deadlier than hoardings’
As local authorities attempt to remove billboards following last month‘s deadly incidents during the rains, the provincial
government sees mobile towers as another threat and says that they too need to be shifted to safer places. Government
officials term mobile towers ―more deadly than hoardings.‖

A senior official said initially the Sindh government was more concerned about radiation-related hazards associated with
the cellular infrastructure, which were harmful for human life and health but the June 23 incidents explosed new threats of
such towers.
―We are in touch both with companies and the institutions concerned,‖ said Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Sindh Environment and
Alternative Energy Minister. ―We believe that these towers can cost more human life if they are affected in heavy rains. This
needs to be addressed but at the same time it needs cooperation of every segment involved,‖ the minister added.

He said the ministry initiated a campaign a few months back to shift telecom towers from residential areas on concerns
over hazards caused though such infrastructure but last month‘s rain related incidents which claimed more than 200 lives,
pushed his ministry to take other dangers into account before finalising any strategy to shift the towers.

The minister‘s concerns however fail to move the cellular companies, who have not yet shifted a single tower from any
residential area since the provincial government campaign started in April 2007.

All the six cellular companies have ignored the Sindh government‘s directive to move their towers from residential areas, on
the grounds that they are obliged to follow the policy designed by the telecom watchdog and are not accountable to
provincial authorities.

―There are more than 3,000 towers in Karachi alone which are mostly in the residential areas,‖ said a senior official of one
of the largest subscriber-base companies. ―The number has been increasing with each passing day across the province
under the network expansion plans of companies. So shifting or put a stop on such development is out of question,‖ he

An official of another company said the PTA was the only organisation that could issue directives to the cellular companies,
and, therefore, the provincial authorities should approach the telecom watchdog to make their campaign effective.

The Environment and Alternative Energy Ministry of Sindh in April asked the cellular companies to shift their base station
antennas or mobile phone towers outside residential areas.

And old move with new argument from the provincial government has also failed to move the cellular companies into
action. But the authorities are now trying to convince other stakeholders.
(By Imran Ayub, The News-13, 19/07/2007)

                                    Chinese aircraft firm offers CNG buses
KARACHI, July 20: A team representing the Chinese firm, M/s Yunma Aircraft Manufacturer Ltd., manufacturers of aircraft
and CNG buses, intends to meet Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Karachi Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal on
Monday with an offer to operate green buses in the metropolis.
This was stated by Mr Shehzad Akhtar, chairman of the Wisdom Alliance, the local representative of the Chinese firm, here
on Friday.

He said that the firm‘s overseas representative Mr Zong Li Han and managing director of the Wisdom Alliance Akbar Ali
would also accompany the team at the meeting. He said that according to a careful estimate, Karachi immediately needed
at least 5,000 CNG buses to replace the smoke-emitting buses currently plying across the city.
―We are interested in operating CNG buses in Pakistan,‖ he said, adding that the operation could create more than 20,000
jobs for skilled and qualified local youth.‖
He said M/s Yunma was a major public sector company in China‘s defence sector, producing heavy buses. The firm
supplied JF-17 thunder jets to the Pakistan Air Force, he said.

Mr Shehzad said that Yunma had the capacity of supplying 300 dedicated quality CNG buses per month and could also
offer such buses to the interested local transporters at a competitive price.
He said that Chief Minister of the NWFP Akram Khan Durrani and the Peshawar nazim had already asked the company to
operate 700 CNG buses in various districts of the province, 100 in Peshawar at the initial stage.
He said that display centres and workshops for these buses would be set up soon in Karachi and Peshawar.
He noted that the federal government had offered soft term credit to transporters operating CNG buses.

Changing transport culture
The City District Government Karachi (CDGK) has chalked out a coordinated programme to facilitate movement of
pedestrians and for the purpose pedestrian bridges are being constructed on certain sections of Shahrah-i-Pakistan,
Rashid Minhas Road, Sher Shah Suri Road, etc.

City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has directed the CDGK‘s transport department to carry out a survey of all such roads
where construction of overhead bridge is inevitable.

Speaking at a meeting where ensuring safety of pedestrians on roads was reviewed, the nazim pointed out that minimizing
the risk of pedestrians getting hit by vehicles while crossing a road or walking along it was the prime concern of the city
government. He said that steps were also being taken to solve transport and traffic jam problems in the city.
He observed that the signal-free corridor and the construction of flyovers at congested intersections had resulted in a
smooth flow of traffic but such facilities had created problems for pedestrians, who were now finding it very difficult to cross
a busy road with fast-moving vehicles.

He, however, maintained that flyovers, underpasses, parking plazas, bus terminals, overhead bridges and wide roads were
required to be built and the government would continue work on such projects round the clock to provide relief to citizens.

Mr Kamal told the meeting that Rs56.50 million was earmarked for the mass transit programme and Rs300 million for the
repair and rehabilitation of roads, footpaths, intersections and roundabouts in the current financial year.
He said work on the second signal-free corridor – between Nagan Chowrangi and Sharea Faisal – would start soon, adding
that the transport department was preparing the plan for alternative traffic routes during the construction of flyovers at
Jauhar Morr and Askari-IV areas.

The nazim said that tenders for the construction of CNG stations at five locations would be opened on Saturday. These
installations, he said, would provide refueling service to the large-size CNG buses arriving from Holland soon. He said
terminals for CNG buses would also be constructed.
He said that the plan to bring in 8,000 CNG buses under a phased programme was ready and implementation of the plan
would bring about a remarkable change in the city‘s transport culture.
(Dawn-18, 21/07/2007)

                                                Road and service lane
THE shoulders of service lanes in several blocks of Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Karachi, have recently been dug up by the civic
agencies concerned to carry out their development work, and no one appears to have been deputed to supervise the work
to its last minute of completion.
Heaps of unlevelled dug-up earth, pits caused in digging have not been filled back properly, after the digging operation was
over. One wonders whether it has been deliberately done, as a part of the beautification work that is in store for Gulistan-i-
Jauhar by the relevant agencies.
Recent rains have further aggravated the condition of roads and service lanes, making them slippery and mud-sticky. It is
also alleged that when the digging work was near completion, the area shopkeepers requested the labourers to refill the
earth in a better way but, as it goes, they demanded extra money from them for the job.

Returning of dug-up earth to its original place is done most half heatedly. Service lanes as a matter of fact urgently need to
be re-carpeted to make them even for pedestrian walk and driving.

During the spree of digging the underground pipeline, electric, telephone and Sui gas cables were also damaged and left
for the residents to get them repaired themselves.
The relevant authorities are requested to see the mounds of earth and huge boulders piled on the sides of the service lanes
that speak of the quality of work done by their digging squad.

The city nazim and the CBF executive officer should visit the area to see for themselves the deplorable condition of the
main road and service lanes.
(Dawn-6, 21/07/2007)

                                    33 firms compete for five CNG stations
KARACHI, July 21: As many as 33 local firms on Saturday offered their services to develop, operate and manage five CNG
stations basically aimed at catering to the fuel needs of the fleet of CNG buses soon to arrive in the city.
The city government had called Expressions of Interest (EoIs) from local companies for the establishment of CNG stations
as part of its public-private partnership.

The five points identified as the sites for these proposed gas station are: Ex-KTC depot Orangi Town near Abdullah College
(6.15 acres), Ex-KTC Malir Depot on National Highway (12.10 acres), Ex-KTC depot Surjani Town (4 acres), Shah Latif
Town near Malir Development Authority (1.67 acres) and Gulistan-i-Jauhar Block 6 (8.36 acres).

EDO Transport and Communication Department Mohammad Athar told Dawn that 10 offers were received for setting up a
CNG station at Orangi Town and 10 offers for Malir, seven offers for Gulistan-i-Jauhar station, five for Surjani Town CNG
station and one company applied for Shah Latif Town CNG station.
―During the next two weeks we will evaluate the offers after which a final decision will be taken to award the contract for
setting up and running the CNG station,‖ he added.

In the meanwhile, the city government would also approach the Sui Southern Gas Company for provision of gas pressure
required to fill up CNG buses, the official said.
He said that it would be a five-year renewable agreement through which the company would be responsible for the
operations and maintenance of the CNG station and the city government would get a percentage of the revenue.

City Nazim Mustafa Kamal told Dawn that for filling up of new CNG buses an interim arrangement was being taken with
reputable oil companies including the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) so as to facilitate the operators. He said that the work for
the establishment of CNG bus stations would begin within a month.
(By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque, Dawn-19, 22/07/2007)

                                      Chundrigar Road closed all the way
The II Chundrigar Road would remain closed to all kind of vehicular traffic from Shaheen Complex up to the Jang Press
intersection for infrastructure work. This means that no traffic will be able to enter the road from the Khairabad Hotel side.
People are advised that an alternative route has been arranged through MT Khan Road.
It may be pointed out that those who have offices in the stretch from Khairabad Hotel to Jang Press can bring their vehicles
from MT Khan Road and take a left into the lanes that connect to II Chundrigar Road.

According to sources, it may take a month before the road is opened to traffic.
The sources said that the work on installation of sewerage lines and drainage systems, along the road, is in its final stages
and the construction work, including the carpeting of the road is expected to be completed before August 14.
(The News-13, 23/07/2007)

                                   Motorists suffer gridlocks on diversions
With I.I. Chundrigar Road remained closed for traffic due to the re-construction work underway on the thoroughfare,
motorists had to suffer massive gridlocks on both the proposed diversions of M.T. Khan and Dr Ziauddin Road, on Monday.
The traffic police failed to remove parking-related congestion from the outer lanes of an alternative route near the Arts
Council. I.I. Chundrigar Road was closed from Shaheen Complex up to the Jang Press intersection as of Sunday and,
despite the fact that the alternative routes were provided, they were unable to accommodate the deluge of vehicles. No
preparations were made to facilitate the expected vehicular movement by authorities concerned.

Vehicles were seen parked on both sides of M.T. Khan Road, which barely left a single lane for two-way traffic on this track.
Moreover, moving through Dr Ziauddin Road, which has not been carpeted for a long time now by the authorities
concerned, was a horrible and harrowing experience for motorists, who had to contend with bumpy rides along with the

Motorcyclists also suffered a great deal because of the dust clouds caused by the construction work. The same situation
may continue in future, say observers, if the poor coordination between the traffic police and the city government continues,
especially in cases where development work is carried out on busy thoroughfares.
(The News-13, 24/07/2007)

                           Traffic violators beware: there’s a new sheriff in town
The Deputy Inspector General Traffic Police Major (R) Khurram Gulzar on Monday ordered the department to take action
against those involved in violating traffic laws. He instructed for stern action to be taken against vehicles with tinted glasses
and fancy number plates.

Besides this, he also ordered action against those buses and minibuses found violating laws regarding the usage of ladies‘
compartment for male passengers as well as passengers traveling on the rooftops of buses.

Acting on the DIG‘s orders, the traffic police of all four zones booked 634 buses for rooftop violations and 556 for violating
the ladies‘ compartment law; 244 vehicles were booked for using tinted glasses and 50 for using unregistered and fancy
number plates.

DIG Gulzar also took notice of previous reports regarding the poor performance of the vigilance staff in carrying out their
duty. In this regard, he instructed the staff to report to him on daily basis.

The details of bookings on July 23 are as follows:

Zone I:
Rash driving and negligence 21; Overspeeding 1; ladies compartment violation 126; rooftop violation 76; parking and road
obstruction violation 41; picking and dropping passengers off the stops by PSVs 5; traffic light signals 32; one-way 50;
pillion riding 43; juvenile driving 1; use of cellphones during driving 19; tinted glasses 87; use of fancy number plates 8;
unregistered vehicles 11; use of revolving lights and hooters 1; use of pressure horns 9; emitting excessive smoke 3; undue
noise 6; without safety hooks 1; tempered taxi and MCR meters 4; misc violations 718;
Total tickets issued: 1,263; motorcycles detained 10; pressure horns seized 8 and tape recorders 2.


Rash driving and negligence 88; ladies compartment 219; rooftop 297; parking violation and road obstruction 148; picking
and dropping passengers off stop by PSVs 32; traffic light signals 46; one-way 43; pillion riding 59; juvenile driving 3; use of
cellphones during driving 12; tinted glasses 71; use of fancy number plates 4; unregistered vehicles 15; use of revolving
lights and hooters 2; use of pressure horns 1; emitting excessive smoke 9; undue noise 50; without safety hooks 1;
tempered taxi and MCR meters 19; misc. violations 665.
Total tickets issued: 1,784; motorcycles detained 1, pressure horns seized 1.

Rash driving and negligence 53; ladies compartment 166; rooftop 181; parking violation and road obstruction 44; picking
and dropping passengers off stop by PSVs 14; traffic light signals 21; one-way 24; pillion riding 31; juvenile driving 1; use of
cellphones during driving 8; tinted glasses 81; use of fancy number plates 9; unregistered vehicles 15; use of revolving
lights and hooters 6; use of pressure horns 1; emitting excessive smoke 8; undue noise 2; tempered taxi and MCR meters
17; misc. violations 769.
Total tickets issued: 1,451; motorcycles detained 3.

Rash driving and negligence 22; ladies compartment 45; rooftop 80; parking violation and road obstruction 22; picking and
dropping passengers off stop by PSVs 1; traffic light signals 5; one-way 23; pillion riding 28; juvenile driving 1; use of
cellphones during driving 3; tinted glasses 5; use of fancy number plates 9; unregistered vehicles 1; use of pressure horns
2; emitting excessive smoke 5; undue noise 2; tempered taxi and MCR meters 11; misc. violations 363.
Total tickets issued: 628; motorcycles detained 8.

However, the progress of Zone-IV was low in this regard.
The DIG constituted a vigilance team to monitor and check the performance of the traffic sections of the city. The team will
be responsible for checking the presence of section officers, total number of personnel present on duty, etc.

The DIG also issued instructions that in case any official was found in negative practices necessary action would be taken
against them. He also ordered the vigilance staff to send daily progress report of the surveillance in the metropolis.
(By Salis bin Pervaiz, The News-13, 24/07/2007)

                            Preparations complete for KCR, work to start soon
KARACHI: The Ministry of Railways and JETRO have completed preparations with regard to the Karachi Circular Railway,
and the Japanese government has been asked to start work on the project as soon as possible. Syed Mustafa Kamal,
nazim of Karachi, said that this was an important and inevitable project for Karachi, and that its completion would make
modern and comfortable commuting possible in the city. He made these comments while addressing a meeting with
JETRO‘s new country director, Minoru Uga, the outgoing director, Hiro Miakwa, and JETRO expert, Kokyo Kenny Tamaki.

―We are thankful to the Government of Japan and the Japanese companies for joining us in important projects for Karachi,
especially the KCR and steel bridges projects.‖ Kamal also assured the Japanese companies that all cooperation would be
extended towards them, and they would be fully encouraged to invest in mega projects.

JETRO‘s country director appreciated the nazim‘s vision for fast development plans, particularly flyovers, underpasses, and
other mega projects, and said that Karachi would soon become a modern and beautiful city. He also assured JETRO‘s full
cooperation in these and other projects.

SITE UC Nazims prepare uplift plan: The nazims of all the union councils of SITE town have chalked out a comprehensive
plan for developmental work in their areas. This was stated by the naib nazim of SITE town, Syed Badshah Khan, while
talking to different delegations at his office on Monday.

Khan said the present town administration was serving the citizens and working towards their welfare. He asked officials to
facilitate the masses and help solve their problems, and said no leniency would be tolerated in this regard.

Cleaning of Chakora Nullah inspected: Shah Faisal Town Nazim Muhammad Imran inspected the cleaning of Chakora
Nullah on his visit to the UC 1 Natha Khan Goth on Monday. EDO Works and Services Amanullah Chachar, who
accompanied the nazim, told him that Chakora Nullah has a large number of overhead bridges making it a big nullah of the
metropolis. He assured the nazim that repair work of all these bridges would be completed soon.

Naib Town Nazim Ali Akbar, TMO Syed Barkaat Ahmed Rizvi and other UC nazims and councillors were also present on
the occasion.
(Daily Times-B1, 24/07/2007)

                            2 people die daily in traffic accidents in city: report
KARACHI: On average, 60 people die every month while 2,642 get injured in road accidents in Karachi, stated a report by
the Road Traffic and Prevention Centre, Karachi. These statistics have been compiled from figures from the last 10 months,
between September 2006 and June 2007, discounting on-the-spot casualties.

Forty-nine people died in road accidents on the National Highway, 44 on Mauripur Road, 44 on Shahra-e-Faisal, 31 on
M.A. Jinnah Road, 29 on Korangi Road and dozens on different major and inner city roads in these last 10 months. Eighty-
three percent of accidents are the fault of those driving, followed by road faults and vehicle faults.

More than 50 percent of those who died or were severely injured were motorcyclists and pedestrians. On average, 1,500
motorcyclists and 500 pedestrians are involved in accidents per month. In the last 10 months, 4,285 of them were severely
injured and 20,975 sustained minor injuries.

Over 50 percent of road accidents involved people between 16 and 30 years of age. Accidents occur most frequently on
Sunday evening between 6pm and midnight. Over 89% of those who died in a traffic accident were under 40 years old.

Ninety percent of accidents occurred at mid blocks while a few occurred at intersections. As many as 193,220, i.e. 75
percent of those injured, were brought to hospital via private vehicles rather than government or private ambulances.

Five thousand one hundred and thirty eight accidents occurred in Sadder Town alone, followed by Jamshed and North
Nazimabad towns, which saw over 2,000 accidents each. Liaquatabad, SITE, Korangi and Gulshan towns saw over 1,000
accidents each.

The report revealed major black spots, which were termed the most likely to cause severe accident. These spots are
Korangi Road, Numaish Intersection, Jamia Cloth Intersection, Metric Board Office, Baloch Colony, FTC Flyover, Ghani
Chowrangi, Haroonabad, Lyari Railway Station and TCF School, Crown Cinema and Wazir Mansion, Gulbai Intersection,
Northern Bypass, Hub River Road, the U-turn on Mai Kolachi Road, Sakraan Road, New Karachi, Manzil Pump National
Highway, Jinnah Bridge, Bhains More Landhi and the section of Korangi Road stretching from Qayyumabad to the end of
Korangi Naddi.

It also added that newly built flyovers and underpasses have contributed to accidents, as people were not used to them. A
lack of proper pedestrian bridges and badly designed roads were also major reasons for accidents.
The report was prepared by the Civil Engineering Department of NED University, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre and
Aga Khan University Hospital. Data was collected from JPMC, CHK, ASH, LNH and AKU.
(Daily Times-B1, 26/07/2007)

                                    I. I. Chundrigar Road to reopen Aug 14
KARACHI: I.I. Chundrigar Road will open to traffic by August 14, Pakistan‘s Independence Day, said City Nazim Mustafa
Kamal Wednesday.
―The Haq Parast leadership will reconstruct the road in six months, working both day and night, and complete and
inaugurate it by September,‖ he told the media while inspecting the road‘s construction between Jang Press and Shaheen

Replying to a question, he said that CNG buses equipped with modern facilities have arrived. ―The city will be introduced to
a new transport culture,‖ he said. Kamal directed Project Director of the Taameer-e-Karachi Programme Rauf Akhtar
Farooqui to install a water drainage system for the lanes of I.I. Chundrigar Road from Jang Press to Shaheen Complex.
These lanes should be connected to a storm water drain running along both sides of the road in order to resolve the area‘s
water drainage problem permanently. He also ordered the speeding up of construction from Jang Press to Shaheen
―The road is meant to be complete in 18 months, but because people need to use it, the City Government has started its
construction,‖ said Kemal. ―Within a month and a half the section of the road from Tower to Habib Bank has been
completed and opened to traffic.‖

Kamal also added that the road is being constructed according to international standards of quality. Because the head
offices of banks, the media and important trade centres are located there, the quality of the road is an important concern. It
will be equipped with the latest IT-based cameras for compiling traffic records, and will be controlled through a central
control room.

To complete the road on time, utilities such as electricity, gas and phone lines have been shifted while water and sewerage
lines have been shifted to the roadsides. It will cost an estimated Rs 260 to Rs 270 million to complete. The banks on
Chundrigar Road have contributed Rs 220 million. ―In order to construct Chundrigar Road as soon as possible, a three-shift
work culture is being used,‖ added Kamal.
(Daily Times-B1, 26/07/2007)
                                         Rooftop hoardings disallowed
KARACHI, July 26: A meeting held at the Station Headquarters Karachi on Thursday decided that hoardings and billboards
would be removed by August 10 since they might have been rendered unsafe by the recent storms.

Attended by the chief executive officers of the cantonment boards, representatives of COMKAR, the City District
Government Karachi (CDGK) and officers from the Corps Headquarters and the Station Headquarters, the meeting
deliberated upon the criteria for the installation of such structures and decided that no hoardings would be allowed on the
rooftops of commercial or residential buildings. However, building wrappers would be allowed.

The meeting‘s participants decided that the only allowable billboard sizes were 10ft by 20ft, 15ft by 45ft and 20ft by 60ft.
Furthermore, no hoarding should be higher than 35 to 40 feet off the ground.

Henceforth, all such structures are to be certified by the Pakistan Engineering Council and the advertiser will deposit this
certificate with the stakeholder. In addition, the gauge and strength of the sheet is to be examined by an expert and
advertisers are encouraged to use LEDs.

The minimum distance between any two hoardings has been set at 50 metres and all billboards are required to be
comprehensively insured to cover the loss of any aggrieved party in case of an accident.
(Dawn-17, 27/07/2007)

                                         Girl dies, sister hurt in accident
KARACHI, July 27: A medical student died and her elder sister was seriously injured in an accident on University Road.
Mahwish Khalil, a final-year MBBS student of the Dow Medical College, and her elder sister Dr Farah Khalil were on their
way to see their relatives when a minibus hit them near old Sabzi Mandi. Mahwish died on the spot and her sister was put
on a ventilator at a private hospital.

As her college fellows heard about the incident on Friday, they held a condolence meeting and demanded honorary degree
of MBBS for Mahwish who had only six months to complete her studies. A lecture would be arranged in her memory, said
DMC Principal Prof Salahuddin Afsar.

Gunned down
A man was shot dead on resistance by robbers on Friday.
Risala police said four robbers were fleeing after committing a robbery in Bohrapir apartments when they were spotted by
Hayat Nasir. As he raised alarm and resisted them, the robbers shot at him and escaped. Nasir died on way to Civil
Hospital Karachi.

Boy found dead
The body of a five-year-old boy with his head severed was found in a cemetery on Friday.
Mohammad Sajid went missing five days ago. On his father‘s complaint, the New Karachi Industrial Area Police started the
search and found the body. Doctors said the decomposed body suggested that the boy was killed four days ago.
(Dawn-19, 28/07/2007)

                                 1.2 milliondie in road accidents every year
KARACHI, July 28: Almost 1.2 million people are killed in road accidents each year around the world and 80 per cent of
these accidents occur on the roads of the developing world.

This was disclosed by the chief executive of the Institute of Safety and Human Factors (ISHF), Captain Amjad H. Faizi.
He was speaking at a seminar on ‗Road sense for road safety‘ organised by the ISHF here on Saturday. The aim of the
event was to create awareness on road safety among the representatives of various organisations.

Stressing the need for developing road sense to avoid casualties, he deplored that even people who had the licence did not
know about the concept of ‗right of way‘.

Explaining the right of way to more than 30 participants of the seminar he said that it was very sad to know that with almost
400 million cars on the road, not many were aware of the very concept.

He said that it was basically to understand the rights of the various kinds of vehicles and even pedestrians on road.
―We should know what lane is meant for what vehicle and how using the wrong signs such as indicators and headlights
could not only land the driver in trouble but can harm many others‖, he said.

The ISHF principal, Air Commodore (retd) Rashid A. Bhatti, in his presentation highlighted the importance of proper training
of commercial drivers. ―If the other driver has made a wrong move, one should not lose one‘s cool and courtesy demands
we make up for the other driver‘s mistake in order to avoid any accident‖, he said.

Mr Bhatti informed the audience that though only 30 per cent of the cars were seen on the roads at night, 50 per cent of the
accidents nonetheless occurred at night. He stressed the need for taking precautionary measures to avoid such accidents,
including regular eye tests.

Ahmed Parekh, who lost his son and his driver in a car and container collision, said that it was the need of the hour to pay
heed to road safety. Rear Admiral M.A. Khan praised the efforts of the ISHF. Certificates were distributed among the
participants at the end of the seminar.
(Dawn-18, 29/07/2007)

                               Dug-up roads affecting businesses, hospitals
KARACHI, July 29: At a time when the monsoon season is only halfway through and around one-and-a-half dozen major
thoroughfares of the city are being constructed at a snail‘s pace, more roads have been ploughed, causing immense
inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians alike.

Various tracks of different roads, which were dug up several months ago for their construction, are yet to be completed.
They are, on the one hand, causing hardships to the motorists and, on the other, resulting in financial losses to the
shopkeepers and other businesses set up on either side of such roads.

In most of the cases traffic was nowadays plying in the opposite direction on a single track, leaving no space for the
movement of shoppers and for parking vehicles.
However the salesmen of the shops whose businesses have suffered in the wake of continuous closure of vehicular traffic
on the under-construction roads, are the worst affected. In most cases they have been asked by their employers to report
for duty only when the roads have been repaired.

The seriousness of the issue can be gauged from the fact that a number of salesmen, who have been deprived of their
daily wages after being laid off from their temporary jobs at such shops, said that their family members have been facing
starvation as they were the sole bread-earners of their families.

Access to hospitals
Moreover, the agony of patients visiting hospitals existing on the dug-up roads has multiplied owing to either the closure of
such roads for vehicular traffic or because of an uneven surface and the presence of deep potholes and craters, besides
dumping of construction material.

Such scenes can be witnessed on an unnamed dug-up road which leads to Aisha Manzil from Yaseenabad in Federal B
Area where a number of hospitals such as Aga Khan Maternity Hospital, Fidai Hospital and Wahaj Memorial Hospital are

Similarly, another major service road of Nazimabad No 3, which was dug up a couple of months back, has a number of
prominent hospitals including Baqai Hospital, Specialists‘ Clinic and Psychiatric Hospital.

Strangely enough, at a time when the track of an important link road which connects Gulshan-i-Iqbal with F.B. Area and
North Nazimabad with three busy roundabouts in between Yaseenabad and Aisha Manzil traffic intersection, has not yet
been carpeted, the authorities concerned have dug up its other track, creating a total mess.
It may be pointed out that a number of major roads and streets in the area surrounding the Aisha Manzil traffic intersection,
particularly two major streets which lead to Ayub Manzil from Dastagir Post Office and Mukka Chowk from Dastagir have
either been dug up for their construction or their final carpeting is still awaited.

At a time when accidents have become a matter of routine at a U-turn on Allama Ibn-i-Hassan Jarchavi Road, which
bifurcates F.B. Area‘s Block 6 with 10, dug-up roads in its vicinity and the bumpy condition of the main Aisha Manzil traffic
intersection has become a major source of inconvenience for a large number of motorists taking the route of Shahrah-i-
Pakistan via Aisha Manzil.
(Dawn-13, 30/07/2007)

                                         Metro bus service in doldrums
The city‘s once premier and most sought-after public transport service has now become an unregulated one, thanks to
systematic neglect by concerned authorities.

The Metro Bus Service, which has been operating for almost eight years now, has not been able to maintain its standard
and, thus, the quality has declined over the years. The regulatory and monitoring check over the bus service has been
steadily weakened and rendered completely ineffective.

Moreover, the agencies concerned who, on behalf of the state, are supposed to regulate and monitor functioning of the bus
service, have gradually abdicated from their binding obligations.

For the past year or so, the Karachi Public Transport Society (KPTS) and other agencies of the City District Government
Karachi (CDGK) have been overlooking blatant violations of rules being observed in operation of the bus service. The
regulatory authorities‘ role in this regard has been increasingly in the shade. The inhabitants of Malir, Model Colony, Malir
Cantonment, Kazimabad, Malir Halt, Green Town, Wireless Gate, Star Gate, Shah Faisal Colony, Drigh Road, have been
relying heavily on the Metro Bus Service for their commuting. But since the last few months, they have developed serious
reservations about it.

Started with much fanfare, the Metro Bus Service operated with a fleet of 195 medium-sized, Mitsubishi-brand coaches
which has been reduced to 125 buses now. The turning point came when the single, corporate entity which owned and
operated the Metro Bus Service since its launching decided to sell off the fleet of its buses to individual public transport
operators over two years ago. This led to some of the Metro buses landing in the Punjab.

Since the ownership was diversified and deregulated, the violations of binding rules of the bus service have been numerous
and brazen causing disenchantment. The prime attraction of the Metro Bus Service — seat-to-seat travelling — has
completely vanished. The passengers have no choice but to stand in buses which are not designed to let them travel while

Moreover, passengers are subjected to the unbecoming attitude of the untrained conductors and drivers. Throughout
several early years of its operation, the Metro was well known among the commuting public of the city for their smoke-free
travel environment and trained and relatively well-paid staff. Now, the conductors and drivers don‘t even bother wearing a

The drivers also set the frequency and timing of operation of the buses at their own discretion. They stop just about
anywhere for a prolonged period of time. Once the most supervised service, the Metro is virtually devoid of the obligations
of maintaining and running the ticketing system.

In most cases, the drivers and conductors have been asked to generate a fixed amount of income for their owners and
operators every day and they get to keep the extra amount earned that day. In such circumstances the tickets being issued
by the Metro bus conductors have no real value and are given just for face value.

Despite a phenomenal decline in the quality, reliability, and dependability of the bus service, the travelling fares remain the
same and are considered exorbitant. There have been obvious anomalies in the fare structures of Metro buses being
observed especially those going to Malir Cantt, Malir, Model Colony and adjoining areas. For example, the bus service of
route no 9-C charges Rs11 for the journey between Malir Cantt and Malir Halt and the journey by the same bus between
Malir Cantt and Saddar costs a passenger Rs18. The Rs11 ticket for the Malir Halt journey is expensive keeping in view the

The new owners have completely abandoned the service on routes that go through the main university road, depriving a
major source transport facility to the residents of Malir Cantt, University Road, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulishan-e-Iqbal, Nipa,
Civic Centre and most of all students of the University of Karachi, NED, Sir Syed, and Federal Urdu University of Arts and
Sciences. The Metro bus routes of 9-A, 9-A Express, 9-B, and 9-B Express that all originated from Malir Cantt and
terminated at Saddar, Mereweather Tower, Clifton, II Chundrighar Road respectively have all been abandoned.
(By M. Azeem Samar, The News-20, 30/07/2007)

                                 Orangi, Site towns suffer day-long traffic jams
KARACHI, July 30: Orangi and Site towns witnessed day-long traffic mess on most of the roads as the authorities,
especially the traffic police, had not made suitable arrangements to avoid such a situation despite having a pretty good idea
about the extraordinarily massive movement of public and private vehicles in the area where a three-day congregation,
Tableeghi Ijtema, was scheduled for July 28-30.

Though traffic congestion at many intersections in the towns had repeatedly caused exhausting traffic jams during the past
two days, it assumed the proportion of complete chaos on Monday, when participants of the congregation emerged on the
roads to board public transport for their respective destinations, mainly upcountry.

Small and big groups of people crowded the usually congested roads, intersections, roundabouts and bust stops leaving
almost no space for vehicles to move, ultimately bringing the transport system in several areas to a standstill for hours.
Shahrah-i-Orangi, Banaras Chowk, Metroville, Orangi No 5, Abdullah College, Qasba Road, Manghopir Road,

Habib Bank Chowrangi, Pak Colony, Bara Board, Golimar, Raxer Lane, Sher Shah Road, Naurus Chowrangi and all the
main arteries leading to Nazimabad and Haroonabad and certain other areas of the city remained clogged with vehicles
into the evening.

Thousands of people travelling in public and private vehicles had to endure unfavourable weather conditions while
remaining trapped in gridlock for several hours. Hundreds more, were seen walking along both sides of the clogged roads
to reach a spot from where they could find some transport means and clear roads.

Drivers of public and private vehicles, especially rickshaws and bikes, contributed greatly in prolonging the jams on different
roads by violating traffic rules in their desperate though vain attempts to get out of the mess. However, the traffic police
personnel on duty appeared helpless as the situation continued to turn from bad to worse despite their hectic efforts to
prevent the motorists from violating the traffic laws.

After getting frustrated by the defiant drivers‘ attitude, all traffic signals along the affected roads were switched off and traffic
police personnel had to regulate traffic manually. However, this exercise also took hours to improve the situation to some

The traffic police and local administration were supposed to make suitable arrangements for a smooth flow of vehicular
traffic in the two towns as the traffic mess was very much expected considering the closure of the under-construction
portion of Shahrah-i-Orangi and the scheduled public and vehicular movement during the congregation. Although, the
portion was temporarily opened to traffic, the uneven track and construction material spread elsewhere did not allow a
smooth flow. ―The indifferent attitude of the traffic police has resulted in the immense hardship being suffered by thousands
of people in vehicles and on roads,‖ said residents of an Orangi locality who also complained that the contractors supposed
to complete the development work on Shahrah-i-Orangi were showing lethargy.

The work had been started more than a year ago, they said, adding that the closure of the main thoroughfare had been
causing many problems to the Orangi and SITE towns‘ population.

Some other residents of Orangi Town pointed out that the ongoing development work on Shahrah-i-Orangi should not be
blamed for the traffic chaos as this problem had been the order of the day at various intersections for years. In this context,
they referred to the frequent traffic jams at Banaras Chowk, and said the government was not starting work on the
proposed overhead bridge despite their repeated appeals.
(Dawn-18, 31/07/2007)

                             Poor system of transport multiplies public woes
KARACHI, July 31: Unless concrete steps are taken to enforce traffic discipline, implement driving rules and remove illegal
carparks, loading and unloading of vehicles, encroachments and jaywalkers, ill-planned flyovers, underpasses and road
repairs would fail to bring about any improvement in the city‘s transport system.
The public transport system is changing for the worse with each passing day as the authorities concerned have left the
helpless passengers at the mercy of transport operators who are fleecing them without the slightest compunction.

The low-salaried and over-worked traffic police personnel do not hesitate to take bribe (with fluctuating rates) compromising
on all types of traffic violations. This encourages transport operators to run vehicles according to the way they want to
resulting in illegal parking, overloading, over speeding and traffic signal violations which have become common in every
corner of the city.

Buses, minibuses and coaches compete with one another when comes to over-loading. Passengers are stuffed like
anything in public transport. Women are generally denied their right to travel in order to accommodate maximum number of
male passengers in the women compartment. One can travel on Manghopir Road from Rexer Lane, Golimar to Orangi, Site
or any other road in public transport to see the helplessness of woman passengers in the evening.

Rahim Gul, a minibus driver, when asked why he prefers not to pick the women passengers, he said: ―We can
accommodate about 20 men in the women compartment (generally with a seating capacity for seven women).‖ As
compared to men, women wasted more time in boarding and alighting from the vehicle, he said.
(Dawn-18, 01/08/2007)

                                               Rehabilitation of KCR
THROUGH its various reports, Dawn newspaper has made a very convincing case for KCR which is also backed by
specialists and experts of repute and integrity. Statements have also been made at the highest levels of state about full
rehabilitation and expansion of KCR, giving time-frames, which have all passed uneventfully with nothing significant to
show for all these years.

It was stated that the week before, Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on the floor of the National
Assembly that revalidation of a feasibility study was being done by the Pakistan Railways through international consultant
who would submit the report within two months. The two months are up now but as per past experience, no real break-
through is expected.There is no guarantee that the present incumbent will continue in his position and the new-comer may
have his own ideas and priorities. All this means is that a final decision has to be made soon otherwise the KCR would be
dead and gone for ever which would be a shame really.

One might hope that the superior judiciary, which has lately taken considerable interest in public matters and taken suo
motu action on many issues, will take note of this matter as well which concerns a very large segment of Pakistani
population and involves huge amount of state assets which will just waste away with KCR being in limbo.
S.R.H. HASH, Karachi
(Dawn-6, 01/08/2007)

                                                   A crying shame
Jawad had two sisters. Today he has none. He lost both, six days apart, to a fatal road accident on the night of July 21 at
New Town Chowrangi near Old Sabzi Mandi.

Jawad and his sisters, Mehwish Khalil and Dr Farah Khalil were on their way to meet a relative when the reckless driver of
a speedy mini bus, of route X-23, collided with their rickshaw. Mehwish died on the spot, leaving Jawad and Farah severely
injured. The family had not even recovered from the shock of Mehwish‘s death when, just six days later, on July 27, Farah
succumbed to her head injuries. The incident not only deprived Jawad of his sisters, but also the nation of two
accomplished doctors.

While similar road accidents claim lives of several people everyday, what makes Mehwish‘s case different and more
unfortunate is that she was one of the few students studying on a scholarship at the Dow Medical College because of her
outstanding academic progress. Like her elder sister Farah, the 23-year-old was also dedicated to serving her nation,
unlike many medical students who otherwise dream of practising medicine abroad.

She was a brilliant student who excelled throughout her academic career. Mehwish was going to take her final exam shortly
and would have become a doctor soon, said the brother. ―She was a brilliant student always attained top positions during
her school and college life,‖ disclosed Fawad adding, ―I still remember she was once specially invited to Islamabad to
receive a medal for her outstanding achievement. She was also the second position holder in Matric among 63m students
who appeared in the federal board exams. Her score in intermediate was also more than 80 per cent.‖

Mehwish also had plans to serve and protect orphans and other deprived children through her welfare trust. During an
interview with The News, Jawad recalled how Mehwish had a soft corner for the poor and underprivileged. ―She wanted to
serve her people by establishing a welfare trust of her own. She gave away most of her money to charity organisations
such as the Edhi Foundation and aimed at running a similar organisation herself one day, which would be internationally
recongnised,‖ continued Jawad.

Farah, who was the eldest of all four siblings, was recently married. She was on a ventilator for six days until she breathed
her last at a private hospital, leaving her husband with not nearly enough memories of their married life.

Jawad‘s younger brother Fawad Khalil told The News that although the police was witness to the accident, they are still
―looking for more eyewitnesses.‖ He lamented that reckless driving has never been challenged by the traffic regulatory
authorities and was hopeless that the police would investigate further into the case. ―The transport mafia is very influential
and I am pretty sure they will bribe the police and release the driver without a penalty,‖ he alleged. However, a case has
been registered at the PIB Police station and the bus driver and the bus is in their custody.

Jawad on the other hand, is not only recovering from his injuries but from the death of his sisters too. Unfortunately, unlike
for his physical injuries, there is no medicine he can take to recover from the loss of his loved ones — the shocking
memories of the accident will probably remain vividly etched in his mind forever.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-13, 01/08/2007)

                          Public-private help sought to resolve transport issue
The University of Karachi (KU) intends to approach public and private sectors to acquire new buses that can help in ending
the problems students face while commuting between their homes and the varsity.

Prof. Pirzada Qasim, the Vice Chancellor of KU, revealed this while talking to The News on Saturday. Responding to a
query about the pathetic condition of the university buses and remedial steps taken by the administration, he said that
currently KU has 40 buses but it is quite difficult and definitely not enough to cater to the needs of 24,000 students who
travel to and from the university daily. ―We are trying to get help from private and public sectors to acquire new buses,‖ he

―The plan envisages giving a request to the government to introduce new routes from Safoora Goth to different parts of the
city and directing the bus and mini bus operators to extend their services to the university in the morning and afternoon.
This is in addition to the plan to buy new buses with help from philanthropists.‖ He also expressed his willingness to run a
shuttle service from the KU railway station on the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), if the service is reintroduced on this
stretch of the KCR.

The VC‘s optimistic attitude, however, is not shared by most students. A recently released White Paper by the Islami
Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) has drawn a bleak picture of the KU transport system. The report claimed that Rs4 million have been
earmarked in the university‘s annual budget but mismanagement and improper appropriation of the fund does not let the
bus service improve.

Students travel hanging precariously in the rickety, smoke emanating buses that break every possible traffic rule in the
process. The report further said that there used to be 105 buses during the student union‘s presence (1979 to 1984) in the
university for 10,000 students.

These buses drop students near Azadi Chowk of the university and return to bring more from Nipa. Thus, students wait and
flock any bus that goes to the departments. It is quite an ordeal for students, most of them being girls, to board another bus
to get to their departments in time for their classes.

Asma Khatoon, a first-year student of Applied Chemistry feels ―it is the worst part of my education process. I am so tired
after travelling from North Nazimabad to the university that I feel sleepy.‖ Shumaila, a student at the Department of English
was equally vocal. ―I do not know why this charade of transport is being carried out. It is pathetic.‖

A major part of the student body echoed similar sentiments. ―Let us wait for the time when the university administration
becomes aware of our problems. It is rather difficult for the bigwigs who travel in air-conditioned cars to understand the
issues of people like us,‖ lamented yet another student.
(By Perwez Abdullah, The News-19, 01/08/2007)

                                               Drivers face hardships
The All Karachi Rickshaw Action Committee (CNG auto cap) has said that the CNG rickshaw drivers are facing
inconvenience vis-a-vis availability of spare parts of CNG rickshaws manufactured by a Chinese Company ‗Chang Chi‘.

In a press release on Wednesday, the action committee also said that the service centres are run by inexperienced
mechanics which has resulted in creating extreme hardships to the poor drivers.
―The scheme under which they were provided with rickshaws has become a nuisance for drivers as they have to wait for
weeks to get their rickshaws repaired from the CNG service centres and in such a situation it would be difficult for them to
pay the instalments under the scheme,‖ it said.

The association has appealed to the president to look into the matter and resolve the issue. The association threatened to
stage a protest against the manufacturer of CNG rickshaws if their demands were not met.
(The News-14, 02/08/2007)

                                 Just when you think you’ve seen the worst
Karachiites witnessed a spate of larger-than-usual traffic jams across the city on Wednesday. In one of the instances, a
kilometers-long gridlock was witnessed on Sharae Faisal due to the unannounced closure of the Korangi Road turning near
FTC. Commuters were immured in this gridlock for several hours, which extended from the Regent Plaza signal all the way
past Nursery. Moreover, late on Wednesday evening, commuters were ensnared in further traffic congestion at ‗Numaish‘
as well as an hours-long gridlock at Lasbela Road.

Another instance directly affecting the already jammed Sharae Faisal was an explosion of a sewerage line near
Cantonment Railway Station Karachi causing the caving in of the road. Following this, the traffic police completely blocked

five major arteries leading to Cannt Station, leaving thousands of commuters stranded in a prolonged traffic jam. The traffic
police chief alleged that there was lack of coordination on part of the CDGK.

According to sources, the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) had dug up Korangi road near FTC in the early hours
of Wednesday morning in order to carry out development work. However, they did not inform traffic authorities a day earlier,
despite the fact that it was a working day with heavy vehicular movement.

As a result of this closure, with there being no diversion route provided, the heavy traffic usually turning towards Defence
and Korangi from FTC, had to use Sharae Faisal. This caused the major congestion on the city‘s traffic jugular, which,
usually backed up from FTC up to Regent Plaza under normal circumstances, witnessed a monster gridlock that extended
all the way past nursery.

Commuters complained that no traffic diversion signs were given along the road while traffic police were not around to
guide them either.

One of the stranded commuters told The News that Regent Plaza intersection itself was in a state of absolute entanglement
since a majority of three lanes at this signal were covered by the usual heavy traffic turning towards Saddar, while the
remaining space was occupied by the heavy traffic that, unable to use Korangi Road, continued on Sharae Faisal. This
meant that not an inch was spared for the traffic proceeding on Sharae Faisal towards the Metropole intersection.

According to other reports, JPMC road was also blocked by doctors who held a sit-in protest in connection with the action
taken against them. That, coupled with the collapsed road thanks to the explosion of the sewerage line, caused a massive
traffic jam in areas around the railway station.

The sources in the traffic police told The News that CDGK informed them about the closure of Korangi Road at about 8am
on Wednesday morning and did not tell them how long they would take to complete the work. The road, said sources,
would therefore remain closed for traffic unless it is cleared by the CDGK.

Regarding closure of five major roads leading towards Cantonment Station, the sources told The News that, initially, they
were informed that a bomb had exploded near the station. They were therefore directed to close all the roads towards the
station for security reasons. However, they said, later on it was revealed that the explosion was of a sewerage line in front
of Hotel Regency near the station.

The road behind JPMC, leading to Defence via old ‗Kala Pull‘ also witnessed a huge traffic jam in front of Navy Heights. A
portion of the same road was inundated with sewerage water while the poor condition of road also slowed down the pace of
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-13, 02/08/2007)

                                     Leaking pipelines create traffic chaos
Hundreds of commuters in the vicinity of University road near Gulshan e Iqbal faced major traffic chaos when a main water
pipeline burst open and flooded the roads heading towards NIPA and Bait ul Mukarram Masjid.
The incident took place on Wednesday when workers digging up the road accidentally broke the pipeline, after which the
water flooded the road and a huge jam was witnessed, causing immense distress to vehicular traffic as well as pedestrians.

People were found complaining about irresponsible behavior of the town administration and pointed out that there were
neither any traffic police personnel catering to the impending traffic situation nor anybody to take emergency measures to
rectify the situation by fixing the pipeline to abate the wastage of precious amounts of water.
(The News-13, 02/08/2007)

                                          New cabs doing well in the city
The induction of radio cabs some time back in the city was like a breath of fresh air in the otherwise battered transport
system running on decades old shabby cabs, dilapidated buses, and rickety rickshaws. Over the past few years, owning a
radio cab business has become one of the most lucrative trades in the city. The business has also been given a boost by
the provision of easily available credit by almost all commercial banks in the country.

Passenger security, luxury and reasonable fare are reasons which make radio cabs a more viable option to the customers.
Many companies, such as Metro Radio Cabs, White Cabs, Pearl Cabs, Star Cabs, Sana Radio Cab, Pak Cabs, FVG Cabs,
Karachi Radio Cabs and Red Top Cabs have been running a successful business and have carved a niche for themselves
in the local market. However, the growing number of companies is resulting in declining profits.

Imran Khan, the shift manager of Metro Cabs at the Karachi Airport branch, said ―We have around 130 cabs in Karachi and
we ensure quality cab service.‖ He said they have a proper way to receive customers‘ complaints through which
passengers can easily register their grievances regarding any problems that they have. ―Our cabs have a tracker system
and wireless sets installed in them, which makes it difficult to misuse or hijack them,― he added.

Sohail Ahmed, a resident of Green Town, said he frequently travels by cabs and has found them satisfactory both in terms
of safety as well as the fare.

He said that before the advent of such cabs, he was always afraid of being robbed on the way home with the connivance of
taxi drivers, but travelling by radio cabs has mitigated all such fears. The radio cabs also charge fares according to mileage,
unlike other cabbies who charge arbitrary fares, he said.

In the past few years, rent-a-car has also become one of the thriving businesses in the city. However, it is still not as
transparent as the radio cab business due to the proliferation of unregistered rent-a-car outlets in the city. Furthermore, the
business is not governed by any Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which often leads to a fall-out between the
customer and owner. Rent-a-car outlets in residential areas have also become a nuisance, but the relevant authorities have
failed to put an end to this unregulated business.

Mohammad Hamid, owner of a rent-a-car outlet, who has been running this business for the past eight to nine years, said,
―Till a few years ago, there were no luxury radio cabs in the city, and there wasn‘t much competition in the rent-a-car
business.‖ He said this business is risky. Sometimes they land in trouble when customers use their cars for robbery and
other crimes for which the owners are almost invariably held accountable. He told the scribe that per day, he charges
Rs1,000 for an Alto, Rs1,200 for a Cultus and Rs2,000 for a Toyota Corolla and Honda City.

Sajid Mehmood, the owner of another such company for the past five to six years, owns 13 cars. He said that increasing
competition is diminishing their profits. He further said he has four cars of his own and the rest belong to his friends. ―I give
them their monthly instalments plus Rs3,000 to 4,000,‖ he added.

M.A. Rana, the owner of a rent-a-car outlet in Liaquatabad, said that ―it‘s no longer a clean business. The transport mafia in
Karachi has captured the major share,‖ and added that ―there are unconfirmed reports that a number of rent-a-car
operators are using stolen cars with fake papers and number plates, which is why they offer cheaper rates.‖ For a genuine
rent-a-car operator, it‘s impossible to provide a Mehran at Rs600 to 700 a day with a driver and fuel. The least he can
charge is Rs800,‖ he said.

The owner of Al-Rehman Motor Agency, Abid Mir, said he has four cars and has been in the rent-a-car business for the
past eight to nine years. He acknowledged that ―people in this business face problems such as accidents and theft.‖
(The News-20, 02/08/2007)

                                   Sohrab Goth Flyover to be open in 3 wks
KARACHI: The construction work of the Sohrab Goth Flyover‘s second track has reached its final stages and the road will
be opened for traffic by the end of this month, said the Gulberg Town Nazim Kamal Malik Thursday.

The first track of the flyover which cost around Rs 570 million was opened in February by Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and
City Nazim Mustafa Kamal. The entire project especially the underpass was to be completed within the next three months.
Currently work on all parts of the project including the underpass, bridge, loop, roads, service roads and beautification is
still incomplete but the contractors and officials are claiming to open the second track within the next three weeks. Malik
said that a massive anti-encroachment drive had been started to remove illegal structures at union-council level without

―More then 200 encroachments have been removed in F.B. Area, Water Pump, Anarkali Market and its adjacent areas to
facilitate traffic and visitors,‖ he said. During the next phase, every type of encroachment will be removed in all major
markets where the shopkeepers, pushcarts and makeshift stalls had occupied a huge portion of the footpaths and main

―We have warned all encroachers to remove their illegal establishments within the next few days before action is taken
against them,‖ he said.

Malik is interested in expanding the tax collection network to increase the town administration‘s resources. ―We have given
a recovery target of Rs 7.5 million to the property tax department which will earn a substantial amount for the town
administration‘s small projects,‖ he said.

Two major hawker zones are being set up in Gulberg and work on these projects has started. ―People who were displaced
during the anti-encroachment drive would be given space in these hawker zones to help them earn under the supervision of
the law,‖ he said. He added that a new tax on marriage halls would also be levied to create revenue resources for Gulberg
and negotiations with representatives of the Marriage Hall Owners‘ Association were underway.

Furthermore, they will pay Rs 0.5 million as dues to KESC with current bills on monthly basis. ―Earlier, the town owed Rs
26.8 million in which the town deducted Rs 15.2 million as road-cutting charges and the remaining Rs 13.2 million will be
paid in installments,‖ he added.
(By Jamil Khan, Daily Times-B1, 03/08/2007)

                                    2-stroke rickshaws agree to convert to 4
KARACHI: The Karachi Taxi and Motor Rickshaw Yellow Cab Owners Association has decided to convert two-stroke
rickshaws into four-stroke rickshaws by replacing their engines after an official announcement that two-strokes would be
banned because of the pollution they cause.

―Right now more than 100,000 rickshaws are running on the roads of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana and if the
government will ban them, where will these rickshaws go?‖ said the president of the association Hafiz al Haq Hasanzai.

One two-stroke rickshaw costs more than Rs 100,000 and no owner would willingly stop driving it after the ban. Therefore,
it has been decided to convert these rickshaws into four-stroke ones instead of discarding them.

The organization has come forward with a model of the converted rickshaw. ―We have handed over the model rickshaw to
the Sindh Government, so that it may ask the relevant authorities whether it is fit and environment-friendly before a no-
objection certificate (NOC) is issued for it,‖ he said.

Two-stroke rickshaws are the major polluters in city life and these rickshaws are a cause of noise and air pollution in urban
areas. The provincial government of Sindh set July 30 as the last date to get rid of these rickshaws. However, before
reaching the deadline, the governor extended the date to 2010.

Although two-stroke rickshaws are no longer being manufactured in Sindh, the owners run these old rickshaws by changing
the auto parts despite the government‘s repeated announcements against it.

―We have bought an engine from the market and successfully installed it in the two-stroke rickshaws to convert them into
four-stroke ones,‖ Hasanzai added. ―Since the experiment succeeded we plan to extend it to 100,000 rickshaws by which
the owners will able to convert their vehicles according to official directions.‖

His organisation has requested the government to provide them the new engine to complete the process well before the
last date.
(By Amar Guriro, Daily Times-B1, 04/08/2007)

                  Dubai port holds consignment of 77 CNG buses over paperwork
KARACHI: The City District Government Karachi‘s (CDGK) first shipment of 77 CNG buses has been stopped at the Dubai
port due to incomplete documents, Daily Times learnt Friday. The CDGK had been planning to bring CNG buses to Karachi
from August 14 but the plan, it seems, will now have to be postponed.

Earlier, the city nazim had announced that CNG buses would start operating in the city from July 15 and the CDGK had
also signed an agreement with a Holland-based company to bring the first batch of 250 buses, but it was delayed without
any known reason. ―The firm that had signed an agreement with the city government to bring 1,500 CNG buses from
Holland had agreed to start functioning from a fleet of 125 buses. But, the first shipment consists only 77 buses, while the
remaining would come in separate fleets each month,‖ sources within the TCD said.

The TCD had, however, almost started preparing to start a new CNG bus service in the city. ―The department had notified
13 new routes in the city for the exclusive operation of the new CNG buses and also invited the general public to submit
their suggestions or objections over the new proposed routes. So far however, the city government is only prepared to start
the service on just one route, which is from North Karachi to Mereweather Tower. The other proposed routes will be
finalized after more CNG buses arrive,‖ sources said.

The TCD‘s route network is aimed at covering all parts of the city. The routes are Gulshan-e-Hadeed to Tower (UTS-51),
Sherpao Colony Landhi to Dawood Goth Baldia (UTS-52), Surjani Town to Clifton (UTS-53), Surjani Town to Tower (UTS-
54), Surjani Town Sector 5-D to Keamari (UTS-55), Landhi to Tower (UTS-56), Shah Faisal Colony to Tower (UTS-57),
Orangi (Turi Bangash) to Mansehra Colony Landhi (UTS-58), Scheme No. 33 to Clifton (UTS-59), Shah Faisal Colony to
Orangi (UTS-60), New Karachi to Tower (UTS-61), Sachal Goth to Tower (UTS-62) and Malir Cantt to Tower (UTS-63).

Sources also said that the construction of the CNG fuel stations, that the TCD had displayed much fanfare over, was still
incomplete and could take another couple of months. The TCD had also made tall claims over the revival of five major
depots of the defunct Karachi Transport Corporation. ―Work is being done at a snail‘s pace on all depots including Orangi
Town near Abdullah College measuring 6.15 acres, Malir Depot on National Highway (12.10 acres), Surjani Town (four
acres), Shah Latif Town near Malir Development Authority (1.67 acres) and Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block 6 (8.36 acres),‖
sources said.
(By Jamil Khan, Daily Times-B1, 04/08/2007)

                                             Karachi Circular Railway
LOTS of development schemes like expressways, overhead bridges and underpasses are going on in Karachi. This is all
very commendable but, being a very large city, Karachi also needs a fully-rehabilitated and expanded KCR plus
underground trains, whenever they come.

Through its various reports, Dawn newspaper has made a very convincing case for the KCR which is also backed by
specialists and experts of repute and integrity. Statements have also been made at the highest levels of state about full
rehabilitation and expansion of the KCR, giving timeframes, which have all passed uneventfully with nothing significant to
show for all these years.

I do not have to go into details because it has all been done by Dawn and published in their reports, some recent ones
appearing in Dawn of April 23, May 21, July 16 and editorial of July 18. In the report, dated May 21, it was stated that the
week before, federal minister for railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, said on the floor of the National Assembly that
revalidation of a feasibility study was being done by the Pakistan Railways through international consultant who would
submit the report within two months. The two months are up now but as per past experience no real breakthrough is

In a few months, we will be in the thick of the election fever and soon after the election there will be the question of the
division of portfolios, so not much will get done in that span of many months. Also, there is no guarantee that the present
incumbent will continue in his position and the newcomer may have his own ideas and priorities. All this means is that a
final decision (and not just an expression of interest and good intentions) has to be made soon, otherwise the KCR would
be dead and gone for ever which would be a shame really.

One might hope that the superior judiciary, which has lately taken considerable interest in public matters and taken suo
motu action on many issues, will take note of this matter as well which concerns a very large segment of Pakistani
population and involves huge amount of state assets which will just waste away with the KCR being in limbo.

S.R.H. HASH, Karachi
(Dawn-6, 06/08/2007)

                                               Boy crushed by tanker
A minor boy Saifullah 8, was crushed to death by a tanker in Korangi Industrial Area. The police said that the deceased
was crossing the road near Bilal Chowrangi when a tanker JX-6020 ran over him. The tanker was impounded. SUIUCIDE:
A teenage boy committed suicide in Bilal Colony police limits. The deceased was identified as Zeeshan, 17.
(The News-13, 08/08/2007)

                                                 Glitches in CNG plan
In the absence of special, large CNG filling stations in Karachi, operation of the new CNG buses appears very difficult.
However, the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) claims that PSO will provide the facility of filling CNG in these

The owner of the company desired to remain anonymous. This private company owner has ventured into the transport
business for the first time, and has hence undertaken a grave risk. He claims that 125 dual buses will arrive at the sea port
next week. These buses are being imported from Holland and they are refurbished.
The owner said he has seen that in order to meet an essential requirement, CNG stations with compressors have been
installed. When asked if it takes about six months to establish a CNG station at the private level, he agreed.

Moreover, he revealed that his company has held talks in Italy and will take only 20 days to ship the entire CNG plant
required for these buses. Moreover, with the help of technical facilities provided by the firm in Italy, it takes little over a
month to install such CNG stations.

Replying to a question, he said these buses are dual, not dedicated. This means that they can also be filled with diesel but
the CDGK has not permitted the company to run them on diesel.

Furthermore, he said that an agreement has been signed with the CDGK for the provision of 1500 buses. It is expected that
the first shipment of 125 buses will arrive this week and the remaining buses will be shipped in phases.

The owner said his company has applied for the custom duty to be waived through the Sindh Governor. He is confident that
it will be waived as this is a public-private partnership.
He further said that the CDGK will provide more land for the establishment of additional numbers of CNG stations.
However, when The News contacted the President of the CNG owners‘ association, Malik Khuda Bux and inquired whether
PSO is equipped to fill these CNG buses, the response was negative. Bux proceeded to express his apprehensions with
regard to the establishment of these stations.

He highlighted the need to develop infrastructure before their establishment. On the international level fleet filling stations
are established, where buses are parked at night and an automatic plant with nozzle fills CNG, he added.

Moreover, Bux said that there is no such facility in Karachi. He added that if existing gas stations are used to fill CNG in
these buses when they arrive, major technical changes will have to be made. These include installing heavy compressors
at the stations. In the event that these changes are not made, it will take around 30 minutes to fill gas in one bus.

Installing these compressors will cost two million rupees. In addition to this, the dispenser will also have to be changed,
said Bux. Furthermore, six gas cylinders will have to be installed in these buses. In other words, these buses will require
over 50kg of gas.

Malik claimed that for every 200 buses, only one big CNG bus is required. However, the total number of these buses will be
disclosed by the CDGK prior to the establishment of the CNG stations.
He expressed concern that if the buses arrive and there are no CNG stations to cater to them, they will remain parked at
the port. Meanwhile, the mark up of the bank will rise.

Malik said that at present Karachi has around 100 CNG filling stations that are reserved for cars. Meanwhile, transport
problems persist in the city and City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal claims that the Mass Transit programme is essential for
its resolution.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-20, 08/08/2007)

                                   Pedestrians losing right to use footpaths
KARACHI, Aug 8: There has been a constant increase in the number of pedestrians killed and wounded in road accidents
every day but the rampant encroachment of pavements and roads is showing no sign of a decline despite anti-
encroachment campaigns launched every now and then over the last few years.
The encroachments on footpaths and roads are blamed for a large number of accidents involving pedestrians and people
are hit by fast-moving vehicles due to the narrow space left by encroachers for them to pass through.

The other factors responsible for the increased casualties in road accidents involving pedestrians are absence of
pavements along busy roads, non-existence of pedestrian bridges at vital spots along major thoroughfares and reduced
sidewalks in commercial centres of the city

A survey of the city roads shows that quite a large number of footpaths have either vanished or have become heavily
encroached upon by roadside traders and vendors. They include operators of eating houses, showrooms, shops, cabins,
etc. Finding almost no space to pass by, the pedestrians often have to walk on roads and sometimes fall victim to fast-
moving vehicles.

Ironically, the city government and town municipal administrations seem reluctant to restore the pedestrians‘ right to use
footpaths and remove encroachments, allegedly due to some political considerations.

A coordinator of the former city nazim, Niamatullah Khan, had once conceded to this reporter while explaining the then city
government‘s policy that those who had already encroached upon footpaths partially or fully were not being removed but no
one was being allowed to indulge in land-grabbing. It was, however, noted that people continued to encroach upon
footpaths and roads all along the tenure of Mr Khan.

Who should be blamed?
Though the menace of encroachment by operators of roadside business has persisted since long, it got a boost in
1999/2000 when the then senior director (land) of the now defunct KMC coined the term ‗land-use charges‘ to make room
for such businesses. It was alleged that his move was meant only to oblige a political leader who owned a barbecue house
in Boat Basin area. The official recommended to the then KMC administrator, Brig (retd) Abdul Haq, that business on
footpaths should be allowed on payment of land-use charges. He justified the idea by arguing that the KMC could be able
to collect millions from such business operators. Eventually, the roadside business was legalised and the eating houses
were allowed to use footpaths to serve their customers. The land-use charges were based on the number of chairs and
tables put up by an eating house on footpath. Since then, hundreds of traders and businessmen have set up their eating
houses on footpaths across the city usurping the pedestrians‘ right to use the pavements for their safety.

New avenues of corruption
The legalisation of business on footpaths also opened up an avenue of extortion for the officials concerned, including those
of the city government‘s land department, town municipal administrations, police, etc. Since the land-use charges are
collected by the TMA concerned, there is every opportunity for the TMA officials to mint money from the footpath users by
offering them less than the actual charges.

The major roads with their footpaths having been encroached upon heavily are Jamshed Road, Khalid Bin Waleed Road,
New M.A. Jinnah Road, main University Road, Burnes Road, Frere Road, Tariq Road and Gulistan-i-Jauhar‘s main road.
(Dawn-18, 09/08/2007)

                                     Upcountry buses choking city centre
KARACHI, Aug 8: Despite the fact that their terminus was recently removed, jumbo-sized buses bound for upcountry
Pakistan have reappeared on M.A. Jinnah Road. As a result, a number of the city‘s arteries in Jacob Lines and Saddar, and
around the Taj Medical Complex (Hamdard University hospital) are experiencing severe traffic blockages as well as
heightened noise and traffic pollution, while the locality‘s hospitals and schools are particularly inconvenienced.

The illegal terminus of these super-sized buses was shut down in the wake of a much-publicised joint operation launched
recently by the city government and the relevant cantonment board. Of the buses belonging to this terminal, the city
government shifted those plying between Karachi and Balochistan to a recently-built inter-city bus terminal at Baldia Town‘s
Yousuf Goth. Buses on other routes, such as those going to the interior of Sindh, Punjab and the Northern Areas, operated
from different locations for a short period but have now returned to their old terminus at Taj Medical Complex. They are
currently visible not only on the main service road parallel to M. A. Jinnah Road but also on adjacent roads including a
major link leading to the rear of the Saddar Dawakhana via Students Biryani House and Dawoodpota Road.

Their reappearance is being attributed to an inordinate delay in setting up the inter-city bus terminals planned at
Razzakabad on the National Highway and at Deh Bhatti Amri on the Super Highway. The scheme to shift all upcountry-
bound buses from the city centre was initiated in 2001 but the City District Government Karachi has so far succeeded in
establishing merely one such terminus at the RCD Highway.

The return of the extra-wide buses is particularly inconveniencing citizens visiting the Taj Medical Complex, which houses
the Hamdard University hospital and a number of specialists‘ clinics. Haphazardly parked buses impede the flow of
vehicular traffic and even ambulances carrying emergency medical cases are held up in the chaos. The traffic grinds to a
halt whenever the bus drivers attempt a U-turn or park randomly in the area, and commuters are delayed while headed
towards Empress Market, M. A. Jinnah Road or the rear of the Saddar Dawakhana, the route to St. Joseph‘s school and
college and Mubarak Shaheed Road.

Near the Taj Medical Complex, the giant buses are often parked half on the road and half on the footpath, while drivers
carry out repair, maintenance and oil change activities without a thought to the immense difficulties faced by pedestrians
and vehicles. Meanwhile, residents in the vicinity of the illegal terminus and the patients in the Taj Medical Complex
complain of the bus drivers‘ habitual use of pressure horns. The situation is worsened by a large number of pushcarts
selling fruit and other commodities near Rainbow Centre and the Saddar Dawakhana turning, which not only create traffic
hurdles but also pollute the area.
(By Azizullah Sharif, Dawn-17, 09/08/2007)

                        Karachi-Hyderabad bus service delayed by two months
The Karachi-Hyderabad bus service that was supposed to commence on June 10, has been delayed by two months. Both
the provincial authorities and operators say that the delay was mainly the result of administrative issues faced by the
Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Hyderabad.

As per the agreement between the Provincial Transport Authority and Daewoo Bus operators, the much-awaited luxurious
inter-city bus service should have commenced two months ago. However, it has not started its operation as yet but there
are hopes that the operators will launch this service by the mid-August.

When contacted, Survey Manager Daewoo, Mazhar Hussain told The News that the board meeting of RTA Hyderabad was
delayed by a month and there are certain things that depend on that meeting which is what is causing the delay. ―The
meeting finally gave us the approval on July 2,‖ he elaborated, adding that they ―have started renovating the terminal in

Hussain further said that it will now take them a couple of weeks to finalise everything. ―We are forwarding our request to
Sindh Minster for Transport, Labour, Industries, Commerce and Cooperation, Adil Siddiqui, in a couple of days and he will
give us a suitable date for the launch of our service,‖ he continued. ―We expect Siddiqui to give us a date some where in
the third week of August,‖ he added.

A source from the Provincial Transport Authority (PTA) said that everything was finalised from Karachi and a temporary bus
terminal has been given to the operators near Sohrab Goth but the delay has been caused by the district government of
Hyderabad. Recently, there has been a change in the Hyderabad‘s district government, he said, and the new set-up has
taken additional time to fulfil the formalities. He further said that the service is expected to be launched on August 14.

Once launched, these buses will operate from the Taj Complex bus terminal and Sohrab Goth. Passengers to Hyderabad
and back have high expectations from the Daewoo Company which has already been facilitating parts of the Punjab and
hope for its commencement at the earliest.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-20, 09/08/2007)

                                        Flooding hits roads, underpasses
KARACHI, Aug 10: Over the past 48 hours, rains have inflicted considerable damage on the city‘s neglected infrastructure
and played havoc with many of its roads, storm-water drains, sewerage lines and power distribution system.
Not only the old and obsolete utility networks collapsed, but also the recently-built underpasses in Liaquatabad and
Gharibabad were also rendered unusable, rather dangerous, for commuters as the rainwater turned them into a lakes.

Apparently, the former was flooded with the spillage from the nearby storm-water drain, called Gujjar nullah, which failed to
serve the purpose it was laid for, as usual.

The government‘s indefensibly belated move to clear the city‘s 64 major nullahs and 430 link drains resulted in flooding of
various roads and streets, virtually turning them into death traps for motorists and pedestrians.

Ankle-to-knee-deep water remained accumulated on different sections of the so-called ―VVIP thoroughfares‖, Sharea Faisal
and Aiwan-i-Sadr Road, as well as M. R. Kyani Road and Shahrah-i-Liaquat (formerly Frere Road) and the link road on
which are situated the Sindh Assembly and Sindh High Court buildings.

Due to the closure of different sections of Sharea Faisal and its link roads by the flooding, access from all sides to the
Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centres could not have been restored till Friday evening.

Various other major and busy arteries, which included parts of M. A. Jinnah Road, main Landhi Road, Deen Mohammad
Wafai Road, Mohammad Bin Qasim Road (formerly Burnes Road), parts of Shahrah-i-Quaideen, also remain inundated
while innumerable streets in various localities, particularly those in the Old City lanes and low-lying areas remained flooded
and unattended.

The dug-up roads made motorists and bikers vulnerable to accidents and there were many instances where they got their
vehicles damaged or sustained injuries while driving over the trenches and potholes covered by rainwater. A perturbed
motorist remarked: ―It seems that the CDGK is going to create a history by undertaking road construction during the
monsoon season unlike their counterparts in all other major cities of the world which usually avoid such work in the June-
August period.‖
(By Azizullah Sharif, Dawn-17, 11/08/2007)

                                      Japan to help revive KCR: city nazim
KARACHI, Aug 10: The Pakistan Railways and the city district government of Karachi are making practical efforts for the
revival of the Karachi Circular Railway with the cooperation of Japan.
This was stated by City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal following his meeting with Pakistan Railways Chairman Shakil Durrani.
Deputy Superintendent Railway Mir Mohammed Khaskheli, Karachi Mass Transit Programme Director-General Malik
Zahirul Islam, and railway and city government officials were also present.

Describing the KCR revival as the most essential requirement for the city, the nazim said the main line down track from City
Station to Landhi and KCR loop lines from Drigh Road Station to City Station would be improved and standard gauge line
would be laid to provide people with fast and cheaper commuting facilities at the earliest.

The meeting decided that the work on the main line down track and KCR loop lines improvement would be speeded up to
ensure early operation of the circular trains.It was decided that all preliminaries would be finalised to start work on the KCR
revival. It was informed that foreign consultants would arrive soon to review the implementation of their report and
supervise the invitation of tenders and give final shape to the strategy for approval by the railway authorities.

Mr Kamal said the Karachi Mass Transit, City Government and Railways would jointly work for early revival of the circular
(Dawn-18, 11/08/2007)

                                 Bridge collapses and Khuda ki Basti cut off
KARACHI: The bridge that connects Khuda Ki Basti to Surjani Town, over Barani Nullah, collapsed Thursday midnight due
an overflow of water from Hub Dam. As a result, Khuda Ki Basti has been cut off from the city and residents have been
trapped inside the area.

Those coming home from work were stranded on the road leading to the bridge. The bridge was the only route connecting
Khuda Ki Basti to other areas of the city through Surjani Town.

As the water pressure was very strong, ropes were used to cross the nullah. Electricity poles in the area collapsed as well,
and as a result, the power supply to the area has been cut off. The fast flowing water even swept away some motorcycles
and bicycles with it.

―The water flow in Barani Nullah picked up pace Thursday midnight, due to which the bridge over the nullah collapsed
because it couldn‘t bear the pressure. Although, repair work started on the bridge around 5:30 p.m. Friday, the water
pressure increased and rose to the level of the roads [that were connected by the downward-curved bridge],‖ said the
MQM‘s unit in-charge in Khuda Ki Basti, Rasheed Durrani. He claimed that Gadap Town Nazim Ghulam Murtaza Baloch
did not visit the area.

On the other hand, Baloch told Daily Times that Barani Nullah in Khuda Ki Basti has been reduced by encroachments in
the form of goths. He added that land grabbers have started plotting and selling land in the names of Khair Muhammad
Goth, Rozi Goth, and other goths. ―The city government is not planning anything regarding this nullah. If the boundary walls
of the nullah are strengthened, the bridge is elevated and the encroachments removed then daily losses and routes being
cutting off can be prevented,‖ he said.

The nullah had filled up during the previous rains as well and the goths around it were inundated with water, which resulted
in the loss of lives and property, but, nothing was been done to prevent further losses.

Baloch said that Afridi Goth, Sultanabad, Yousuf Goth, Jananbad, and other goths have been inundated with water as well.
Councillor Janan, who was with Baloch, said that calls were being made to the city government‘s emergency centres, but,
no response was being received.

Besides, the Manghopir Water Board‘s (MWB) executive engineer (canal), Imdad Hussain Manghi, told Daily Times that
100 MGD water was being supplied from Hub Dam to Hub Canal. The cracks that appeared in the dam have been
repaired, he said, and added that a monitoring team had been formed for any untoward incident. The MWB‘s filter
executive engineer, Rehmatullah, said that 52 MGD water was being supplied to the city. ―We supply the city whatever we
are receive.‖
(By Munawar Pirzada, Daily Times-B1, 11/08/2007)

                                     Students block road after boy’s death
KARACHI, Aug 11: The students of a seminary in Golimar on Saturday morning blocked the main Manghopir Road for over
four hours in protest against the death of one of their fellow students, who was killed after being crushed under the wheels
of a bus he was disembarking from.

The administrator (nazim) of the Jamia Khulafa-i-Rashideen, Qari Mohammad Iqbal, identified the victim as nine-year-old
Faheem, son of Imran, resident of Mansehra, NWFP.

The nazim told Dawn that the boy was suffering from fever and had gone to Qasba Colony to his uncle‘s house.

On recovery he was returning in a bus of route 1-C bearing registration No. JA 2114 early on Saturday morning. As the boy
stepped out of the bus, the driver sped away as he was racing with another bus.

As a result, Faheem lost his balance and came under the rear wheels of the same bus and was crushed.

The people stopped the bus and parked it in front of the madressah but the driver managed to escape. The body of the
student was lying in an ambulance in front of the madressah as the other students, holding sticks and batons, closed the
road for all kinds of vehicular traffic.

Long queues of vehicles were observed on both sides of the road, while most people opted to change their route. Office-
goers were the worst-affected as the road turning towards Nazimabad Chowrangi at Pak Colony was also closed.

People condemned the police for not regulating the traffic, saying that passengers were forced to get off in the middle of the
(Dawn-17, 12/08/2007)

                                              Baby born in traffic jam
KARACHI: A baby was born inside an Edhi ambulance Saturday after the vehicle got stranded in a massive traffic jam near
Regent Plaza intersection just meters from Jinnah hospital. ―I took the lady from Gandhi Street, Saddar Town for JPMC but
when we reached the main intersection near the hospital, traffic was completely jammed and despite repeated requests on
the megaphone nobody listened,‖ the Edhi driver told Daily Times. One of the woman‘s relatives with her delivered the
baby girl and mother and child were both safe, he said. The young Edhi driver was extremely upset. ―What she will think
when she grows up?‖ he mused sadly, ―that she was born on the road?‖
(By Amar Guriro, Daily Times-B1, 12/08/2007)

                                Construction of Quaidabad Flyover opposed
The Bin Qasim Town Nazim Jan Alam Jamote has opposed the construction of Quaidabad Flyover, saying that the
feasibility of the flyover was wrongly designed that was creating traffic problems in the area. He said this during a visit to
different areas of the town to assess the losses caused by recent rains. He said that all roads leading to the flyover were
dilapidated and the construction company should have built these roads before starting work on the flyover. He said during
the rains many trucks and heavy vehicles overturned on the National Highway owing to damaged roads.
(The News-20, 13/08/2007)

                                     Traffic jams add to the Monday blues
Citizens were once again caught in terrible traffic jams that lasted for hours on Monday. Flooded roads led drivers to opt for
alternate routes and wrong lanes, causing fury among motorists who left their homes in the morning but reached their
workplaces long after their lunch break.
The hours-long traffic snarl-ups were seen on major city thoroughfares, including M.A. Jinnah Road, I.I. Chundrigar Road,
University Road. The Traffic Department stated that there was still stagnant water along major roads of the city and the City
District Government and the Cantonment boards had not drained it yet.

From Karsaaz to Sharae Faisal all the way to Hotel Metropole cars were crammed in a bumper-to-bumper hold up. Those
who opted for alternate routes such as Guru Mandir, M.A. Jinnah Road and Soldier Bazaar, were not better off. Apart from
the narrow lanes near New Jubilee Market, where two policemen were present to divert the traffic, traffic constables were
nowhere to be found, which led motorists to take over and divert the vehicles.

Angry young men were seen holding metal rods, ready to attack motorists who caused the chaos. Unable to bear the heat
and suffocation, children returning from schools were also seen crying inside cars and on motorbikes. Many of them were
clueless as to why all the routes were blocked.

Some believed that bus drivers were responsible for the chaos as their buses get stuck after turning into narrow lanes
slowing down traffic. Most automobiles were not even able to reverse due to illegal encroachments in the already narrow
lanes. Minor accidents were also reported during the jam.
After the heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday most people were looking forward to resuming work on Monday. One
motorist stuck on his way to work near Mere Weather Tower, lamented ―I don‘t understand when we will learn to follow
traffic rules. A single motorist makes the mistake of turning into the wrong traffic lane and everyone follows.‖

Another man, Shafqat Mehmood, an employee at a private bank, disclosed that he had been on the road since 9:00 a.m.
Not only was it 1:00 p.m. when he was talking to The News, he also saw no hope of reaching his workplace any time soon.
He then loosened his tie and reached towards his tiffin box and said that at least he could have his lunch on the road.
(The News-13, 14/08/2007)

                                            Nightmare on Every Street
KARACHI: The photographs say it all; bumper-to-bumper traffic on all the major roads of the city - just when you though it
couldn‘t get any worse.
From Malir to the city centre, then on Shahra-e-Faisal, Nursery to Metropole – it was the same story. DIG (Traffic) Wajid Ali
Durrani told Daily Times that he believed the traffic jams were caused by the construction and dug-up roads courtesy the
City District Government Karachi (CDGK). ―I can‘t do anything about stagnant water,‖ he added. City Nazim Mustafa Kamal
fought back, arguing that the DIG was wrong and that the CDGK staff was doing all it could.

Buses went off route to avoid bad traffic. Ambulances got stuck and people just abandoned their vehicles to make it on foot.
Usually rush hour starts around 5:00 p.m. but Monday was different. Drivers honked all the way from Crown Plaza to
Regent Plaza as traffic inched along every five minutes.
Thus a stretch (from Crown Plaza to the Regent Plaza Hotel) that usually takes around 15 minutes took over two hours for
some people. Even the little boys selling flags and memorabilia stayed along the sidelines because the drivers and
passengers were in a foul mood.

Traffic near Cantt Station was no better, and going towards Punjab Chowrangi was even worse. It took some people an
hour to reach Sarwar Shaheed Road from Lasbela due to traffic congestion beginning from Old Exhibition Intersection to
Prince Cinema.

The trouble on Shahra-e-Faisal appears to have started at about 1:00 p.m. Motorcycle riders had it relatively easier. DSP
(traffic) Anwar Hussain Soomro told Daily Times that it was the duty of the traffic police to control and manage the traffic
system on the road and they are doing their job 24 hours. Soomro added that a simple lack of awareness of traffic rules
also causes problems.

The traffic jams made it difficult for shopkeepers to get their supplies also. ―Most of the wholesale shops for grocery items
like flour, ghee, pulses, sugar and rice are at Jodia Bazaar or Empress Market,‖ said Muhammad Sadiq, a small
shopkeeper, adding that they had a hard time stocking up.
The goods arrive on donkey cart or small pick-up van. ―Usually I pay Rs 300 from Jodia Bazaar to my area but for the last
three days the pick-up drivers have increased the fare to Rs 600,‖ a shopkeeper at City Railway Colony told Daily Times.
This just means that the price of these daily commodities will go up.
(Daily Times-B1, 14/08/2007)

                               Lack of conveyance marks Independence Day
On the occasion of the celebrations of Pakistan‘s 60th independence day the citizens faced a shortage of public transport.
Vehicular traffic was not allowed on M. A. Jinnah Road on account of ―Hamara Karachi‖ rally on August 14 while traffic jams
were witnessed on roads around Quaid‘s mausoleum. Moreover, a large number of motorcyclists and other motorists
added to traffic congestion.

Despite the fact that a large number of people came out to celebrate the Independence Day, there was a shortage of public
transport in most of the areas of the metropolis. The traffic was diverted near the mausoleum in order to facilitate the
aforementioned rally as a result of which people faced traffic congestion on the roads leading to M. A. Jinnah Road. It was
also witnessed that a large number of motorcyclists from all parts of the city drove to the Quaid‘s resting place in small
groups. These bikers provoked the public‘s ire as they had removed their silencers and created a lot of noise.
(The News-13, 15/08/2007)

                                          SC summons DIG Traffic today
KARACHI: The Supreme Court has taken suo moto notice of Monday‘s traffic jam and summoned DIG Traffic Wajid Ali
Khan Durrani to the SC Karachi Registry for Wednesday for an explanation. SC Assistant Registrar Karachi Registry
Maqbool Mangrio told PPI Tuesday that Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, currently sitting in SC Karachi, took notice of
the hours long traffic jam on the city‘s main arteries. The main roads, including M. A. Jinnah Road, Shahrah-e-Faisal,
Shahrah-i-Quaideen, Shahrah-i-Liaquat, Nishtar Road, Tower, Banaras Chowk, Liaquatabad-Karimabad Road, University
Road, Sher Shah-Mauripur Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Manghopir Road, Korangi Road and others suffered the worst
traffic chaos on Monday in which thousands of vehicles, including dozens of ambulances carrying the sick and elderly were
stuck for several hours.
(Daily Times-B1, 15/08/2007)

                                         SC seeks solution to traffic woes
KARACHI, Aug 15: The Supreme Court asked the city nazim, the provincial transport secretary and the traffic police on
Wednesday to submit ‗concrete proposals‘ by Friday to overcome the worsening traffic problem of the city.

Justices Rana Bhagwandas and Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi had taken suo motu notice of the traffic chaos in Karachi on
the eve of the Independence Day, when tens of thousands of motorists and commuters were stranded for hours while
returning home from work. Traffic police deputy inspector-general Wajid Ali Khan appeared on Wednesday in response to
the court notice of Aug 13.

The DIG submitted a report explaining the factors behind traffic problems and verbally blamed encroachments, illegal intra-
city and intercity bus stops and termini, population growth and digging of roads for repair or re-carpeting for the malaise.
Thousands of trucks, trailers, buses, coaches and cars moved into, within and out of the city on any given day and the
traffic police strength was not sufficient to cope with the heavy volume of traffic, he said.
The traffic police had suggested several times that trucks and trailers should be allowed to enter the city only in the
evening, but to no avail. About 55 roads were currently dug up in the city. He said bus permits and routes were issued by
the transport department, adding that 70 per cent of the problem could be solved if the municipal authorities co-operated.

The court observed that there were long-term problems amenable to long-term solutions. It wanted to see whether urgent
measures could be taken to control the situation and provide some relief to the public. It was more interested in practical
and practicable steps.

Justice Nawaz Abbasi pointed out that wherever he went in Karachi, it took him at least one hour to reach his destination.
Talking about a Defence boulevard that did not occur on any route, he pointed out that buses and coaches freely ran on it.

The bench also remarked that according to some reports, traffic controllers were nowhere to be seen during the Aug 13
traffic jams. It said the traffic police should realise what the jams and hurdles cost in a city like Karachi. Business, offices,
port, air and rail travellers, hospitals and patients and students and educational institutions all suffered because of traffic
jams. In fact, they paralysed life. It was a criminal wastage of time, it observed.

The bench passed the following order after briefly hearing the DIG: ―Pursuant to the order dated August 13, DIG Wajid Ali
Khan has entered appearance. He has filed certain statements reflecting the length and breadth of roads, number of
vehicles operating in the city, intercity buses and heavy vehicles entering the city and the strength of staff sanctioned as
well as working on side and the problems being faced by the traffic police. He suggests that the problems can be sorted out
with the active co-operation of the city police, the city district government and the secretary, transport department,
government of Sindh.
―With the regard to co-operation by and co-ordination with the city police, he (the DIG) would take up the issue with the
provincial police officer (the IGP). .‖
(By Shujaat Ali Khan, Dawn-17, 16/08/2007)

                                    Ban on two-stroke rickshaws
                         SHC questions governor’s authority to extend deadline
The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday asked the provincial law officer to explain as to under what authority the Sindh
Governor extended the cut-off date for the removal of two-stroke-engined rickshaws till 2010.
The SHC‘s division bench, comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Mohammad Athar Saeed, was hearing
petitions moved by a lawyer, Islamuddin, and the Helpline Trust against smoke-emitting and noisy vehicles as well as
against illegal bus terminals in the city.

Last year, an undertaking was given by Secretary, Transport, that rickshaws with two-stroke engines would be removed by
June 2007. However, the court was told that the cut-off date for phasing out of the two-stroke-engined rickshaws had been
extended by the Governor, Sindh, till 2010.

The court took serious notice of the extension in the cut-off date and observed that the court was not bound to accept such
a settlement, as it was a matter of the lives of members of the entire society.

The Additional Advocate-General, Abbas Ali, said that rickshaw drivers were poor and any strict action would make
thousands of people jobless.

The court also directed the Additional Advocate-General to submit a complete report about the steps taken by the transport
and environment departments to ensure implementation of the orders passed by the court.

The provincial Deputy-Secretary, Transport, Waheed Ahmed and DIG, Traffic, Wajid Durrani also appeared on the court‘s
notice. The DIG submitted that action had been taken to seek implementation of orders passed by the court.

The petitioner alleged that the authorities concerned and respondents were deliberately delaying the orders passed by the
court and once again the report of committee in compliance of court orders issued on December 1, 2006, was not placed
on record.

The SHC constituted a committee on December 1, headed by the AG Sindh, and directed it to submit a definite proposal
regarding the final cut-off date for removal of smoke-emitting and noisy vehicles from the city roads.

The committee comprised of Advocate General Sindh Anwar Mansoor Khan, secretary transport, DIG traffic,
representatives of the CDGK, petitioner and representatives of transporters.

The petitioner further submitted that the traffic police was not taking action against vehicles that are being operated without
silencers - due to which citizens were facing hardships.

The court, adjourning the matter for August 23, directed the AAG to submit a complete report about the steps taken by the
transport and environment departments to ensure the implementation of orders passed in petition.

On April 26, 2006, the court had ordered DIG traffic to ensure that no smoke emitting and noise creating vehicles should
operate in the city after three months and said that the DIG should have full authority to impound any vehicle which is seen
in city after the three months while emitting smoke and creating noise. The petition is pending in the SHC since February
(The News-13, 16/08/2007)

                        Some citizens say traffic better when Rangers in control
KARACHI: People were held up in traffic jams throughout the city on Wednesday for two to four hours and some of them
Daily Times spoke to said that the traffic was better when the Rangers were in control.

The roads that experienced bad traffic jams included Shahra-e-Faisal, M. A. Jinnah Road, Maripur Road, Native Jetty
Bridge, Business Recorder Road, Orangi-Defence Road, Clifton Road, Shara-e-Liaquat, Zaibunnissa Street, Aga Khan
Road, Lasbella Chowrangi to Teen Hatti Chowrangi, Jail Chowrangi, Liaquatabad Road, University Road, Quaidabad
Chowrangi, Johar Morr, Sohrab Goth Chowrangi to Nagan Chowrangi, Gulbahar Road, Nishtar Road and more.

The situation was especially bad during the morning and evening rush hours and a few roads were jammed at nighttime as
well. These traffic jams have been going on for the past three days and trips that usually take about 15 to 20 minutes are
now taking an hour or more.

Majid Khan, a resident of North Nazimabad, maintained that many old roads in the city have been under construction for
months and this is causing a lot of traffic problems. Mohammad Aziz, a resident of Nazimabad who works at a private firm
in Tower and uses a motorcycle to get to work everyday, said that his duty is eight hours long, but, now with the traffic jams
his ‗work‘ time has increased to between 12 and 15 hours with the extra hours being taken up just to get to work. He said
that he doesn‘t see any police directing traffic and that all they did was stop people on the side and try and shake them for
cash. He also said that for the past month, the traffic was in the control of the Rangers and that there weren‘t too many
(Daily Times-B1, 16/08/2007)

                                   Supreme Court takes action on traffic jam
                                  DIG Traffic passes the buck to CDGK, rain
KARACHI: DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani told the judges of the Supreme Court that the city district government, encroachers
and a natural calamity where why there was what some people have referred to as the worst ever traffic jam in Karachi on

Appearing before Justice Rana Bhagwandas and Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi on a suo moto court motion, DIG
Durrani informed the bench that he was new to the department and had taken charge just twenty days ago.
He submitted that the city‘s traffic could be managed only through coordination and cooperation between all stakeholders. If
the city government cooperated and illegal bus stops for inter-city buses were closed, 60 percent of the traffic problems
would be solved, he stated.

There are 56 encroachments and 76 places where development projects are in progress, impeding the free movement of
vehicles, he added.

The bench took strong exception to this and said that it was the duty of his department and officials to ensure the smooth
movement of traffic.
The bench also pointed out that traffic policemen were not found at the traffic signals but instead at the side or other spots.
The bench also observed that while millions of rupees were being spent in the name of development projects, traffic
problems were multiplying.

However, on the basis of the DIG‘s statement, the bench issued notices to the city nazim and Sindh transport secretary for
Aug 17.

In a related matter, the SHC bench consisting of Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Muhammad Athar Saeed, heard
a constitutional petition by Islam Hussain advocate, who appeared in person, over noise and air pollution caused by poorly
maintained private transport vehicles.

While facing the second court, DIG Durrani said that steps have been taken to comply with the court‘s order from time to
time. AAG Abbas Ali, seconding the DIG‘s version, said that efforts were being made to improve the city‘s transport system.

The bench promptly remarked that while the matter was taken lightly by the government, the gravity of the matter was not
properly understood as the lives of millions of residents of Karachi were in danger. The bench later sought a complete
report from the government in a week‘s time.
(Daily Times-B1, 16/08/2007)

                                                         Traffic mess
The Supreme Court has taken up another worthy cause: removal of the traffic crisis that has almost literally paralysed
Karachi in recent days. Take for example the city's I. I. Chundrigar Road. The road is the equivalent of Pakistan's Wall
Street and Fleet Street combined into one but for the past few weeks has been a complete traffic mess -- so much so that
even pedestrians find it impossible to walk on it given its abundance of randomly dug trenches, pits and smattering of
heavy roadwork equipment. But I. I. Chundrigar Road is only one of the roads, streets and lanes in various parts of Karachi
which are in similar conditions of being excavated/dug up and impassable. As for the honourable Supreme Court, it has
issued notices to the city nazim and Sindh's transport secretary, after first hearing the DIG traffic. As expected, the latter
passed on the buck, saying, among other things, in his defence that he was new to the job, that it had rained a lot and that
there was little or no coordination between his department and the city government on road-digging and diversion issues.

It goes without saying that only coordinated interaction between them can result in an improvement in the presently dismal
situation. However, it should be emphasised that the fault for the mess also lies with ordinary road users. Better traffic
conditions in the country's largest city will not materialise unless its motorists, and particularly its motorcyclists, exhibit some
patience and learn to respect traffic laws. In any case a traffic jam has been exacerbated because motorists and
motorcyclists -- apparently in a bid to catch a flight (what else can explain the impatience?) -- have no problem going the
wrong way. Also, it would be fair to say that the city's residents don't mind road-digging if the purpose is to widen roads and
improve the general infrastructure. But their lives should not be made miserable because the various civic agencies in
charge of the digging cannot effectively communicate with one another, and -- more importantly -- with the road-using
public. If this is done, and if adequate notice and/or warning is given out via the print and electronic media then people will
at least know what routes to avoid on a particular day. Surely, this should not be that difficult, high-tech or even costly to
(The News-7, 17/08/2007)

                           Traffic mess cannot be cleared overnight, says Nazim
The city government cannot solve traffic problems alone; it requires the participation of the concerned agencies and the
public as well. ―The chaotic situation we see today is the result of mismanagement and negligence of six decades,
therefore, this mess cannot be cleared overnight,‖ said City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal.

Addressing a seminar on transport issues organised by Shehri at a local hotel on Thursday, Kamal asked citizens to look at
situation in a holistic manner and not in isolation. ―The biggest problem confronting the CDGK is that only 36 per cent of the
megapolis falls in its jurisdiction so we cannot take all the decisions alone,‖ he said, adding that, ―CDGK is here to listen to
the proposals regarding the betterment of the city and would do its best to implement the same‖.

Responding to a question about the ongoing construction works causing traffic congestion, the Nazim admitted that the
dug-up roads were hampering traffic flow but the major cause was the lack of parking facilities and absence of a mass
transit system. When asked why commercial buildings were allowed without parking facilities, he said they have recently
made changes in the KBCA by-laws whereby parking provision has been made mandatory. He further said that they would
not allow construction of any building that did not have parking provision.

On a query as to why CNG buses have been delayed, he said they have brought the luxury CNG buses in the city. Kamal
stressed that they were working to improve necessary infrastructure so that the scheme does not fail. Besides, he added,
they have to gain back the confidence of banks to support the scheme since the failure of UTS has created a fear of
monetary loss.

Kamal further said that they were building three parking plazas - one at Empress Market with a capacity of 2,500 cars,
another in Lines Area with a capacity of 500 cars and the third in Clifton with a capacity of 700 cars. He said the CDGK
wants to make Saddar a model place for pedestrians. Referring to the fact that the city was being governed by 13 bosses,
he said that they were able to build these plazas only because they were located in CDGK‘s jurisdiction.

Speaking on the occasion, DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Khan Durrani said that his department needs participation of citizens in
abiding traffic laws. ―The job of the traffic police is to regulate traffic flow which is possible only when there exist proper
roads, parking facilities and public transport,‖ he added.

Replying to a query regarding Supreme Court‘s notice, Durrani said that the petition was not filed in connection with the
recent traffic jam on August 13, adding, ―It was misinterpreted by the media‖. He, however, said that he has been asked by
the Supreme Court to come up with proposals to improve the traffic situation. He further said that his department was
running short of traffic personnel and equipment, while more than 100 roads have been affected either by construction
works or rains that slowed traffic movement. Most of the problems could be solved if all agencies concerned start working
in coordination.

Addressing the participants, renowned architect Arif Hassan said that the use of land should be linked with traffic flow in the
process of planning. He gave several examples of various international cities and compared them with Karachi. He said
that many cities in the world have invested billions in building flyovers and expressways but nothing served the purpose in
true sense. ―Only mass transit can resolve the problems for which light rail mass transit and better public transport buses
are required,‖ he said.

Earlier, the director general, mass transit cell (CDGK), briefly discussed the master plan. He said they were working on a
light rail mass transit system and revitalisation of the KCR. He said that imported CNG buses would soon start plying under

rapid bus mass transit system, adding: ―We are working on both road and rail traffic system and the two would be linked
together to give this city an ideal transportation system‖.

Highlighting the importance of public transport, Roland deSouza of Shehri said that if each of the single occupancy vehicles
carried two people, the number of cars and motorcycles would be reduced by 50 per cent. If 30 to 40 people were
transported by one vehicle (bus), he said, one can imagine the reduction in the number of cars on the roads. He stressed
that the number of private cars and motorcycles needs to be slashed.
At the end, the city nazim assured the participants that he has considered all the proposals and would make every possible
effort to ensure that the citizens get better transport facilities. Actions speak louder than words. he said.
(The News-13, 17/08/2007)

                                  DIG Traffic, city nazim steamroll each other
KARACHI: The DIG of Traffic and the city nazim blamed each other for the traffic mess in Karachi at a seminar organized
by an NGO Thursday.
There are 27 points on major roads of the city where permanent ditches have developed, 55 roads where development
work is ongoing and after the rains more than 206 points which are inundated, said DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani.
The traffic police and city government have been criticized over the worsening congestion. In a bid to discuss the solutions,
NGO Shehri-CBE organized the seminar in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation at a local hotel Thursday.

DIG Durrani said that despite new flyovers, underpasses and bridges traffic problems had not been solved. The traffic and
general police have to compromise on several fronts, especially on encroachment removal and law enforcement, due to
‗political pressure‘, he said.

For his part, City Nazim Mustafa Kamal held the DIG Traffic responsible for the crippling traffic jams in the city. He said that
the DIG had underestimated him. He claimed there were not 50 but 500 roads under construction and he asked if the DIG
would guarantee that there would be no traffic jams once these roads were completed.

Arif Hassan said that a Light Rail Transit System (LRT) and non-integrated underpasses, flyovers and bypasses would only
add to the city‘s misery as cities worldwide had already experienced the hazardous impacts of such non-planned
constructions and ‗symbolic projects‘, rather than sustainable and planned development.
He also criticized the Elevated Expressway and LRT projects, which he feared, would destroy the rich and glorious heritage
of Karachi.

Roland DeSouza said that the fate of Karachi must be decided her rather than Islamabad. He added that the CDGK must
never ‗buy‘ projects from foreign ‗sellers‘ without considering their costs and assessing whether the city really needed them
or not. ―We got our ‗promised land‘ in 1947 but turned it into a desert after 60 years by our own hands,‖ he remarked.

Dr. Noman Ahmad said that CDGK must never limit itself to one Master Plan but rather develop a planning department to
keep updating master plans for future needs.

Staff Report adds: The experts said that an increasing number of the cars, absence of the proper car parking arrangements
in commercial hubs and proper land zoning regulations are the actual reasons behind the frequent traffic jams.
―The city district government has planned for the first time in the city‘s history to initiate multi-storey car parking plazas at
three points,‖ offered Kamal. Three car parking plazas, at Shahabuddin Market (adjacent to Empress Market) with a 2,500-
car capacity, Lines Area (right behind Rainbow Center) with a 500-car capacity and one in Clifton with a 700-car capacity
have been planned. Part of the problem is also that several different authorities (DHA, cantonment boards) control different
areas generating sewerage and solid waste without paying a single penny to the city government, said the nazim. ―And we
have to solve these problem,‖ he said, adding that there is no mutual understanding between the traffic engineering, traffic
department and the city government.

DIG Traffic contradicted a news item published by newspapers saying that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken suo
moto action over the massive traffic jam in the city this week. ―It was a human rights petition filed by a citizen,‖ he clarified.

Chairman of the Urban Resource Center (URC) Arif Hasan said that a lack of proper planning has caused the traffic
problem in the city. ―At many places, carparks [areas] have been converted into shopping areas,‖ he informed the
He urged that while preparing the master plan for traffic management, especially on Bundar Road, the government must
consider the heritage sites. ―There are hundreds of colonial era heritage buildings on either side of Bundar Road, including
the first library of the city, Denso Hall, Radio Pakistan and a temple which spread over four kilometers and must be
considered before planning for traffic,‖ Hasan said.

Quoting a study by the chairman of the department of architecture at NED University, Prof. Dr. Noman Ahmed said that a
majority of the drivers of Karachi hailed from the rural areas and were unaware of traffic rules and urban behaviour which
was also causing problems.

Roland DeSouza of Shehri, CDGK DG Mass Transit Malik Zaheerul Islam, EDO (Transport & Communication) Dr Tahir
Soomro and others also addressed the seminar.
(DailyTimes-B1, 17/08/2007)

                                              Karachi’s traffic nightmare
THE Supreme Court‘s suo motu notice of the traffic chaos in Karachi reflects poorly on the ability of the traffic police to
handle the worsening congestion on the city‘s roads. But the buck must not stop there. For although the traffic department
needs to reformulate its strategy so that a steady and organised flow of vehicles is maintained at all times, including peak
hours, there is much to obstruct its endeavours as pointed out by the DIG Traffic to the court on Wednesday. Population
pressures, the presence of illegal bus stops, encroachments, the movement of large intra-city buses on unauthorised
routes and the perpetual digging of roads have combined to create a nightmare for commuters. One must add to this list
the tight security arrangements for VVIPS that hold up traffic, sometimes for hours, and that have even led to the death of
critically ill patients not able to make it to the hospital on time. The recent rains that have made many city roads impassable
have compounded the problem.

There was much sense in the DIG‘s suggestion that the city government and relevant departments should jointly tackle the
traffic snarls that have become a regular feature in Karachi. Better communication will at least prevent the concerned
departments from working at cross purposes with one another. Such cooperation will also provide a temporary reprieve to
the public as more permanent solutions are sought, including the implementation of the Karachi Mass Transit Project and
the revival of the circular railway. Unfortunately, this long-term solution has been superseded by the careless planning and
construction of elevated expressways and signal-free corridors that have so far provided little respite. The authorities must
act quickly before the situation becomes irreversible as thousands of cars are being added to the already congested roads
each month.
(Dawn-17, 18/08/2007)

                    SC resents authorities ‘unwillingness’ to solve traffic problem
Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday expressed resentment over the indifferent attitude of authorities concerned for
resolving traffic problem in the metropolis.
―There appears to be lack of willingness, want of coordination and absence of political will on the part of all concerned to
shoulder the responsibilities and to solve chronic civic problems faced by the residents of this cosmopolitan city,‖ the court
observed while hearing suo moto notice over worsening traffic jams in Karachi.

SC‘s two-member bench comprising Justice Rana Bhagwandas and Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi directed City
Nazim, Secretary Transport and DIG Traffic to submit a working plan on top priority basis without wasting any time because
fundamental rights of the citizens are being trampled owing to sheer negligence and inaction on the part of all concerned
directly and indirectly to fulfill such obligation.

The court observed that government officers were merely attempting to highlight the problems without accounting for their
serious and sincere efforts for the resolution of the problems and pinpointing any workable and viable solution to overcome
the acute traffic congestion and traffic hazards in the city. The court also directed DIG Traffic and DCO to immediately stop
entry of heavy vehicles in the city during day time and regulate such flow of traffic only after 11:00 pm and up to 6.00 am.

Secretary Transport Rasool Bux Phulpoto, DIG Traffic (Karachi) Wajid Ali Khan, DCO (Karachi ) Javed Haneef, Law Officer
Manzoor Ahmed and EDO (CDGK) Tahir Soomro appeared before the court. As the matter was taken up, the court took
notice of the non-appearance of the CDGK Nazim, observing that why he was avoiding to appear before the court.

DCO Javed Hanif submitted that City Nazim was out of the city. The court observed that no one is above the law and non-
appearance of City Nazim despite issuance of notice tantamount to contempt of court. On previous hearing, the court had
issued notices to City Nazim and provincial Secretary Transport, directing them to submit concrete proposal to overcome
traffic hazards and criminal wastage of time suffered by the citizens of Karachi. DCO submitted that difficulties were being
faced due to development works as well as recent rains in the city. He informed the court that steps were being taken to
overcome such situation.

The court pointed out lack of coordination between the civic agencies, observing that when direction came from the higher
authorities all of a sudden everything was made perfect but nothing has been done for the common man.

Regarding the movement of heavy vehicles in the city during day time, Justice Rana Bhagwandas asked DIG Traffic as to
why heavy vehicles were openly moving on the city roads and why their movement was not restricted.

The DIG informed the court about the problems being faced by the transporters. The court observed that it was the
responsibility of the government to handle such crises and if it could not do so it was the irresponsibility and
maladministration on the part of the government.
―Are you people serving the transporters in the country,‖ the court inquired from DIG Traffic, observing that the state is
responsible to protect the rights of citizens.

The court also took notice of the delay in filing reports by the DIG Traffic, EDO CDGK and Secretary Transport, observing
that such reports ought to be filed one day earlier for the perusal of the court.
The court observed that in future, all the concerned shall abide by this direction and the office shall not entertain such
belated reports from any agency. The matter has been adjourned till August 21 on the request of Javed Haneef,
representing City Nazim.
(The News-13, 18/08/2007)

                     Four million vehicles on roads built to handle only 0.4 million
While terming the problem of traffic congestions a massive civic issue plaguing the lives of Karachiites, the City District
Council on Saturday discussed various proposals for substantially reforming the traffic management system in the city
which included handing over of the traffic management and police systems to the city government.

The City Council meeting, presided over by convener Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil, largely devoted its time to discuss the
traffic problem, as the metropolis witnessed some of the worst incidents of traffic snarl-ups in the wake of the last week‘s
monsoon rains.

Both the treasury and opposition members expressed concern that so far the authorities concerned especially the traffic
police had not taken any action against encroachments on major thoroughfares.
They said that encroachments, illegal occupation of major arteries and adjoining service roads, absence of proper parking
facilities, corrupt practices, serious dereliction on the part of the traffic police, lack of mass public transport and circular
railway systems, unbridled procurement of personal vehicles by public through bank leasing schemes, absence of viable
diversion traffic routes in case of major development work, non-functioning of traffic signals, and other weaknesses had
been the major causes of traffic congestion.

Certain members opined that carrying out massive development works on major thoroughfares including construction of
bridges, flyovers, and underpasses would not effectively resolve the issue of traffic congestions until and unless the traffic
management system in the metropolis was thoroughly reformed.

Some members highlighted the need for acquiring large-sized and environment-friendly buses on an emergency basis to
cater to the mass transportation needs.
They said that parking and service road facilities alongside important thoroughfares should be cleared of illegal occupations
while major arteries should also be made free of encroachments.

Some council members said that the presence of private schools along major roads of the city had been posing serious
problems in the free movement of traffic in the peak hours of morning and afternoon.
They said that entry of heavy and goods transport vehicles into the city should be strictly banned in the day time.

Javed Jadoon, a treasury-member, said that, at present, over four million vehicles were plying on the roads of Karachi,
which had been constructed primarily with the capacity of handling mere 0.4 million vehicles.

Saeed Ghani, opposition leader in the council, said that major development and construction works on roads should be
carried out while keeping in view the arrival of the monsoon season.
The members also raised the issue of deteriorating law and order situation in Lyari and slated the police for failing to flush
out criminals from the area. The City Council session was adjourned till August 21.
(The News-14, 19/08/2007)

                                 City Council comes up with traffic solutions
KARACHI: Members in the City Council discussed Saturday the persistent traffic jams and the critical law and order
situation in Lyari. The issue of inflation was adjourned to the next session.

Most of the members blamed corruption in the traffic police department and the lack of enforcement of traffic rules as the
main reason for the traffic jams. The Opposition argued that the construction work being carried out on the roads without
any planning was the main reason. The session was chaired by City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil and held at City Council
Secretariat on M. A. Jinnah Road.

As the proceedings started, Asif Siddiqi of the Haq Parast group requested a debate on the issue of inflation and the
amended resolution condemning the approval of Nepra‘s increase in electricity charges by 29 paisas per unit.

On a point of order, Sheikh Mehboobur Rehman said that the Opposition members are still seeking justice and waiting for
the report on the April 26 incident (when Opposition members were allegedly manhandled) to be submitted by the
committee, which hasn‘t been completely formed yet. He also added that the Opposition members were sidelined on
Independence Day.

―The Independence Day celebrations showed that independence was only for the MQM as no other community had any
right to celebrate it,‖ he said. He added that the law and order situation in Lyari has become worse and the provincial
government has failed to provide security for the citizens.
―During the ongoing gang war in Lyari, more than 600 innocent people have been killed and the four police stations in the
area have failed to apprehend 150 culprits,‖ he said.

In a ruling, the convener said that she had asked the head of the committee to incorporate four members from the
Opposition to conduct the inquiry and finalize the Lyari issue. She also said that she had asked the home department to
send their TPO of Lyari to the City Council to give a briefing on the situation, but, he got held up in a police operation.

Another member of the Opposition benches, Saifuddin, also highlighted the worsening law and order situation in Lyari and
said that it was the responsibility of the city nazim, under SLGO 2001 to maintain law and order in the city. ―The House
should call on the DIG of Karachi so that he may inform the council members about the ongoing police operation in Lyari,‖
he said.

Asif Siddiqi pointed out that the traffic issue was in the Supreme Court and it should not be discussed in the House.
However, the convener opened the debate on the traffic jams which bound the members to present suggestions that could
be sent to the Supreme Court for implementation.

Shameem Mumtaz Wasi from the Opposition benches said that it was not necessary to excavate the whole city for
development. ―The city government should have started patching work to level the roads where underground water and
sewerage lines were installed,‖ she said. She also blamed the traffic police for creating problems because they have been
deprived of their challan money.
The convener said that the matter is presently in the Supreme Court under suo moto notice and she asked the chairman of
the transport committee to highlight the issue.

Nadeem Hashmi, chairman of the city government transport committee, told the House that they are constantly holding
meetings with all stakeholders to resolve the issue permanently. ―In the last meeting, we decided to start, and we have
started, the work to fill the ditches caused by the recent rains. In the second phase the encroachments on both sides of the
roads will be removed,‖ he said.

Treasury bench members flamed up when Opposition member Abdul Razzaq said that former city nazim Naimatullah Khan
carried out a record number of development works in the city. ―The entire world recognized his services for the citizens and
the city,‖ he said.

In the ruling, the convener said that if the previous government had carried out a record number of works then the current
government wouldn‘t have had to initiate such a huge number of projects.

Opposition members, including Saeed Ghani, Sheikh Mehboob-ur-Rehman, Ramzan Awan, Abdul Razzaq and others,
stressed the need to enforce traffic rules and regulations and asked the government to improve traffic management, which
is the only solution for this issue.

Other suggestions included removing encroachments, providing proper parking spaces, banning the entry of small vehicles
in congested commercial areas, banning slow vehicles such as pushcarts and donkey, horse and camel carts on all major
roads, making private schools provide parking spaces and ensuring traffic signals are working. The session was then
adjourned to August 21.
(By Jamil Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 19/08/2007)

                               City Council resolves to address traffic issue
KARACHI, Aug 19: The city fathers on Saturday stressed the need for a better traffic and transport management system as
the continuous growth in Karachi‘s population and increase in the number of vehicles was resulting in traffic chaos.
This consensus was reached during a debate in the City Council on the prevailing chaotic traffic conditions in the city. Both
the treasury and the opposition expressed concern over the current situation and suggested various proposals to bring
about a change in the better interest of the people.

The removal of encroachments, a better signalling system, ban on the movement of heavy vehicles in daytime and the
enforcement of traffic regulations were some of the suggestions which they considered would ensure smoother traffic flow
on major city arteries. Some of the members also proposed that the traffic department be handed over to the city

The council meeting was chaired by Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil. Unlike in the past, there were no fireworks in the session.

Lyari gang war
Mehbub-ur-Rehman of the Awam Dost Group drew the attention of the chair towards the deteriorating law and order
situation in Lyari where he said the state of affairs had taken a serious turn.
He told the council that more than 600 youths had been killed so far in the gang war and the people were insecure.

Asking why the people of Lyari were being punished, he pointed out that despite the fact that there were four police stations
in the locality, the police had failed to check the criminal activities of a few street urchins.

The convenor said she was equally concerned about the prevailing conditions of Lyari and had approached the TPO
concerned to come to the house and explain the situation.
She informed the house that the TPO was busy heading an operation against criminals in the locality and had promised to
brief the house in the next session.

Mehbub-ur-Rehman said the people of Karachi were perturbed over frequent traffic jams while the residents of Lyari were
forced to live in a perpetual state of fear.
Upon this, the convenor reminded the house about the leftover agenda of the previous session pertaining to high prices of
essential commodities.

Reciprocating, Mr Asif Siddiqui of the Haq Parast panel submitted an amendment resolution regarding the 10 per cent rise
in electricity charges by the KESC.
Thereupon, Saeed Ghani of the Awam Dost drew the attention of the convenor towards the issue of traffic jams, saying that
the gravity of the situation could be judged from the fact that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had taken suo motu notice of
the issue.

CDGK’s ‘defective planning’
He said the situation had been aggravated after the recent monsoon rains because of the defective planning of the city
government, which had executed development activity without considering the impending rains, adding that most of the
roads were dug up without constructing alternative routes and diversions.

Mr Siddiqui did not agree with Saeed Ghani and argued that the issue had already been taken up by the superior court;
therefore the house should wait for its ruling.
However, considering the importance of the issue, the convenor allowed the members to debate on the vital matter.

Waqar Hussain of the Haq Parast panel held the illegal bus terminals responsible for creating a chaotic condition and
demanded putting a ban on their operation.

Opposition member Abdul Rashid said the delay in the execution of development works was one of the factors contributing
towards the traffic mess, saying that despite tall claims, he could not see any repair work anywhere.

Haq Parast member Nadeem Hashmi defended the city government, saying that it had started the patch-up work on the
city‘s roads.

Mohammad Shamim stressed the need for the construction of service roads while Imran Baghpatti pointed out that there
was no traffic management in the city.

Ramzan Awan of the Al-Khidmat group called for introducing a better public transport system in the city, saying that the
introduction of green buses was a right decision, but he failed to understand why these were suddenly taken off the roads.
He said nearly 500 cars were registered every month in Karachi, which was also one of the reasons for traffic obstruction.
The debate on traffic jams will continue on Monday when the council meets again.
(By Latif Baloch, Dawn-15, 20/08/2007)

                                      Modern truck stand for city planned
KARACHI, Aug 19: The city government has planned construction of a modern truck stand spread over 500 acres along the
Northern Bypass.
This was stated by City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal while addressing a high level meeting held here on Saturday to
discuss traffic problems and their solution. The nazim told the meeting that the existing truck stand on Hawkesbay Road
was not only large enough for the purpose but was also hindering movement of citizens, according to a statement issued
here on Sunday.

―To solve this problem a summary for setting up of a 500-acre truck stand, as well as a 100-acre godown, has been
forwarded to the government and the work will be initiated on the project immediately after its approval,‖ he said.

DCO Javed Hanif, KWSB MD Ghulam Arif, DIG Traffic Wajid Durrani, EDOs, TMOs and officers from various departments
attended the meeting.

The nazim directed the departments concerned to complete the ongoing road repair works as soon as possible. He asked
police to keep a close eye on encroachers and take action against them by exercising the powers delegated to them under
the Police Order. He pledged every possible help and assistance to police on the part of the city government in removing
illegal constructions.

Mr Kamal told the meeting that practical measures had been taken to shift the inter-provincial bus terminals out of the city.
The terminal for Balochistan-bound buses had been shifted from the center of the city, he said, adding that the proposed
site for a bus terminal on Super Highway had encroachments and once they were removed, work on the site would be
He said a request had been made to the provincial government for the allotment of land to 17 trade and business concerns
and markets to be shifted out of city. Work on this project would also be started after the land was allotted, he added.

Trolleys for Gulshan Town
On the directives of city nazim, the Gulshan Town administration has purchased hand trolleys worth Rs1.4 million,
according to a press release issued here on Sunday. The trolleys would be distributed among all union councils of the town
for the lifting of domestic waster from residential areas.

Town nazim has directed DTO sanitation to hand over trolleys to all UC nazims with directive to ensure cleanliness and
hygienic conditions.
(Dawn-14, 20/08/2007)

                                           125 CNG buses yet to arrive
The city government‘s 125 CNG buses have not yet arrived at Karachi port even on Sunday, which were supposed to be
arrived in the city on Thursday last. These buses are being imported form Holland to meet the transport problem in the city.
The city government has also invited tenders for setting up CNG stations and so far 33 companies have floated bids for it.
(The News-13, 20/08/2007)

                              Chundrigar road slated to open to traffic today
Though belated, I.I. Chundrigar Road, one of the city‘s most important thoroughfares, which is also its business hub, will be
opened for vehicular traffic as of Monday (today) from Merewether Tower to Shaheen Complex.
However, sources said that only the black top-laying will be completed by Monday and the foot path construction and
debris-clearing will be done gradually.

The road was scheduled to be opened on August 14, but work was delayed due to heavy rainfall in Karachi.

An official source, while talking to The News, said on Sunday morning that asphalt-laying work was being done at a fast
pace using machines and that work was being done around the clock.
The source said that, on the strip from Merewether Tower to the GPO, the black top has been completed and now just the
GPO to Shaheen complex strip remained to be done, adding that the distance from Shaheen Complex to Tower is around
2.5 kilometres and the total cost of the work is Rs210 million.

New sewerage lines and storm water drains have been laid down all along I.I. Chundrigar Road, they said. Therefore, it is
now hoped that, if and when the rainfall comes, the water will not stay on this road. The slope is now towards the GPO,
from where the water will be drained into the storm water channel.

City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal had earlier announced at a press conference that the road‘s storm water drainage system
had been laid down and that now if the rain comes, ―you will not see lake here.‖
He said that the past governments had committed a crime by closing all the storm water drains which made this road look
like a ‗lake.‘ However, now, he said, this will not happen.
It may be noted here that public transport operations on I.I. Chundrigar Road will be completely closed. So far, neither the
city government nor the traffic police department has given a designated route for public transport.

The common people are facing serious problems because of the absence of public transport on this road. However, it is
maintained that city government officials are not in favor of banning public transport here.

Mustafa Kamal, along with the State Bank governor, had announced that stake holders will also chalk out a comprehensive
plan to maintain the cleanliness of this road as well as a beautification plan.
Sources said that, at present, the task is to complete this road. For the beautification, a meeting will be held later.
(The News-14, 20/08/2007)

                                    Modern truck stand at Northern Bypass
City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has said that the city government has planned to construct a 500-acre modern truck stand
at the Northern Bypass as the existing truck stand at Hawksbay Road has become insufficient and causing obstacles in the
smooth flow of traffic. A summary to this effect as well as for setting up a 100-acre godown has been forwarded to the
government for approval following which the work on the project would be started.
He said this while addressing a high-level meeting held to discuss traffic problems and their solution the other day.

The Nazim observed that everywhere in the world planning and implementation of projects falls in the purview of the
elected mayor but, in the case of Karachi, there happen to be 13 stakeholders and this division of jurisdiction was creating
civic problems for the citizens.

While directing the department concerned to finish road works as soon as possible, he said that under a new police order
the police could take action to remove encroachments, adding, the area police should also pay heed towards this.
He assured that the city government would provide all possible help to the police for dismantling illegal structures.

The Nazim further said that practical measures have been taken to shift inter-provincial bus terminals out of the city. Bus
terminal for Balochistan-bound buses has been moved out of the city centre while the proposed place for setting up modern
bus terminal at Super Highway was awaiting removal of encroachments.

Kamal said that in order to shift more than 17 trade & business sub-centres, including Timber Market, showrooms and
workshops out of the city an application for allotment of land has also been submitted to the government and the work on
this project would be started after the land allotment.
(The News-19, 20/08/2007)

                                              Ban on heavy vehicles
                                         A stop-gap arrangement, at best
The daytime ban on heavy traffic the the city is a temporary arrangement by the Sindh government and the authorities were
not interested in making serious efforts to tackle this big problem.

Sources, disclosing this, said that the government had imposed the ban only for 30 days through a notification issued on
Saturday just as a means to divert the issue which had been taken up by the Supreme Court (SC) via a suo moto.
The notification, issued by the home department, stated that the ban was imposed under Section 144 on the request of
secretary of transport, and the DIG, traffic, said a senior official while talking to The News. Sources also said that the
notification mentioned that the ban was on the orders of the SC in a Human Rights case.

Officials said that the Sindh government was facing a serious crisis as no authority had the power to impose a permanent
restriction on entry of heavy traffic in the city. Hence, it was said, the home department had issued the notification for the
imposition of a ban for only 30 days upon request. The ban under Section 144, said sources, was a stop gap arrangement
and far from a permanent solution.

Expanding on this, a senior official told The News that the District Coordination Officer (DCO) also has powers to impose
ban heavy traffic. Sources, however, said that the DCO had the power to impose a ban for only a seven-day period while
the DIG, traffic, had no powers to impose such a ban. Moreover, officials said that this crisis could only be resolved through
administrative measures.

Sources said that the presence of heavy traffic was a big problem for the citizens, and various city parts were highly
affected in the daytime. There was particular concern during school recess times when there was already a thick volume of

According to a senior bureaucrat, the Sindh chief minister should have been the one taking steps to tackle the situation. He
said that CM could issue orders to the secretary transport and DIG traffic to make permanent arrangements, unlike the
current temporary ones, for the solution of this big problem.

Sources said that the government can create alternative routes for heavy traffic, which is why some authorities were
surprised as to why the government had not taken steps to divert the heavy traffic along the Northern Bypass and why they
were allowed to use city roads.

Sources said that the decision to take the current measures by concerned authorities were of a temporary nature. Making
things more complicated, said sources, is the fact that during a meeting between the secretary of transport, the DIG traffic
and home department officials it was pointed out that if the ban was made permanent, there would be shortage of wheat
and other food items in the city.
(By Tahir Hasan Khan, The News-13, 21/08/2007)

                CDGK, traffic police to establish traffic command and control center
Traffic police and the City District Government, Karachi (CDGK) have decided to set up their collective command and
control centre to address traffic problems in the city, it was decided at a high-level meeting held at the Central Police Office,
Karachi, on Monday.

According a press release, this command and control centre will comprise officers from the traffic police, CDGK, and the
Traffic Engineering Bureau, it was decided at a high-level meeting.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) said that it was the mutual responsibility of all the agencies to work in collaboration in
order to provide best facilities to the citizens. For this purpose, he said, all these agencies have to work in collaboration
under a collective strategy.

City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal assured his full cooperation to the police in order to resolve traffic problems and said that
they were working devotedly for the betterment of the city. The DIG traffic gave a detailed presentation regarding traffic
problems in the city and gave proposals to resolve the same. The meeting was told that currently there were 1.7 million
registered vehicles while the traffic police force comprised only 3546 policemen.

The IGP instructed the DIG, Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani to deploy the traffic sergeants at every traffic intersection and also
identify other points where traffic flow is high so that more policemen could be deployed on these intersections too.

According to one of the decisions taken at the meeting teams of traffic police, area police and city government would be
established to completely remove the existing encroachments from all the roads and footpaths of Karachi and resist the
same in future. The decision also said that under police order of 2002 strict actions would be taken against encroachers.
It was also discussed in the meeting that traffic jams are also caused by vehicles that break down and for that purpose
traffic police need necessary machinery to remove these vehicles from the road.
The removal of illegal bus terminals was also discussed in meeting and a strategy to remove the same was also prepared
while the buses for which bus terminals have already been established would be made to abide by the same.
(The News-14, 21/08/2007)

                                             11 more drivers sent to jail
KARACHI, Aug 21: The judicial magistrate-1, West, Ali Ahmed Jan, on Tuesday remanded 11 drivers of heavy vehicles --
trailers, dumpers, trucks, tankers -- in judicial custody till Sept 5 for violating Section 144 of the CrPC.
The drivers were arrested in the limits of the Jackson and SITE Area police.

The JM-4, South, Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, granted bail to five drivers against a surety of Rs5,000 each. They were held in
the Preedy police limits.

Police said the government had banned the daytime entry of heavy vehicles, and the drivers were found guilty of violating
the restriction. The government has taken the decision to reduce pressure on the city roads which are often found clogged.
Another JM, East, Mohammad Fazil Jokheo, remanded truck driver Jehangir in judicial custody till Sept 3. He had crushed
to death two motorcyclists, Shakeel and Khalid, on Aug 20 in the Ferozabad police limits.
(Dawn-17, 22/08/2007)

                                           SC wants report by 27th
                                Govt told to take steps for smooth traffic flow
KARACHI, Aug 21: The Supreme Court asked the city district government, the traffic and regular police, the Defence
Housing Authority and other civic agencies and the cantonment boards on Tuesday to remove all encroachments in their
jurisdictions forthwith ‗in accordance with the law‘ and prevent roadside parking to ensure smooth flow of traffic in the city.
The order was passed by an SC bench comprising Justices Rana Bhagwandas and Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi as a short-
term measure to ease the traffic situation.

As for ‗the long-term, holistic‘ approach to the city‘s longstanding and complicated problems suggested by City Nazim Syed
Mustafa Kamal, the bench directed the Sindh chief secretary to convene periodic meetings of ‗all stakeholders‘ to discuss
and resolve them or propose measures for their solution and submit reports to the court. The first such meeting is to be
held on Aug 25 followed up by a report to the court for consideration on Aug 27, the next date of hearing.

The bench observed that the crux of the problem was non-implementation of laws, rules and court orders. It was going to
take notice of non-compliance of a 1996 SC order on pollution.

The city nazim said a committee headed by the Sindh governor had been set up as ordered and its report would be
submitted to the court by Oct 10.

As for the bar on entry of heavy traffic during day-time, it would not apply to the Northern Bypass, which the nazim said was
meant for all manner of traffic round-the-clock. In response to a query by Deputy Inspector-General (Traffic) Wajid Ali Khan
about the movement of heavy water tankers, the bench asked him to regulate it in such a way that the normal traffic was
not obstructed.

The ban has been imposed for a month under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The bench said the order
should be renewed every moth till further orders.

Nazim’s problems
Thanking the court for taking notice of the traffic problem, the city nazim earlier submitted that ‗the mess‘ the city faced was
the consequence of decades of neglect. The city contributed 68 per cent of the revenue to the national exchequer but
received little for its development. Bhit Shah, a 300-year-old locality, was being provided potable drinking water only now.
Roads had to be dug up to lay water and sewage lines, a more basic need. Two hundred kilometers of pipelines had been
laid and drinking water provided to various areas at a cost of Rs17 billion.

The city district government, Mustafa Kamal said, had control over 34 per cent of the city area. Numerous other agencies,
including the Site Limited, several cantonment boards, the Defence Housing Authority, the Karachi Port Trust, the Port
Qasim Authority, the Pakistan Railways and the Civil Aviation Authority, were responsible for the bigger chunk of 76 per
cent. A concerted approach was impossible in the absence of a central municipal authority. A new link road (New M.A.
Jinnah Road) from the Quaid‘s mausoleum had been built but he could not prevent car showrooms from parking their
vehicles to clog it.

The bench remarked that he was recounting his problems as a city nazim while the court was interested in solution to the
citizens‘ problems. Mr Kamal said the problem of dispersal of municipal authority had an adverse impact on civic problems

and the rights of citizens. Karachi, the city nazim, said was probably the only megacity the world over where the city
government had no control over its traffic police.

‘Muk-muka’ phenomenon
Referring to Justice Rana‘s observation that a traffic sergeant was busy doing ‗muk- muka‘ (bargaining over illegal
gratification) with a rickshaw driver as a big trailer passed by unchecked on a Defence road, he said it was a common
scene across the city. But he had no authority to take action even against a constable if he found him indulging in taking
bribe or neglecting his duty. However, he called a meeting of the four senior superintendents of traffic police and persuaded
them and the transport department to set up a complaint centre in collaboration with the city government to address traffic
complaints round the clock.

Explaining the complexity of the problem, the nazim said a ban on heavy traffic entry during daytime was imposed earlier
also. The result was that the movement of goods to the only port was reduced to 40 per cent. Sixty per cent of the
shipments were cancelled. The national economy could ill-afford such a drastic reduction in shipments.

Besides the Northern Bypass, he said, the city government was working on an elevated expressway, signal-free corridors
and other projects.

A fleet of CNG buses had been imported but the city government did not want them to become a part of ‗the present
system‘. He wanted the new buses to provide such a decent facility that car owners felt compelled to prefer public transport
over their private vehicles.
He also requested the court to help the city develop a mass transit system, which was the only long-term solution to the
traffic problem. The various problems were inter-related and Karachi needed a ―holistic package of reforms‖, the nazim

Mass transport system
Ms Ali Akbarbhai and Roland D‘Souza of the Shehri NGO emphasised the need for a mass transport system.
They said adequate legal framework was available for traffic control and regulation but there was no enforcement of laws
and rules. Encroachments, they added, were the biggest single source of congestion. At times, only 30 per cent of the road
width was left for the traffic to move, particularly in Saddar.

They called for immediate removal of encroachments and an end to illegal parking. The suggestion found favour with the

The Shehri representatives also proposed the establishment of a commission to look into the civic and environmental
problems. The bench, however, rejected the idea as ‗commissions are formed to shelve problems‘.
(By Shujaat Ali Khan, Dawn-17, 22/08/2007)

                                 One track of Quaidabad flyover submerged
KARACHI, Aug 21: The Quaidabad flyover, which was opened on a trial basis on Monday evening, was partly closed down
as one of its tracks was submerged early on Tuesday.

Pakistan Steel Mills Chief Maj-Gen (retd) Mohammad Javed had led the convoy of steel mills‘ vehicles while opening the
flyover on Monday.

Probably owing to the pressure of the heavy traffic some pipelines of sewerage or water near the ramp of the flyover burst,
inundating one track of the flyover that was later shut down for traffic.
The Rs220 million flyover is part of the Tameer-i-Karachi project and is being financed by Pakistan Steel Mills, which is
constructing it through a contractor.

The two-year (2005–2007) project is running a few months behind schedule, said the Steel Mills‘ spokesperson. He said
that the flyover would be inaugurated as soon as the pipelines were repaired.

Interestingly, the city government officials, who never fail to take credit for the various projects being constructed under the
Tameer-i-Karachi programme, which is being financed by different organisations operating in the city, immediately
disassociated themselves from the project.

When Dawn approached them for their version on the issue, they made it clear that the city government has nothing to do
with it and that the project was being financed by Pakistan Steel Mills.
(Dawn-19, 22/08/2007)

                       Vested interests blamed for delays in mass transit project
KARACHI, Aug 21: Like many uplift projects, the Karachi Mass Transit Project, approved and notified by the Pakistan
government way back in 1995 for light rail system, has yet to materialise reportedly due to powerful vested interests.

All efforts made by the federal, Sindh and the city governments to implement the project‘s first two out of the six priority
corridors seem to end in failure and any change in the status of the project in the near future is nowhere in sight. Similarly,
the CNG buses project and the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway is likely to meet the same fate.

These observations were made during a meeting of the KMT Cell held on Monday in the office of Sindh Chief Secretary
Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi, who also presided over the meeting, sources told Dawn.

The KMTP Director-General, Malik Zaheerul Islam, brief the chief secretary on the project. The meeting was held to review
the traffic situation at almost all important arteries of the metropolis during rush hour causing great inconvenience both to
commuters and pedestrians and also hampering the movement of ambulances.
The situation prompted the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take a suo motu action in this regard.

Observers may recall that the city government on Oct 13, 2006 had signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with M/s Infrastructure
Development Company to implement priority-I corridor from Sohrab Goth to Tower for light rail transit system on a BOT
basis while for corridor-II from Orangi to Cantt Station, Expressions of Interest (EoIs) were invited.

The meeting was informed that the Bus Rapid Transit System, which was planned on a ―private-public partnership based
public transport system for Karachi‖ in 2006 by the KMTC to operate feeder service and CNG bus project, was also
awaiting approval from the federal authorities concerned.

The feasibility of the project, which was prepared by a Thai consultant firm, had been circulated among over two dozen
transport experts, donor agencies and financial institutions and the ADB had reportedly agreed to provide technical and
financial assistance. According to sources privy to the meeting, it was also informed that the CDGK cell had prepared a PC-
I worth Rs4.5 billion for the induction of 2,825 buses of 12 meters and 910 buses of 7.5 meters for feeder service.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) had approved the project in February last and decided to kick off the
project with the introduction of 500 CNG buses during the current year for which a steering committee was also set up.

The committee had so far held three meetings with various financial institutions and transporters and the specification for
CNG buses were forwarded to the federal government for approval.
According to sources, the chief secretary said that as huge finances were involved in the project, a high-level meeting
should be held with the Sindh governor and chief minister along with the stakeholders representatives so that the
bottlenecks if any, could be overcome and the project could take off and the commuters be facilitated by providing them a
comfortable and efficient bus service at the earliest.
(Dawn-19, 22/08/2007)

                           City Council fails to adopt resolution on traffic mess
The opposition members of City-District Council have been compelled to think that the issue of cleaning storm water drains
in the metropolis is too confidential a matter to be presented before the house.
The City Council session continued with its debate, for the second day on Tuesday, on the rampant civic issue of traffic
jams, especially in the aftermath of recent monsoon rains in the metropolis.
The city Naib Nazim chaired the council session that saw many members of the treasury and opposition benches taking
part in the debate and presenting their suggestions for overcoming the situation of recurring traffic jams in the metropolis.

However, before adjournment of the session for Wednesday (today) and despite contacts between the treasury and
opposition members, the house failed to adopt a unanimous resolution over the issue of traffic jams. The bone of
contention between the opposition and treasury benches, in unanimously adopting the resolution on traffic mess, remained
the issue of cleanliness of storm water drains whose mention in the opposition-moved resolution irritated the treasury

Saeed Ghani, the main opposition leader in the council, told The News that the resolution on the issue tabled by the
opposition benches contained 13 points, mainly the suggestions for overcoming traffic problem in the metropolis.
He said that point No. 3 contained in the resolution called for expediting the on-going work for cleaning storm water drains
in the metropolis as well as presenting details and expenditures incurred so far in this regard.
He said that the treasury benches despite having their inputs and incorporation of their suggestions in the resolution did not
like the point related to storm water drains and sought its deletion from the proposed resolution.

―During the debate on the resolution I stood up in the house and called upon the chair that either she or treasury benches
declare the matter of storm water drains a confidential issue, whose details and expenditures could not be presented and
discussed in the house or else the opposition-moved resolution should be presented in the house without deletion of the
point relating to the storm water drains,‖ said the opposition leader.

Saeed Ghani said that the chair sought voting solely on the single contentious point of the resolution as to whether or not it
should be retained in the original opposition-moved resolution, ―but I objected to such preliminary counting on the resolution
as according to my firm viewpoint the resolution should be presented for voting in its original form without any amendment
sought by the treasury benches‖.

However, due to sharply conflicting views of treasury and opposition benches, no counting on the proposed resolution
could be completed.

The other 12 points contained in the resolution resounded the various suggestions and recommendations floated by the
council members during the two-day debate on the persisting traffic mess in the metropolis. These suggestions included
provision of well-carpeted alternate arteries for the major under-construction roads, removal of encroachments alongside
major thoroughfares, strict observance of no-parking areas in the city, revival of circular railway and mass public transport
schemes, and constitution of especially empowered committees of city council members for reforming and revitalising traffic
control and management system in the metropolis.
When the city council will resume its session on Wednesday it is expected that the council members will again take up the
unfinished agenda of resolving the traffic problem
(By M. Azeem Samar, The News-14, 22/08/2007)

                                    CNG rickshaws fail to appease drivers
Rickshaw owners who have leased the Qingqi (CNG auto cab) rickshaws under President‘s Rozgar Scheme are in
doldrums because of what they think are low-quality rickshaws. They are facing multiple problems due to the high
operational cost which is making it difficult for them to meet the monthly installments. Many say they are under a lot of
mental stress as they have not given a single penny to their families for the last two months.
The members of the All-Karachi Qingqi Rickshaw Action Committee had earlier threatened to engage in a protest rally on
Tuesday against the manufacturers of the vehicle and the management of the leasing bank. However, after negotiations
with the regional manager of the bank and a representative of Qingqi, they postponed it as they were assured that their
problems would be addressed soon. However, the rickshaw drivers warned that if their demands were not met, they would
launch a protest rally.

While talking to The News on Tuesday, a group of drivers who have been facing almost similar problems said that these
rickshaws have been poorly manufactured. They said that the vehicle frequently suffers multiple breakdowns due to sub-
standard spare parts. The rickshaw‘s rubber parts are not under warranty, despite the fact that they are frequently burnt
because the rickshaws heat up quite often. The clutch plate, brakes, tie rods and shafts also break down and, thus, add to
their expenditures. They further said that these rickshaws cannot carry the weight and are prone to heating up quite often. If
it is driven with a speed more than 40km/h it starts vibrating. They also told The News that the CNG rickshaws
manufactured by another company are better than theirs. To explain it further, they said that the Sazgar rickshaws weigh
200kg and have an engine power of 200CC while the Qingqi weighs 350kg and has an engine power of 150CC.

One of the biggest problems they are currently facing is company‘s service centres which they have to visit for repairing
their vehicles. There are only four service centres in the entire city and they take three to four days to repair even a minor
fault in the rickshaw. Due to frequent faults, they go to the service centre twice to thrice a month. Therefore, they remain off
the road for as many as eight to 10 days and cannot earn. They also complained that the mechanics at these service
centres are not trained. One of them said that recently, the shaft of his rickshaw broke down and the service centre charged
him Rs450 to repair it. However, it is supposed to be repaired free of cost under warranty.

―If a driver runs his rickshaws 20 days a month, how can he earn, what will he pay the bank and what will he feed his
family?‖ questioned an old driver. ―The scheme was aimed at providing a livelihood to the poor but it has added to our
problems instead,‖ he explained. ―Moreover, the bank threatens us that they will snatch the vehicle if we don‘t pay the
installment,‖ he lamented.

They also complained that company officials do not listen to their complaints and their warranty will be cancelled if get their
rickshaw repaired privately. ―If new vehicles have these problems, then after a year even a junk shop would not pay for
them,‖ they said. They said that rickshaws are supposed to be handed over to the applicant within 15 days of the initial
payment but some of them got the same after six months, while others have booked their vehicles and have been waiting
for three months.

They have postponed their protest rally on the following conditions: the monthly installment of these rickshaws be reduced
from Rs3200 to Rs1000; a one-year free service of these rickshaws be given to them; unless all the installments are
completed, the bank should pay fitness, route permit, insurance and other taxes and the six per cent mark-up should be
removed, and a separate service station should be set up for each area.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-20, 22/08/2007)

                                   What has the moon got to do with traffic?
City Nazim Mustafa Kamal informed the court about the multifaceted problem of traffic congestion and traffic hazards in
Karachi, submitting that the efforts made by the CDGK in this regard include short and long term measures.
―The world is moving towards the moon but we fail to provide potable water and a proper sewerage system to people,‖ he
admitted. ―It is not your responsibility to go on moon,‖ the court observed, suggesting the city Nazim to take up
administrative matters with the government instead of the court.

He informed the court that some 55 locations were pointed out by the DIG traffic where traffic jams occur due to the
accumulation of rainwater, construction of roads and other problems.
He said 12 out of the 55 places do not fall in the jurisdiction of the CDGK whereas works on other points have been
completed after the court‘s direction and cleared for smooth flow of traffic. He said the SSP traffic also visited all those
areas and expressed satisfaction.

Kamal told the court that the CDGK would soon launch a new traffic warden system in Karachi.

As a short-term measure to resolve the traffic jams in the city, he said, the CDGK has established a ―command and control
system‖ wherein a DSP along with the staffers of Works and Services Department would be available around the clock to
take immediate action on the complaints of traffic jams.

For overcoming the problem of heavy traffic flow in residential areas, he said the CDGK has proposed the construction of
an elevated expressway and a new traffic management system, adding, it was for the first time in the last 59 years that a
Master Plan has been made for Karachi.
He also highlighted various problems being faced by the government due to lack of infrastructure but said his government
was making efforts to improve the same. The court, however, observed that roads and parks were in a deteriorating
(The News-13, 22/08/2007)

                                       SC orders nazim to end traffic mess
KARACHI: The Supreme Court has ordered the city nazim to work with the traffic police and other civic agencies to remove
all encroachments, illegal parking and blockades that are causing traffic jams in the city.

The SC bench of Justice Rana Bhagwandas and Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi was holding a hearing in a suo motu
action on August 13 when the city witnessed its worst ever traffic jam. Earlier, the judges heard the city nazim dwell at
length on different problems the city faced. He submitted that traffic problems could not be solved in isolation and were
connected to other ones of which drinking water was most significant. He said that 80 percent of citizens are deprived of
clean drinking water and forced to consume dangerous water.
Only 34 percent of the city is controlled by the city government, he submitted, adding that in the last 18 months he had
initiated a massive campaign against encroachments, which no one else had done for the last 59 years. Kamal said that he
had done so by earning the opposition of his own vote bank.

Taking responsibility for the dug-up roads, he said that the CDGK has spent a record sum of Rs 170 million on water and
sewerage pipes. I have no lust for power, he said, adding that Karachi is perhaps the only metropolitan city of the world
where the police is not controlled by its mayor. I see police officials taking bribes but cannot suspend any of them, he
added. The city government can maintain roads, design roundabouts and erect signals but cannot order the police, he said.
[The Sindh police is answerable to the Sindh Home Advisor Waseem Akhtar, who is from Mustafa Kamal‘s party – the
Muttahida Qaumi Movement].

The bench observed that the question of control of various part of the city was not the concern; it wanted people to be
saved from the traffic mess. To a query, Kamal said that the DIG Traffic had identified 55 trouble spots out of which 12 did
not come under his jurisdiction and lie instead with SITE, the cantonment boards or the Civil Aviation Authority. Forty-four
trouble spots come in the CDGK‘s jurisdiction and remedial steps have been taken, he said, informing the bench that 24-
hour control rooms have been set up with other agencies.

A member of the bench drew a comparison of Karachi past and present by saying that the city of Quaid-e-Azam had been
―disfigured‖ and the movement of vehicles appears to be an uphill task. The bench also took notice of reports that goods
carriers were stuck at entry points, especially the Northern Bypass, but that court orders were not to further aggravate the
situation and shall not be used to create more trouble.

The bypass shall be used for the purposes for which it was built, the bench remarked, expressing concern over news that
goods were stuck on it. The ban on the movement of heavy vehicles in the city during the day time shall be taken positively.
The movement of milk vans, vegetable carriers, water tankers are not banned. To a complaint from the DIG Traffic that
more and more vehicles were getting stuck, the court said that if necessary heavy traffic be allowed but it shall not be at the
cost of other traffic. The court also warned against a misinterpretation of court orders.

The bench, unimpressed with the nazim‘s aggressive submissions, directed, in an order, for all sorts of encroachments to
be removed and all agencies to cooperate fully. The bench also hinted that it was aware of the fact that orders passed by
the apex court in 1996 on environmental issues were not implemented by the governor and chief minister. The city
government was not in place then and the Sindh government was responsible for the enforcement of the orders of the
Supreme Court, the bench remarked, adding that another suo motu action could be taken.

Ronald Desouza and Amber Alibhai of NGO Shehri informed the court that the order referred to by the bench was passed
in public interest litigation it initiated. They requested the court to constitute a commission which would analyze and then
make submissions and suggestions on the transport problems. The bench brushed aside the idea saying that issue would
then linger on for decades. Everything is crystal clear and the court will see that things improve in no time, the bench
observed, asking the NGO representatives to educate people. Submit your proposals to the office, the bench said.

The bench also refused to entertain an application by some goods transporters and asked their counsel Prof Umar Farooq
to submit them to the office. The bench said that it did appreciate the initiatives taken by CDGK but wanted concrete

Kamal once again raised the issue of too many agencies controlling the city. The bench reprimanded him. ―The bench is
concerned with relief to the common man,‖ it observed. ‗We are not here to hear about internal differences and friction
between the government and its agencies,‘ the bench said. ‗Solve your internal problems by yourself.‘

The bench expressed dismay over the performance of the traffic police and said that since suo motu was taken, few
officials were seen manning traffic signals. Previously traffic policemen were seldom seen at designated spots and instead
were seen negotiating with drivers of heavy vehicles detained by them, the bench observed.

The bench also expressed displeasure over some irresponsible statements regarding the functioning of the apex court and
of suo motu action. ‗We do not want publicity and such actions are taken when things are apparently beyond the control of
the government,‘ it observed. ‗It is the responsibility of the government to take care of such civic problems so that we need
not feel obliged to intervene. We are aware of the statements by some officials attempting to scandalize the court,‘ the
bench noted, adding that it bothers the court that the lives of citizens are baldy affected by traffic jams. ‗If a person reaches
office late, who is responsible? The basic human rights of citizens are jeopardized and the breakdown of civic life is due to
the failure of the government and administration,‘ the bench noted. A member of the bench said that ultimate responsibility
lies with the government and it shall ensure the free flow of traffic in the city. No problem could be solved without the rule of
law, the bench said.
(By A R Qureshi, DailyTimes-B1, 22/08/2007)

                               Economic cost of road accidents over Rs100bn
RAWALPINDI, Aug 23: The National Road Safety Secretariat, while preparing the country‘s first-ever road safety plan for
2007-2012, has estimated that the economic cost of road crashes and injuries in the country each year is over Rs100 billion
or 1.5 per cent of the Gross National Product (GNP).
At present, Pakistan faces a road safety crisis that has not been fully recognized. This is evident from lack of resources
assigned to road safety programmes. Institutional capacity and ‗road safety champions‘ within agencies still need to be

The Road Safety Plan will come into force when approved by the National Road Safety Council, likely to meet in the first
week of September. The council is headed by the federal minister for communications, with the federal ministers for
education and health and the transport ministers of all the four provinces as members.

Given the institutional setting of road safety in Pakistan, there is no national-level road safety policy, strategy or action plan.

NRSS was established last year by the ministry of communications with the mandate to develop Pakistan‘s first national
road safety plan.

The draft plan, however, says the loss to the economy is greater than the numbers suggest, as road traffic injuries push
many families deeper into poverty when their bread-winners die, inflicting a continuous burden on the disabled victims and
their families and on the health care system.

Through development and implementation of the plan, the National Road Safety Secretariat will ensure safer designs,
construction and maintenance of road networks and raise safety awareness.
The purpose of the National Road Safety Plan is to promote the best practices and strategies that, when implemented,
could have a substantial impact on reducing fatalities and injuries during crashes and to identify the major areas where
NRSS, and its member agencies, could focus its resources and expertise to achieve a reduction in crashes, fatalities and
injuries, said Aizaz Ahmed, executive director of NRSS, while talking to Dawn.

The plan is a policy document inviting all road safety stakeholders, particularly public agencies to develop their action
plans, using this plan as a base document, he said.

The data collected by NRSS from 21 hospitals in 112 districts—about 19 per cent of district hospitals— reflect that road
transport crash (RTCs) casualties, both fatalities and serious injuries, are 3.20 per 1,000 population. If this rate is applied to
the country‘s population, the projected annual RTCs for Pakistan are about 500,000.

The results of the National Injury Survey of Pakistan estimated that the incidence of road transport injuries were 15.0
(including minor injuries) per 1,000 per year. Using these figures, the estimated motor vehicle injuries in 2006 were about
two million, says the plan.

Road design in future will increasingly focus on safety of all users, with special consideration for pedestrians and cyclists.
They should be separated from traffic wherever possible, or vehicle speed be reduced in certain areas, the plan says.
              The plan observed that the way licenses were issued is allowing a number of untrained, unskilled and illiterate
drivers due to a lax approach towards issuance of driving licenses.

A survey, conducted as part of UNDP study, revealed that hardly three to four per cent of drivers had gone through formal
training before getting a license. A random survey of taxi and bus drivers revealed that only five per cent went through a
test before being issued a driving license.

The plan envisages vehicle safety programme to reduce highway fatalities by improving the safety performance of motor
vehicles through the conduct of research, issuance of safety standards, investigations and mitigation regarding defects, and
enforcement of safety standard compliance.
The plan recommended that light vehicles be tested after three years and then annually.
(By Amin Ahmed, Dawn-2, 24/08/2007)

                       Tracing trends in transport: From tramways to Metro buses
Although free from the colonial rule, Karachiites remain shackled by the transport mafia. Rising corruption on the part of
regulatory authorities and poor transport policies of the government have not only robbed them of the comfortable transport
system inherited by the city but have also hampered any changes that could help improve the situation.

Over the years, the state of transport in the city has undergone major changes. We have lost several efficient means of
transport and the transport set-up has evolved in an ad hoc manner. During the last 60 years, citizens relied upon several
means of transport which include double-decker buses, tramways and Victorias (tongas), in addition to the trains inherited
from the British. Moreover, animal carts were also used for the transportation of both goods and people. Linear railway
tracks were replaced with the circular railway network in order to meet increasing public demand. Big buses (Bedford) were
introduced while taxis and auto rickshaws also made an appearance.

Unfortunately, one of the most comfortable means of transportation, once known as the Ghulam Mohammad Tramway,
disappeared from the scene. It facilitated a large number of people with more than 100 trams which also had parking yards.
The financial losses suffered by operators, coupled with a lack of governmental support resulted in its closure. Similarly, the
double-decker from London that carried a large number of passengers at a time also lost popularity and went off the road
completely in the early years of independence.

The Victoria that was once considered the pride of Karachi with its polished brass equipment and gilded wheels is now a
thing of the past. Additionally, tongas also went off the road while donkey carts that were originally used by dhobis and their
families to transport piles of clothes are now used to transport goods by people running small businesses. Camel carts also
serve the same purpose and are rarely used to transport people these days. Meanwhile, old human-driven rickshaws were
replaced by motor rickshaws. The recently introduced CNG-fitted rickshaw is another welcome development, but it is yet to
be implemented in full force. On the subject of taxis, the CNG-driven luxury cabs have almost entirely replaced old taxis as
most people think these are safer.

In assessing the history of public transport, one cannot ignore the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), the Karachi Road
Transport Corporation (KRTC) bus system and other similar policies that have failed due to monopolies of transporters and
regulatory authorities. Local trains that ran from the City Railway Station to Malir Cantt and Landhi were transformed into
the KCR in 1964 to meet increasing public demand. These carried thousands of passengers every half an hour, charging
0.25 paisas for fast and reliable service, while making 104 trips each day. However, this too went into decline in 1979, as a
result of the failure of successive governments to replace worn-out engines and bogies and maintain the tracks and
stations. The need to navigate 23 railway crossings hampered the trains from maintaining their schedules, while ‗ticket-less
travellers‘ increased among the already declining numbers of users. In 1998, the trains were making only 12 daily trips but
today the number has declined to two trips a day on the linear track as the circular track has long been in use of the land

By June 1973, the Sindh Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) came into being and began its operations in Karachi with 636
buses in Malir, Korangi and Landhi. The number increased to 2,000 with a five-year plan but due to operating losses it had
to be divided into the KRTC and the SRTC for Karachi and the rest of the province respectively. The former took over all
the assets of the latter. Ironically, workshop facilities were practically non-existent; there was no system for maintenance,
inspection or repair of vehicles. Moreover, there was no system of accountability. Hence, dishonesty was dominant in all
matters associated with the KRTC.

Furthermore, mini buses were introduced after the war of 1971 and route permits were given in exchange for bribes.
Subsequently, the mini bus transporters grew as a mafia that was once termed ‗yellow devils‘. Minibuses brought about a
major change in the city as Karachiites were forced to switch from big buses to small ones.

Presently, citizens undergo massive inconveniences every day due to these minibuses and coaches. The recent
introduction of the UTS and Metro buses gave people some hope which quickly faded when history repeated itself. These
two also met the same fate as the KRTC and the KCR.

It is evident in the events of the last 60 years that this mega city has been functioning without a proper transport policy. To
make matters worse, the interests of the transport mafia, corruption on the part of government (regulators) and failure to
implement good policies have caused the failure of projects such as the KCR, the KRTC, the UTS, Green buses and Metro
buses. Unfortunately, even when several good services have been launched, they could not be sustained.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-20, 24/08/2007)

                                Traffic violations: DIG submits report to SHC
Karachi‘s traffic police detained 2,484 vehicles for emitting excessive smoke and creating noise pollution from June 2004 to
August 2007, DIG Traffic Police told the Sindh High Court on Thursday.

The court was hearing petitions moved by a lawyer, Islam Uddin, and an NGO, the Helpline Trust, against smoke-emitting
and noise-creating vehicles and the presence of illegal bus terminals in the city.

DIG Traffic Wajid Khan Durrani filed a report containing details of action taken by the traffic police against the vehicles
emitting smoke, creating noise pollution or plying without number plates in the city during the said period.

According to the summary, as many as 187,232 vehicles were challaned for committing traffic violations like emitting
excessive smoke, having broken silencers, fancy number plates, pressure horns, playing music in public transport vehicles,
having tampered meters or plying without number plates. The police also claimed that Rs24.22 million fine was imposed
during the last three years.

According to the report, 46,488 vehicles were challaned for emitting excessive smoke and creating noise pollution. Besides
this, 17,772 heavy vehicles, 22,107 buses, mini-buses and coaches, as well as 84,626 taxis, yellow cabs and rickshaws
were rejected at the time of renewal of fitness certificate at the inspection ground due to smoke emission, noise pollution
and tampered meters.

Fitness certificates of 6,426 defective heavy vehicles, 16,294 buses, mini-buses and coaches, and 22,311 taxis, yellow
cabs and rickshaws were suspended or cancelled during road checking as well, the DIG Traffic claimed.

Durrani also placed before the court the details of the action taken by Traffic Police, Capital City Karachi, against the said
violations during the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 up to August 20 for perusal.

However, the report regarding steps taken by the environment department to ensure implementation of court orders was
not submitted by the authorities concerned.

SHC‘s division bench comprising Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Mohammad Athar Saeed, after taking the report of the
DIG Traffic on the record, adjourned the matter till August 30.

On April 26 last year, the court had ordered DIG Traffic to ensure that no smoke-emitting and noise-creating vehicle is
allowed to ply the city after three months, empowering the DIG to impound any vehicle emitting smoke and creating noise
after the three-month period. The petition is pending in the SHC since February 2004.
(By Jamal Khurshid, The News-13, 24/08/2007)

                                   Traffic route for heavy vehicles specified
KARACHI, Aug 24: The Sindh government, with the approval of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, has allowed heavy
vehicles used for utility purposes like water, edible items, oil and construction materials to ply through city areas provided
they are permanently stationed in Karachi.

Heavy vehicles entering into Karachi are also allowed to ply up to Karachi port and the industrial areas on the following
specific routes:-

Super Highway: Super Highway to Slip Road to New Karachi Industrial Area.

National Highway: National Highway up to Manzar Petrol Pump cut to Younus Chowrangi to Dawood Chowrangi to Road
8000 (Mehran Highway).

RCD Highway: Northern Bypass/RCD Highway to Paracha Chowk to Estate Avenue to Siemens Chowrangi and back to
Gulbai Mauripur Road to Karachi Port (East & West Wharf and Oil Area) up to Police Post No 3, Shireen Jinnah Colony.
(Dawn-19, 25/08/2007)

                                                    9-hr traffic jam
KARACHI: Traffic jams throughout the city on Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., not
only caused economic loses but also cost lives as ambulances got stuck with patients in critical conditions.

Several injured citizens were unable to reach hospitals for treatment. Faisal Edhi, the Edhi Ambulance Centre in-charge,
told Daily Times that on Thursday, an 18-year-old pharmaceuticals salesman, Arsalan, near Nakhuda Masjid, was shot in
his chest after he refused to give money to a couple of muggers. ―Civil Hospital Karachi is just 10 minutes away from where
he was but there was a traffic jam and we couldn‘t get through so we went on the wrong side of Queens Road. After 30
minutes he was getting really bad and we got him to the JPMC emergency but he passed away before treatment could

He said that heavy traffic should only be allowed on the outskirts of the city. Heavy traffic goes from Gulbai Mauripur Road
to Karachi Port (East and West Wharf) and then stops on Native Jetty Bridge and leaves from there after 11:00 p.m. This
causes a lot of traffic problems and also a lot of load on the bridge, which could be dangerous.

Chhipa Ambulance Service in-charge, Ramzan Chhipa, said that ambulances have a lot of problems because of the traffic
jams in the city. There is limited oxygen in an ambulance and too much time in a traffic jam is problematic. He said that
there should be alternate lanes specifically for ambulances and fire trucks and that special arrangements should be made
for heavy traffic out of the city.

The government of Sindh issued Friday a notice mentioning the routes that heavy vehicles are allowed to take, provided
they are stationed in the city itself: From Super Highway to Slip Route to New Karachi Industrial Area; From National
Highway, up to the Manzar Petrol Pump cut, to Younis Chowrangi and then to Dawood Chowrangi via Road 8000, Mehran
Highway; From the Northern Bypass Highway to Paracha Chowk to Estate Avenue to Siemens Chowrangi and back to
Gulbai Mauripur Road and then to Karachi Port (East and West Wharf) and the Oil Area up to Police Post No. 3, Shireen
Jinnah Colony.
(DailyTimes-B1, 25/08/2007)

                     Moving people to suburbs doesn’t help Karachi traffic: study
KARACHI: Transportation infrastructure in Karachi is mainly benefiting the high to middle class and moving people out to
the suburbs doesn‘t ease traffic congestion as their jobs are located in the middle of the city.

These observations and others have been made in a paper titled ‗Urban transportation and equity: A case study of Beijing
and Karachi‘ by Intikhab Ahmed Qureshi, Lu Huapu and Yea Shi that was made available online Aug 7. Daily Times brings
you some excerpts from the paper.

The dense structure of cities in China and Pakistan encourage the use of public transport and non-motorized transport
(NMT). These are the most sustainable and affordable modes of transport for low income and urban poor. This would also
suffice the requirement of about 10% and 22% of population in China and Pakistan, respectively, that are below the poverty
line. In contrast to compact structure and mixed land use characteristics the cities in both countries are following the
western model of urban sprawl and are modernizing their transportation infrastructure by developing highways,
expressways and a rapid transit system.

In Karachi, planners are undertaking these glamorous projects while completely ignoring the local circumstances,
feasibility, demographic facts and long-term effects of these projects. Such development favors a minority of premium
mode users over a majority who prefer walking, biking and a conventional transit system and hence fails to meet the
requirement of a sustainable and equitable transportation system. An equitable transportation system is one whose costs
are paid by those who benefit and does not disproportionately favor or deny transportation improvements to certain
demographic populations.

Karachi‘s population is only 9% of the national population but contributes a large proportion to the GDP. Over 70% of
business services and about half of the retail trade and personal services are located in the Central Business District
(CBD). About 50% of the employment in the wholesale trade and transportation sector is in the CBD.

Since 1947, Karachi has seen 35-fold increases in its population and almost 16-fold increases in spatial expansion. About
50% of the total population resides in slums.

The urban transportation system of Karachi and Beijing is mainly road based. Karachi‘s road network in 2004 was 7,400 km
with 0.5 m/capita length of road.

The increase in income, living standards and travel distance stimulates the desire for more comfortable, convenient and
flexible personal vehicles (automobiles and motorcycles). In Karachi, total vehicles, automobiles and motorcycles are
growing at an annual rate of 4.6%, 6.5% and 5.1%. According to the State Bank of Pakistan banks have loaned and
financed US$0.37 billion during the last half of 2004 for automobiles which is 2.5 times higher than the loans released for

As per one estimate the average travel time for work trips in Karachi is approximately over 45 min whereas in Beijing more
than an hour is required to commute to work.

In Karachi, though the total number of motorized trips generated increased the trip per person decreased by 38% between
1976 and 2004 along with a 10.3% decrease in the share of public transport and 14.3% increase in the share of
private/para transit whereas the share of walk/bike has no statistical data. The alarming law and order situation, absence of
NMT environment and bad transportation system are some of the reasons for the declining trip per person.

There was a time in Karachi when walking and cycling used to have a share of 60% in mode split and 40% out of them

were related to work trips. Public transport‘s share is decreasing but still maintains over 50% of the mode share, indicating
that in the absence of NMT modes the low income group has no other option.

This road-based public transport system is mostly in the hands of a private sector with very little public sector involvement.
Buses/minibuses constitute only 2% of the total passenger vehicle fleet but serve more than half of the passenger demand.
Nevertheless it receives no preferential treatment in terms of dedicated lanes or traffic management.

The existing public transport system is not capable of meeting the increasing travel demand primarily because of
infrequency of buses, limited hours of service and shortage of routes and vehicles. The number of vehicles and lines in
operation are much lower than the actual demand. Out of 403 lines only 219 are functionally operating. Moreover, the
deficiency in vehicle fleet is due to the fact that a majority of Karachi‘s urban public transport (69%) comprises low capacity
(27/32 seater) mini buses/coaches. Due to this fleet deficiency, the ratio of available seat capacity on public transport to
population in Karachi is 1:40 as compared to 1:12 in Mumbai.

The low transportation expenses in Beijing supports the heavy reliance of residents on walking and biking, whereas in
Karachi low income groups are the residents of peripheral slums and employed in the informal sector and mainly work at
home, thereby fewer trips are made by public transit. The increasing urban sprawl makes walking and biking trips

If all the 120 trips/household are to be made by public transport then the bottom quintile group of Karachi has to spend 17%
of its discretionary income on public transit. The recent efforts to ease traffic congestion, by building wider roads, flyovers,
elevated expressways, are unlikely to ease traffic congestion in the long run. Sustainable and equitable development of
urban transportation needs to place a priority on the development of integrated urban transportation system with the public
transport as the core.

Rapid transit system can not mitigate surface congestion and no where in the world that such transit system has eliminated
the surface congestion at its own. Buses besides preferred by the most indigent segment still remain a very important mode
of any large urban transportation system and carries invariably larger traffic load but despite that do not get the preferential
treatment in investment, dedicated lanes and traffic management. What is required is to prioritize these buses by increasing
their speed through dedicated lanes, priority at signals and by providing environmentally friendly buses coupled with
reliability and quality.

It is estimated that complete rehabilitation of the system by Pakistan Railways need an investment of US$0.092 billion and
that too would be recovered within 30 years by offering a very reasonable and affordable fare of US$ 0.1–0.13 per trip. In
contrast if the same project is constructed on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis the cost of one trip would be US$ 0.27–
0.33 which is beyond the affordability of the urban poor even if subsidized.

The technologically advanced modes and infrastructures (rail based mass transit and bus rapid transit) though very efficient
being high capacity and sustainable from energy and environmental point of view but are usually been developed by private
consortium and the costs of these projects tend to be significantly higher and have to offer higher fare for quality operation
and service. The most indigent segment of the society cannot afford to pay the cost of these premium modes. Without a
major government subsidy, the fare will be much higher than that of bus transport, which is beyond the affordability of
indigent segment. At one time non-motorised modes had a share of 60% in the mode split of Karachi.
(DailyTimes-B1, 25/08/2007)

                                         Speeding vehicles take two lives
KARACHI: A man and a student were killed Friday in two separate road traffic accidents. The class-X student was hit by a
speeding water tanker and the man was hit by a speeding car. Both the drivers responsible fled the scene.

According to the Landhi police, a speeding water tanker (registration number LS-9046) had hit one Khubib, resident of
Landhi number 2, near Qalandri Chowk. Khubib had gone out to get breakfast and was standing on the road when the
incident occurred. He was rushed to the JPMC in critical condition but succumbed to his injuries. Police took the tanker in
custody but its driver, one Jamil, managed to escape. Police have lodged FIR 149/07 on behalf of the student‘s cousin,
Nehal Ahmed.

In another incident, the body of a 35-year-old man, Niaz, was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. According to the
police, Niaz was a labourer by profession and was waiting for a bus near the football stadium located near his house in
Sector 11-B, North Karachi. Police said that the car that hit him has not been identified yet but investigations have started.

An unidentified accused opened fire Friday at a bus stand and killed the bus stand owner, who was there with his son (one
of six children), within the jurisdiction of the Peerabad police station.

Fida Mohammad, 40, was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in critical condition but died after sometime. SHO
Rustam Khan told Daily Times that Mohammad, a resident of Bukhari Colony, was from Afghanistan and was in the
transport business. He had a bus stand called ―Sarwaan‖ at Pakhtoon Market. Khan said that two people came on a
motorcycle and shot him with a Kalashnikov and a 9 mm pistol. Mohammad sustained at least six bullet wounds.

Khan added that this was probably personal because Mohammed was the only one that was shot. Nazir Ahmed,
Mohammad‘s son, was also present at the scene but nothing happened to him. ―There was no time for me to save him. It
all happened in a span of a couple of minutes and then they were gone,‖ said Ahmed. ―I would recognize them if I saw

Police lodged FIR number 242/07 on behalf of Ahmed. No one had been arrested by the time this report was filed.
(DailyTimes-B1, 25/08/2007)

                   Committee formed to find short-term solution to traffic problem
KARACHI, Aug 25: A high-level committee was formed on Saturday to find out a short-term solution to the issue of traffic
jams in the city.

The committee, formed in a meeting presided over by Sindh Chief Secretary Ejaz Qureshi, comprises the chief secretary‘s
OSD Shafiq Khoso, DCO Javed Haneef, DIG Traffic Wajid Durrani and representatives of industry and transporters. It will
prepare a strategy after consulting all the stakeholders.

Various issues that led to traffic jams such as the repair of old roads and the construction of new roads, poor drainage
system, encroachments, shortage of terminals for heavy vehicles, violation of traffic laws and the construction of
unauthorised speed-breakers were discussed.

Participants suggested that the condition of roads be improved, traffic laws be strictly implemented, transport relief service
to immediately remove broken down vehicles from roads be introduced, increased police patrolling on the Northern Bypass,
and the timings of heavy vehicles‘ movement be changed.

The chief secretary said that a traffic management cell would also be formed which, after consulting all the stakeholders,
would formulate a long-term strategy to control traffic jams.

He said that efforts were being made to improve the KCR, bring in CNG buses, improve the drainage system and expedite
the repair of roads so that the issue of traffic jams, which the superior judiciary had taken notice of, could be solved on a
priority basis. He said that the issue of traffic jams got particularly serious during and soon after rains.

IG Sindh Ziaul Hasan, Irshad Bokhari, Roland deSouza, Azhar Farooqi, Col Javed, Asif Mehmood, Khalid Khan, Chaudhry
Iqbal, Mehmood Afridi, and others also spoke.

The Supreme Court directive to improve the city‘s traffic management system has visibly activated all the concerned
departments, especially the transport, works and services and traffic police. Besides the chief secretary and secretaries of
the relevant departments, the city government and bureaucrats have geared up their efforts to remove all impediments in a
smooth flow of vehicular traffic across the city.

On Friday, Mr Qureshi, along with some senior officials, undertook a whirlwind visit of the city to assess the situation and
ascertain causes of traffic jams. He held consultations with various officials to finalise remedial measures.

All civic agencies and stakeholders are being told to come out with their suggestions on the issue. Executives of different
development projects, especially those pertaining to flyovers, bridges and roads, briefed the chief secretary about the pace
and tentative completion of the projects to give him an idea of how many days they would take to allow the vehicular traffic
free movement around the sites of their respective projects.

Managing director of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and EDO Works informed the chief secretary about their
ongoing projects of water supply and drainage system in different parts of the city.

In order to ensure compliance of the Supreme Court directive, the chief secretary has advised the city government and all
the utility agencies to complete their ongoing projects at the earliest.

On Friday evening, workers from various agencies were seen clearing mud and garbage left unattended on many roads in
commercial and food streets. Encroachments and rocks of earth from dug up roads were also lifted and removed in several
localities to widen the usable portion of thoroughfares. However, the exercise could not be continued the next morning as a
brief but heavy spell of rainfall aggravated the conditions around the sites of the ongoing road projects. Prolonged traffic
jams were reported from all the major thoroughfares of the city till sunset on Saturday.
(Dawn-19, 26/08/2007)

                                                Lahore’s traffic mess
THE evidence is that it doesn‘t necessarily take a dignitary to bring the vehicles on the roads in Lahore to a halt. A group of
aspirants converging on a not-so-broad Lawrence Road to take a written test conducted by the Punjab Public Service
Commission had an equally paralysing effect on vehicular traffic the other day. Friday‘s test was for the selection of head
teachers and their deputies. In total, 245 jobs were at stake, which would explain the commotion witnessed in the vicinity of
the examination centre. With the budding school heads being subjected to an unwanted lesson in public service that was
delivered outside the centre and the traffic police being conspicuous by their absence, one can imagine the congestion that
built up.

Newspaper reports say that the ―worst traffic mess‖ was witnessed outside the centre which belongs to the Board of
Intermediate and Secondary Education. One cannot help recalling that objection was raised when this particular building
was in the making. It was feared that this additional construction on an already busy road would clog traffic and it was
suggested that the facility could be relocated in some other, relatively less crowded, part of the city. A plea was made on
the basis of the adverse effect the building, which had no specified parking area, could have on the famous Lawrence
Gardens which lie across the road. All to no avail. Instead, more monstrous constructions are today threatening to appear
alongside the Board of Intermediate building. The problem is not specific to one area or one city. It is a clear case of how
deep our everyday problems run. Blaming the traffic managers for the mess and urging them to take remedial measures is
fine, but at the same time our habit of filling up a space with more construction than it can endure also needs to be
(Dawn-7, 26/08/2007)

                                     Karachi will have to wait a little longer
Expectations over the arrival of 125 CNG-fitted buses for the city have hit a new low due to the financial instability of a local
company in Karachi as the major company in Holland has held up the fleet at the Dubai port, sources revealed on

The city government, taking the matter seriously, has issued a three-day notice to the firm to explain its position over the
import of these buses which are very crucial in resolving the transport problem of the city. Informed sources told The News
that the city government was also looking for other options and wanted to invite some other private firms to get CNG-fitted

The officials of the city government admitted that such a delay may extend as long as six months and eventually the buses
would arrive by next year. Sources in the city government said that they have contacted the firm and they are having some
problem regarding the letter of credit (LC) with the bank concerned thus firm has stopped the shipment of these buses at
the Dubai port.

The officer explained that there were lots of financial implications in this process and, as the bank has developed doubts
about the stability of the firm, the whole process would be scrutinised carefully.

These 125 refurbished CNG-fitted buses were expected to arrive in the first week of August. The city government is
facilitating the said firm in Karachi under the private-public partnership scheme and has exempted it from customs duty as

The CDGK had also contacted the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to arrange CNG filling stations for these buses. The city
government has more than six depots in Karachi at its disposal and City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal had plans to utilise
these CNG stations with their parking place to accommodate the fleet of CNG buses.

This delay in arrival of the buses will also cause a delay in handing over of these stations as two of the depots are currently
under Rangers‘ administration. The city government has also handed over two depots to the said private firm to establish
CNG stations but the firm has not yet started the process.

Disappointed with the situation, the Nazim is looking for alternatives. He had promised the Karachiites, at a number of
press conferences, that over 8,000 CNG-fitted buses will be imported to resolve the transport issue in Karachi. The city
government had also invited tenders to establish CNG stations and some 33 firms have sent their proposal. The city
government is yet to finalise the bids as these proposals have not been scrutinised thus far.

For a city that already faces serious transport problems, the current situation will deliver a shattering blow to the hopes of
the citizens. The city requires at least 2,500 buses while only 900 buses are on the roads.

In the meant time, the DCO Karachi, Javed Hanif has claimed that 15 CNG-fitted buses have arrived at the Karachi port
and they will be operational very soon. The DCO said that he was not aware of the LC complications with the firm.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-14, 26/08/2007)

                       Miles to go: The I.I. Chundrigar Road beautification project
As the I.I.Chundrigar beautification plan enters its last phase, it seems as though even the elements are rebelling against
those exhausting themselves trying to make Karachi's Wall Street a better place to work and look at. Soon after the
government installed the sewerage lines and a new storm drainage system across I.I.Chundrigar Road, nature rubbed its
hands gleefully and hailed down rain, putting to test the City District
Government Karachi's (CDGK) five month long performance.

But despite the promises made by CDGK, rainwater flooded Chundrigar Road,
and accumulated in the drains as it always does. Nevertheless, the project
doesn't seem to be a complete failure as the water accumulation after the rain
on August 21 is far less than it used to be, during the rains the road has
braved in recent past. Infact, some parts of this 2.25 Km long road were
surprisingly dry after the rain ceased. The CDGK authorities definitely deserve
a pat on their backs for a job well done, if only halfway.

The former McLeod Road, I. I. Chundrigar Road accommodates the offices of
a majority of leading financial institutions in the city including Karachi Stock Exchange, Karachi Cotton Exchange, National
Bank, and State bank, as well as other banks. Business worth millions of rupees is carried out everyday on the Chundrigar
Road, and thousands of people commute through it on public and private vehicles.

That is not all that makes the Chundrigar Road an important one in Karachi, though. Apart from being Karachi's economic
hub, the road also showcases colonial architecture from the early days.

Given the economic and historic importance of the road that stretches from
Shaheen Complex to the Mereweather Tower, a comprehensive up-gradation
and beautification plan for Chundrigar Road was chalked out by the former
Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr Ishrat Husain. The project
was initiated on March 24, 2007 under the Tameer-e-Karachi Programme. It
was executed by CDGK and supervised by a committee, headed by the
Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Dr Shamshad Akhtar. The estimated cost
for the project was 220 million rupees, where 160 million rupees were financed
by a number of banks with offices on the road.

The project was supposed to be carried out in three phases. The first two

phases included excavation and laying down of sewage and storm drainage pipe lines across the road. The third phase
involved beautification of the road including broadening of pavements, installing street lights and cat eyes etc.

For several months, the road was dug up and closed to public transport. According to the City Nazim Mustafa Kamal, the
underground pipe networks including water and sewerage lines in the area were laid half a century back and were therefore
in a dilapidated state due to which sewage mixed with water and waste spilled on to roads. As the lines passed through the
center of the road, each time there was a problem with sewage, the road had to be broken and fixed. The CDGK planned to
install the sewage lines along the road instead of beneath it. Whenever it rained, heavy water accumulated on the road,
and to quell this problem, a brand new storm drainage system was to be laid down, which aimed at not just speeding up
drainage process, but also avoiding the traffic jams that ensue after a heavy spell of rain and the consequent flooding.

According to a very satisfied CDGK, "65 per cent" work on the road has been completed so far, 36 inch diameter drains
have been provided on both the sides of the road, and the old drainage system being purged. The remainder of the work is
promised to be completed by the end of September.

During the recent rain, however, citizens, while pushing broken down cars and literally swimming through knee high water,
found all their hopes of a speedy drainage system made "on time," according to the government, being crushed.
"What was the point of wasting money on Chundrigar Road when the link roads were not going to be developed too?" asks
a furious Muhammad Ahmed. He had found it quite a chore reaching his office on the road on August 21. "It took me half
an hour just to cross the patch which is a five minute drive away from my workplace." The knee deep water that had
collected on a side-road that serves as a link to I.I. Chundrigar Road resulted in a massive traffic jam outside his office.
"What they did is commendable but they haven't done it properly. I can't understand why they have left patches undone?
Why have they left debris on sidewalks and roads? If they were developing it they should have done it all the way," he says,

Though they acknowledge the government's efforts, the people who work and commute on Chundrigar Road are
disappointed by the problems they faced the day it rained, after the five months of massive gridlocks and general
inconvenience caused by the ongoing development work.

Sana Mushtaq, who couldn't reach the bank she works at, which also happens
to be among the leading stake holders in this project, says, "We were
promised development after this project, but we have seen no development as
we still have the traffic jams during rain and the sidewalks have become worse
than ever after the rains." She complains that only a few of the pavements
around her workplace were constructed after installing new sewage lines and
the rest were left undone with heaps of garbage on them, "the water on the
thoroughfares to Chundrigar, along with the broken sidewalks have made
going to work an ordeal." Some of the pavements that were built recently have
broken down again after rains.

 "Water did accumulate in a few parts of I.I.Chundrigar," admits Saleem
Bukhari, the project director, adding that, "it was not Chundrigar Road's own water but the water flowing in from adjacent
roads." He says that the water that had collected on Chundrigar Road had drained out quickly but water from from Talpur,
Altaf Hussain and Outrum Roads accumulated on I.I.Chundrigar Road, as they don't have a proper drainage system.
 "Chundrigar Road is not a Nullah," Saleem Bukhari says in protest to the criticism the project has received, adding that the
newly installed drainage system on I.I.Chundrigar Road is relieving a large area of rainwater but it can't drain the whole city.
 "Let people say what they want to," he says irritatedly, "but one should understand that Chundrigar Road does not serve
the whole city, it is a road with a drainage system of its own. The rest of the city should have its own drainage system
instead," he states, justifying water accumulation.

Parveen Rehman, Director Orangi Pilot Project, however, has a far more rational and convincing explanation for the water
accumulation on I.I.Chundrigar Road, "water will still accumulate on this road," she says, "even if you provide the road with
sewage lines made of gold."

According to Parveen, the reason I.I.Chundrigar Road is always flooded is that the majority of the road's sewage flows
naturally to the City Railway Station Drainage and the rest to the Soldier Bazaar one. "Both the drainage systems join at the
point where now Mai Kolachi by-pass has been constructed," she tells Kolachi, adding that before the construction of the
by-pass the sewage would end up in the Boating Basin, which, being a huge water basin, would easily accommodate this
drainage water.

 "With the construction of the Mai Kolachi by pass," says Parveen, "the natural outfall of the Soldier Bazar drainage has
been blocked." She elaborates that the outfall for the other drainage systems too is blocked at the Boating Basin due to
land reclamation.

 "Right at the mouth of the second drainage system is reclamation by KPT housing and therefore this drainage too is
blocked," she says, and adds that no matter what is done regarding pipelines, water will still accumulate on the road unless
the blockade form the natural outfall is removed "The love of land is taking its toll," she says in dismay. Despite notifying the
government several times, she says, this technicality was not taken into consideration prior to the project.

"Other than this," says Parveen, "the encroachments over the drainage system on I.I.Chundrigar Road too are creating
problems," she adds that as the offices and parking lots of Shaheen Complex and Habib Bank Limited are built upon the
drainage system and the columns that support the structure of the encroachments are built deep beneath the ground, the
drainage is blocked as a consequence. "Unless these issues are resolved," she adds "Water will continue accumulating on
the road."

Rainwater accumulating on roads or drainage spilled on the roads is a phenomenon that every Karachiite is accustomed to.
Karachi is a city that has developed randomly, without ever being planned by the authorities. Unlike other big cities in the
world that are pre-planned, Karachi remained a small village of fishermen and traders until it was annexed with Sindh
during the British rule. The city's infrastructure improved during that period, and during the early years of Pakistan when it
served as the Capital of the country.

Some rare, well-structured areas with well-planned streets and housing in the city (like Nazimabad) stand as a symbol of
better times when Karachi managed to captivate the attention of authorities. The city enjoyed the bounties showered upon
it, till all federal resources shifted to Islamabad, the new capital.

What happened to the beautiful city of fishermen in the aftermath of this is saddening. The city of lights was left to its own
devices to tackle problems caused by a constantly increasing population, heavy traffic and the drab apartment buildings
and un-planned housing schemes that have mushroomed in its every corner. Karachi is now crowded, noisy and polluted
and whatever British-built-infrastructure is left, crumbles the moment it rains leaving Karachiites with loads of sewage,
garbage and accumulated water.

The present government's commitment to develop the city's infrastructure after 60 years of Independence is a good omen,
received with arms wide open by almost every faction of society. The government's commitment to the cause is
unquestionable, but its efficiency in making its plans workable is dubious.

The effect the rains after the second phase of the I.I.Chundrigar Road project have had, has raised questions amongst
those who have invested money, effort, or simply borne the difficulties the under-construction road caused, including their
office buildings quaking because of the heavy machinery being used on the road, all for love of Karachi's very own 'Wall
(By Sabeen Jamil, The News-41 Kolachi, 26/08/2007)

                                  Signal-free Corridor II
           Why does the CDGK desperately keep digging for gold despite the pitfalls?
KARACHI: The city district government of Karachi (CDGK) has started work on four projects at the same time in a bid to
keep the funds from the provincial and federal governments flowing.
―If we choose one project, the funding from stakeholders will be minimized and there are chances that the allocation in the
next fiscal year could be reduced,‖ said EDO Works and Services Nisar Sario when asked whether four projects had to be
started at the same time. He argued that the funding from the provincial and federal governments related to the progress of
the number of projects at one time.

The CDGK has started work on the second signal-free corridor, from Askari IV to Nagan Chowrangi, without completing the
alternate routes, eliciting protest from residents and businesses. Particularly upset are those who use the routes from
Askari IV near Millennium Mall to Johar Morr and Nagan Chowrangi.

The five-kilometer long signal-free corridor II will be completed with four bridges at Askari IV, Johar Morr, Gulshan
Chowrangi and Nagan Chowrangi at an estimated cost of Rs 1.3 billion. The CDGK has vowed to get it done in a record
four-month period.
―Does the city government have any sense to start another project (corridor II) when the entire city has been dug up?‖ said
one shopkeeper, who was especially upset that the ―entire‖ Gulistan-e-Johar has been dug up for the last five months but
none of those projects have been completed.

Joharr Morr bakery owner Rashid Noor said business in the entire area had dropped by half over the five months. ―The city
government dug up Gulistan-e-Johar to lay water and sewerage pipelines which has disturbed the life of its residents and
has affected business.‖

Johar Road resident Khalid Iqbal said that the sewerage system of different blocks of almost every residential apartment in
the area have been overflowing due to disruption caused by digging. ―We complained so that they speeded work up on
these ongoing projects, but all in the vain,‖ he said.

Another shopkeeper complained that the service road from Johar Morr to Johar Chowrangi has been dug up for the last two
months for the installation of a 36-inch diameter sewerage line but at various points the roads have not been leveled.
―There are 20-feet deep trenches that pedestrians have to fill in with heaps of gravel,‖ he said.

The residents of different blocks of Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulistan-e-Johar use Rashid Minhas Road daily and are thus
worried that their life will become difficult during the construction of the bridges on Rashid Minhas Road and Shah Waliullah

The city government should at least complete other projects in other parts of the city before the initiating this corridor, they
argued. Presently, one track of University Road from PIA Planetarium to Hassan Square and the Gulshan Town office to
Jail Chowrangi has been closed for construction while the road between Hassan Square to National Stadium is also closed
for the construction of a loop from the Hassan Square bridge.

―The commuters will have to travel 50 kilometers out of their way to reach downtown from Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulistan-e-
Johar,‖ one of the residents estimated.

According to one official, Corridor II has a three-lane bridge at Askari IV which will be 265 meters long and will be
completed at an estimated cost of Rs 249 million. The Johar Morr Bridge will also have three lanes and will be 270 meters
long for the flow of traffic towards Gulistan-e-Johar. It will cost Rs 250.2 million.

The four-lane bridge along Shabbir Ahmed Usmani Road at Gulshan Chowrangi will be 334 meters long and cost Rs
391.52 million while the two-lane bridge at Nagan Chowrangi will cost Rs 498.78 million.

The CDGK surveyed traffic at these points. EDO Works and Services Nisar Sario told Daily Times that they had started
work on the diversion from Askari IV to Johar Morr and it will take two weeks. ―We removed all the hurdles including the
KESC poles, makeshift stalls, encroachments on the service roads and the diversion will be 30 feet wide,‖ he said. He also
mentioned that proper work at the project at this point will be started after the completion of the diversion to minimize the
inconvenience for commuters.

Sario said that one of the major roads in Gulistan-e-Johar from Samam Center at University Road to Pehalwan Goth will be
completed within the next 10 days as the task related to the shifting of underground utility services has been completed.
(By Jamil Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 26/08/2007)

                                     Team formed to resolve traffic problem
KARACHI: A five-member team was formed to resolve the city‘s traffic problem on the directives of the Supreme Court. The
body was formed at a meeting of all stakeholders on Saturday. It was presided over by Sindh Chief Secretary Aijaz Ahmed
Qureshi to point out the main hurdles and find their short-term solutions. The body comprises DCO Karachi Javed Hanif,
DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani and officials of the transport department. It will seek suggestions from all stakeholders and
initiate pragmatic measures. Qureshi said that another body with all stakeholders would also be formed to find out long-
term solutions to the traffic problem. Traffic-related issues faced by different goods and public transporters were discussed
at the meeting which also reviewed the progress of roads which are under construction, the sewerage system, illegal
encroachments, violations of traffic rules, shortage of terminals for heavy transport and unnecessary speed breakers which
are the main causes of traffic problems. Most participants suggested that the condition of the roads should be improved
and legal action should be taken against illegal parking and violators of traffic laws. They underlined the need for a proper
transport relief service to remove faulty vehicles from roads. Security measures including an enhanced police patrolling at
the Northern Bypass and strict implementation of the timetable for heavy transport were also suggested. Qureshi clarified
that all stakeholders will have to rectify any shortcomings in the system according to court orders. Public transport schemes
like CNG-fitted buses were underway for this purpose besides a proposal for the Karachi Circular Railway‘s revival.
(DailyTimes-B1, 26/08/2007)

                                                  Improving road safety
IT sometimes helps to put a problem in hard, cold numbers. The National Road Safety Secretariat recently confirmed what
has long been apparent to any town or city dweller who sets foot outdoors: the country‘s roads are becoming more
dangerous by the day. According to the draft national Road Safety Plan prepared by the NRSS, traffic accidents are taking
a heavy economic toll estimated at over Rs100bn a year, or 1.5 per cent of GNP. The cost could be even higher given that
serious disability or the death of a breadwinner can push families into a cycle of poverty from which they may never
emerge. Extrapolating nationwide statistics from sample data, the NRSS estimates that road accidents cause nearly
500,000 fatalities or serious injuries every year. This figure rises to roughly two million when minor injuries are taken into
account. Besides the human misery involved — pain and suffering, bereavement, loss of livelihood — this is a burden that
the country‘s cash-strapped healthcare system can ill afford.

Developing a national-level road safety strategy was long overdue and the initiative taken by the NRSS deserves full
support. The Road Safety Plan envisages safer design with an emphasis on protecting pedestrians and cyclists, as well as
quality construction and maintenance of road networks. Raising awareness of road safety is another key goal. It also
highlights the need for increased funding and enhancing the institutional capacity of relevant agencies. Simply throwing
money at the problem will not, however, produce the desired results. Official corruption is a major factor imperilling road
safety in Pakistan, and little can be achieved without tackling this key area. A UNDP study shows that 95 per cent of
licensed taxi and bus drivers never took the official traffic police test — this, clearly, is not possible without graft. It is also
well known that vehicle fitness certificates can be easily obtained against a small cash payment. As a result, a large
number of dangerous vehicles continue to ply the roads without let or hindrance. Violators of traffic rules know that an
unofficial ‗fine‘ will settle the matter even if they do get caught, while the traffic police is hand in glove with transporters who
force their drivers to complete their routes as quickly as possible at breakneck speed. Nor is there much check on the
recklessly driven tankers and dumpers that have claimed a large number of lives in recent years. These are serious
institutional problems that money alone cannot solve.
(Dawn-7, 27/08/2007)

                                        Mushroom growth of CNG stations
MUSHROOM growth of compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in Peshawar in violation of safety standards and
government bye-laws is posing serious threat to precious lives and billions worth investment.
Interviews with operators and officials agencies, which regulate this thriving sector, suggest that frequent increase in oil
prices is pushing owners of petrol vehicles to shift to natural gas.

The number of gas stations is increasing fast and ,according to a conservative estimate, the sector has attracted more than
Rs62 billion investment country-wise during last nine years in which the share of NWFP is Rs25 billion.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has issued more than 5,000 provisional licences for setting up CNG stations
across the country, of which around 2,000 are operational, while the rest are in the pipeline.

In Peshawar, which has a population of two million people, 68 gas stations provide fuel to more than 15,000 vehicles,
whereas more than a dozen stations are under-construction.

The CNG station operators in the province, who are beneficiaries of the boom, are worried about their future in the
backdrop of unabated increase in the number of operators.
The fate of CNG sector, they say, would not be different from flour mills industry, if the prevailing pace of setting up of new
stations without caring for safety standards and bye-laws continue.
Their worries also led to a protest and strike in Peshawar last week that compelled the owners of 15,000 vehicles to opt for
petrol, which increased their financial burden owing to closure of 68 gas-stations.

However, the strike was later called off following the intervention of NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani. Mr Ghiyas
Paracha, an office-bearer of the association, said that the district Nazim Haji Ghulam Ali had assured the association that a
committee would look into the issue and prepare its report within 15 days.

Ikhtiar Wali Khan, president of the All Pakistan CNG Association, NWFP chapter, says that being a cheaper alternative to
oil, consumption of CNG is increasing in the city rapidly, but the demand can be catered with the existing number of gas-

He argues: "The OGRA, provincial and district governments have formulated certain guidelines to ensure safety of
consumers and operators besides the business interests, which needs to be implemented in letter and in spirit.
But, unfortunately the City District Government, Peshawar, has violated its own bye-laws time and again just for the‖ vested

The existing bye-laws for the district governments for regulating CNG stations were formulated by the provincial
government and were first implemented in Peshawar and later adopted in other parts of the province.

According to the original guidelines, the minimum distance between two gas-stations was determined at 300-meters inside
and 1000-meters outside the city. This condition was put in place to ensure safety of the public and also discourage
mushroom growth of gas stations.

However, the district government, which issues final No Objection Certificate (NOC) for setting up a station, has
deliberately been violating such guidelines particularly those relating to the distance just to oblige some elements, remarks
Mr Khan.

The distance for outside the city has now been reduced up to 200-meters which led to appearance of new stations within
short distance contrary to safety standards.

Under the guidelines no gas station can be set up near bridges, schools, hospitals, parks or any other public place to avoid
any damage to public.

But in a number of cases, the district administration has allowed the setting up of gas stations close to sensitive locations in
violation of bye-laws, he says.
These locally-manufactured sub-standard gas cylinders, being installed comparatively at cheaper rates than its certified
versions, are a serious threat to consumers‘ lives and property of gas-stations, it was stated.

Operators say that at least four explosions have occurred in Peshawar, Mardan and Nowshera during last one year
because of sub-standard gas kits. The matter was taken up with the district administration some one-and-half-year back,
but to no avail.

However, Nazim of Peshawar, after the protest of the operators, assured the association office-bearers that action would
be taken against workshops installing sub-standard CNG kits, Mr Paracha said.
He, however, explained that the bye-laws are made to protect public interest and they could be amended by the district

About the distance issue and operations of un-authorised workshops, the Nazim says: "The district administration did not
want to create any unrest in the city. However, if the gas station operators have any grievances they can come to me and a
strategy can be evolved to deal with it."

The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) has recently devised a strategy to counter the mushroom growth of CNG
stations in urban areas, which according to the operators of Peshawar, will greatly help in obstructing the prevailing trend.
Under the new plan, the SNGPL will restrict provision of new connections to CNG filling stations to six inches and above
diameter pipelines. In addition to this, the SNGPL has also set a new distance-limit for installation of stations from random
to two kilometres.

Ghiyas Paracha, former president of the association, believes that the new strategy will stop the mushroom growth of gas
stations in congested areas in Peshawar, where mostly four-inch diameter pipeline is used for gas supply.
This small diameter pipe suits pipe network in relatively smaller localities linked through branch roads. Whereas, the large
diameter pipelines are laid on major roads within the city and on the inter-city highways.

According to SNGPL estimates, connections will be provided to CNG stations from six, eight, 10, 12, to 16 inches diameter
pipelines that have approximate length of more than 5000km across Punjab and the NWFP.
"If implemented in letter and in spirit, public utility will give connections to gas stations to be installed on major roads rather
than narrow streets," Mr Paracha maintains.
(By Mohammad Ali Khan, Dawn-Economic & Business Review, Page-V, 27/08/2007)

                                               A panacea for gridlocks?
In the wake of ongoing debate and discussions after the soue moto action of the Supreme Court on deteriorating vehicular
traffic situation in Karachi, Shehri (an NGO) has presented the SC a detailed report with suggestions in this regards.
The voluntarily-submitted report discusses the major reasons responsible for gridlocks as well as other related factors and
also includes proposals regarding long and short-term strategies to improve the situation.

The report says that inadequate provision of parking space within buildings both commercial and residential, reduction in
road-capacity through digging up for municipal development works without restoring the dug-up roads to their previous
state, VIP and VVIP movements and lack of a proper storm-drainage system, thus inundating and destroying road
surfaces, are also some of the major factors that have collectively contributed to the ever-increasing traffic congestion in
the metropolis.

While inadequate traffic engineering measures, including dysfunctional traffic signals and mushrooming jaywalkers,
hawkers, beggars at intersections were also identified as some of the reason for traffic congestions at various points. The
improvement of pedestrian safety through pavements, overhead pedestrian bridges, zebra cross-walks and educating the
masses about vehicle-related fatalities were as also stressed in the report.

Shehri has also sought reduction of air pollution through CNG buses, rickshaws and taxis and checks to control noise
pollution. Inefficient Traffic Police personnel should also be taken to task. In the detailed report, Shehri also proposed short
and long-term strategies to help improving the traffic and public transport of the metropolis.

The short-term proposals included removal of encroachments alongside of thoroughfares and allocation of mandatory
parking space within residential and commercial buildings. It also proposed discontinuation of approving multi-storied
building plans without lawful parking spaces and commercialisation of residential and other plots and conversion of land-
use without area traffic studies. Other short-term strategies included implementation of basic traffic laws likes driving in
lanes, slower traffic on left, stopping on red lights, no left-turn on red light, no driving against one-way, no jaywalking, using
indicators while negotiating turns and observing speed limits.

The statement also suggested for the removal of ad-hoc bus termini and garages from all the city roads. It also discussed
the need for specifying lanes for ambulances and fire engines in addition to drivers‘ education and revamp of driving licence
issuance procedures.

The long-term proposals included introduction of affordable, convenient, and wide-spread public transport network (bus
rapid transit, newer conventional buses, circular railway etc) to maximise the number of trips in a single day. It was also
suggested that the single-occupancy vehicle use should be discouraged through car-pooling, no-car days and special
charges for allowing entry into city‘s business districts. Use of public transport should also be encouraged, the report

It also sought integration of Traffic Police with City Transport Planning/Management departments into a Central Transport
Authority. It also proposed for ensuring coordination between land-use planning and transport/traffic infrastructure in
addition to introduction of computerised traffic control and management systems.

Continuing with its suggestions, Shehri also proposed to re-plan the Central Business District (CBD) with pedestrianisation,
re-routing of buses, introduction of shuttle buses and parking lots. While it also proposed for establishing missing road links
and ring roads as well as multi-storied parking plazas in commercial areas. The mandatory provision for loading and
unloading spaces in commercial buildings was also part of the long list of suggestions.
(The News-14, 27/08/2007)

                                     Road accident claims young man’s life
A young man was killed and another was injured in a road traffic accident within Boat Basin police limits on Sunday.
Kamran, 26, and Zafar, 27, were injured, when a speeding minibus hit and ran over them near Bath Island in Boat Basin
police jurisdiction, while they were on a motorcycle.
A passerby vehicle took the injured to the JPMC in critical condition, where, during treatment, Kamran breathed his last.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Coast Guard (PCG) on Sunday arrested 33 illegal immigrants including 13 Afghan nationals near
Makran Check Post.

The PCG on a routine checking saw 33 crossing the border illegally near Makran Check Post from the coastal area of

The PCG officers handed them to FIA immigration cell for further investigation.
In another incident, PCG troops seized 500 bottles of foreign brand liquors near the Gawadar coast.
(The News-20, 27/08/2007)

                                                     Transport blues
Though Islamabad‘s road and traffic infrastructure is much better than in the rest of the country, its public transport system
is quite deplorable and a permanent source of annoyance. The shabby condition of the mini buses that ply the roads is a
glaring example of this. The demand by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) that the government
provide better public transport services to the city is thus justified. The government must look into the pressing matter and
consider the demand of the ICCI for mono-trains, an underground rail system and executive air-conditioned buses. The
ICCI has pointed out that the mono-train system is operating successfully in many cities of the world. Long-term policies
must be devised that not only solve the present public transport problems but also factor in the demands and pressures of
tomorrow. The government must consider and explore all possible options for boosting and improving the vastly inadequate
public transport system of Islamabad.
(The News-7, 27/08/2007)

                                     Gridlock upsets meeting on traffic jams
KARACHI, Aug 27: The City Council meeting convened on Monday to discuss the traffic problem was put off as several
members could not attend the session because of a massive traffic jam on M.A Jinnah Road.

Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil presided over the meeting.

When the session began, UC-4 nazim of Site Town Abdul Razak of the Al-Khidmat group drew the attention of the chair to
the deteriorating law and order situation in educational institutions, saying that two students had been killed in the Jinnah
Postgraduate Medical Centre within 10 days but the government had not taken any serious action against the culprits
involved in the killings.

He said the victims hailed from Kashmir and Punjab and a negative image of Karachi was being conveyed to those regions.

The convener intervened and told the member that it was not correct to say that the government had not taken the issue
seriously. She said the issue had been discussed at a recent meeting presided over by the Sindh governor and she
expressed the hope that appropriate measures would be taken to restore peace to the educational institutions.

When the convener wound up her observations, the leader of the house, Asif Sidiqui, drew the attention of the chair to the
joint resolution tabled in the house in the last session but could not be adopted because of certain reservations of the

Mr Siddiqui said the treasury wanted to withdraw the original resolution and to table a fresh one on the traffic problem
because of a changed situation arising out of the Supreme Court verdict. He argued that the new resolution was more
positive, prepared in view of the SC verdict and considering the ground realities of Karachi.
While the house was debating the traffic issue, there was a severe traffic jam near the council secretariat on M.A Jinnah

The convener had to adjourn the session for Thursday (Aug 30), ruling that there was a lack of a quorum in the house as a
large number of members could not attend the session due to the massive traffic jam on M.A Jinnah Road and many UC
nazims were busy in preparations for Shab-i-Barat in their respective areas.

Surprisingly, there were no uproar by the opposition who normally go ballistic on such occasions.
Later, talking to newsmen Saeed Ghani of the Awam Dost group said the opposition wanted to debate many city-related
issues, particularly the post-monsoon situation and stagnant rainwater on major roads of the city.

Ramzan Awan of the Al-Khidmat drew a grim picture of the city, saying that the civic services had totally failed and there
was absolutely no response from government agencies and they were indifferent to public grievances.
(By Latif Baloch, Dawn-17, 28/08/2007)

                                       SC calls for building parking plazas
KARACHI, Aug 27: The Supreme Court asked the city district government on Monday to take steps for the construction of
parking plazas at various places where private and government vehicles could be parked on payment of reasonable

In other orders of the day, a bench holding suo motu proceedings on traffic jams in the city asked provincial transport
secretary Rasool Bakhsh Phulpoto to identify appropriate places for stoppage for intra-city buses, mini-buses and coaches
as well as for intercity vehicles to ensure maximum safety and convenience to the commuters and the public at large.

Deputy Inspector-General (Traffic) Wajid Ali Khan was told to keep a vigil on the working of traffic police at all vital points
and ensure effective operation of traffic signals.
―If you take off your uniform, or ‗chamri‘, go round the city, you will find traffic jams everywhere,‖ Justice Rana Bhagwandas,
who constitutes the bench along with Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi, told him at one stage.
The bench, which was furnished a copy of the minutes of the meeting of all stakeholders on Aug 25 in compliance with its
direction, noted that it appeared that the chief executive officers of the city‘s six cantonment boards did not participate in the
meeting convened by the chief secretary. Either they were not summoned or they did not receive intimation in time.

The director-general of cantonment boards is directed to ensure the participation of all heads of cantonment boards in the
meeting convened or constituted by the chief secretary.

Heavy vehicles movement
About the restraint on daytime movement of heavy vehicles, the bench said the transportation of perishable items,
particularly food, fruit and vegetables and other items of daily use, is not hindered by the interim order or any order
subsequently passed.

The bench, however, rejected fish and prawn transporters‘ plea for permission to ply their vehicles from Pasni and other
places from Lasbella to Karachi on Hub Road. They should bring the seafood at night or use smaller vehicles. The Karachi
Port Trust should also adjust its timings for loading and unloading. The relaxation allowed to the carriers of life-saving drugs
would continue.

The report on the Aug 25 meeting, presented by Additional Advocate-General Dr Qazi Khalid Ali, stated that police
patrolling of the Northern Bypass, which provided a round-the-clock road link for all kinds of vehicles, would be increased
substantially to ensure security to upcountry traffic. While an anti-encroachment campaign had been launched by the city
district government, a traffic management cell had started functioning in the CDGK. Representatives of trade organisations,
transporters, the Karachi Port Trust and the Shehri-Citizens for Better Environment NGO would be associated with the cell.
The new panel would meet twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday, to take stock of the traffic problems.
The CDGK, the report said, had prepared urgent, short-term and long-term measures to ease the traffic congestion.

Mass transit plan
Alternative routes would be developed where possible and the Karachi Mass Transit Plan would be taken up with the
federal government on a priority basis.

The circular railway plan would also be broached with the federal authorities. The Karachi Building Control Authority would
be asked not to sanction or regularise building plans without sufficient parking space. The space should be commensurate
with the size of the building complex and the number of flats and shops in it. Besides parking plazas, transit stations/holding
points would be set up on all major highways.
The report annexed a resume of the action taken against smoke-emitting vehicles and cancellation of fitness certificates of
vehicles. Over 51,000 vehicles were refused fitness certificates for causing air and noise pollution and for having tampered
meters over a period of about three years and a half. It, however, did not elaborate why so many noisy, smoke-emitting
vehicles were plying on city roads if adequate measures.
(Dawn-17, 28/08/2007)

                        DCO-headed committee to resolve traffic issues, SC told
The provincial law officer informed the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday that a committee under the convenor-ship of the
District Coordination Officer (DCO), Karachi, has been constituted to sort out and resolve the issues of traffic gridlocks,
illegal parking and encroachment on public roads and lands.

The SC‘s two-member bench, comprising Justice Rana Bhagwandas and Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, was hearing
a suo moto notice over the deteriorating traffic situation in the metropolis.

Following the directions from the SC, the Chief Secretary, Sindh, submitted a copy of the minutes of the meeting conveyed
by him on August 25.

The court was informed by the officials of different civic agencies that all the stakeholders shall be acquainted with their
very duties and responsibilities. They said that the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) shall take steps to construct a
number of parking plazas to resolve parking issues.

The secretary transport shall take steps to identify appropriate places to be reserved as bus termini for intercity buses,
ensuring the utmost safety and convenience of the people. The court observed that the DIG Traffic is also required to keep
a check on the performance of the traffic police staff.

The court also expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of traffic police observing that traffic hazards were still
prevalent in the metropolis. On the non-participation of the chief executive officers of six cantonment boards (CB), the court
directed the Director General, Cantonment Boards, to ensure participation of all heads of CBs in Karachi in the meeting to
be convened by the chief secretary or the committee set up by him.

The court also ordered authorities concerned to ensure that transportation of consumable items, in particular the supply of
foods, vegetables and other necessary articles, shall not be affected by the order of the court.
The next hearing of the case has been adjourned till September 3. Secretary Transport, Rasool Bux Phulpoto, DIG Traffic
Police Wajid Ali Khan, DCO Javed Hanif, City Government‘s law officer Manzoor Ahmed and other officers appeared
before the court.
(The News-13, 28/08/2007)

                                       Traffic hinders city council meeting
KARACHI: A majority of the members of the City Council could not make it to the mid-afternoon session Monday because
they got stuck in traffic jams. As a result, the council met for only 10 minutes.

The session was chaired by City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil at the City Council Secretariat.
As the proceedings started, the deputy parliamentary leader and member of the Opposition, Site Town UC4 Nazim Abdul
Razzaq, on a point of order, wanted to draw the attention of the House to the killing of two students in the vicinity of JPMC.
―The death of two college students during the last 10 days inside JPMC shows how the law and order has deteriorated in
the city. It was shocking that neither the rangers nor the police who were at the scene provided any security. It seems that
both accidents occurred in the presence of law enforcement agency personnel were planned,‖ he said.

On a ruling, the convenor said that the provincial government had taken this seriously and ordered for an inquiry. Later, she
said that she wanted to continue where the proceedings stopped in the last session but due to the massive traffic jams
members of the City Council could not make it and were also busy supervising sanitation work prior to Shab-e-Barat. The
session will resume Aug 30 (Thursday) at 3:30 pm.

On Monday, traffic jams plagued a number of major thoroughfares including M.A. Jinnah Road, Rashid Minhas Road,
Business Recorder Road, Jamila Street, and Korangi Road. Similar stories were reported in many other places in old city
areas as well, where stagnant rainwater, potholes, heaps of garbage and encroachments were said to be the main reasons
behind the massive traffic jams.

The other affected parts of the city were Banaras Chowk, Gharibabad, University Road, Sohrab Goth, Quaidabad and
Dawood Chowrangi where broken roads and the absence of traffic police officials caused traffic problems. People on
private and public transport alike suffered and many were late for work in Saddar and the adjoining commercial areas.

Officials at the traffic police helpline, 915, told Daily Times that they had received a number of traffic jam-related complaints
from different parts of the city. ―Shopkeepers from Bolton Market and the surrounding areas observed a token sit-in at M.A.
Jinnah Road. This resulted in an immense traffic jam which could not be cleared up for hours. The protesting shopkeepers
demanded that the administration drain out accumulated rainwater which was entering their shops and damaging goods,‖
officials said.

They also said that people had complained about caved-in roads, including Business Recorder Road near Lasbela, Sir
Shah Suleman Road at Gharibabad, Jehangir Patangi Road near the Garden Police Headquarter, Jamila Street near
Jubilee Cinema, Shahrah-e-Pakistan at Sohrab Goth and Korangi Road.

Leader of the Opposition in the City Council, Saeed Ghani of the Awam Dost group maintained that the traffic problem in
Karachi has been increasing every day. ―Instead of responding to the Supreme Court‘s suo motu notice and improving the
condition of roads within its jurisdiction, the CDGK has started work on another major thoroughfare, the Rashid Minhas
Road, to construct the signal-free corridor-II,‖ he said.

Ghani further said that the CDGK should pay attention and complete the already-dug up University Road, as well as
arteries in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area, instead of trying to enhance their ‗election campaign‘ by initiating more projects in
the city.
(DailyTimes-B1, 28/08/2007)

                      What happened that day at Jinnah hospital was really ‘sick’
KARACHI: It felt as if someone had set chilies on fire and the vapour had filled the air, recalled 65-year-old Sher
Mohammad, an Edhi ambulance driver for 17 years, who has yet to recover from the tear gas shelling. From behind the
grille of the Edhi office at Jinnah hospital, Sher and the other drivers watched the Rangers and police shake down the
protesting students Saturday. ―All of a sudden the tear gas filled the air. I can‘t see now, therefore I haven‘t been able to
drive the ambulance for two days,‖ he said.

Sher Mohammad was not the only person to suffer on Saturday when another first-year medical student was killed in
violence that broke out between two student groups outside the Jinnah hospital casualty.

Haleema Khatoon Kumbhar, a resident of a small village near Kot Ghulam Muhammad (old Jamesabad), lost her seven-
year-old daughter for more than eight hours during the mayhem. ―From the morning there had been rumors that a very big
fight had started between two political parties inside the ward,‖ she told Daily Times. ―There were no doctors and even the
chowkidar was absent.‖ Haleema had been looking for the channa seller around the main building when the violence broke
out. Her daughter Maria had been hungry and wanted something to eat. ―All of sudden, a herd of people entered inside the
only open gate of the main entrance, as there was fire outside,‖ she recalled. Haleema and Maria also started running but
somewhere along the way Maria slipped away from her mother. ―I was unable to stop and look at what happened because
people were running all around the place.‖

It was only the evening that Haleema found Maria with another attendant in the main waiting hall.

The law enforcement personnel were disgusted with what they saw. ―They are meant to be students and doctors of the
future but they fight and create problems for us,‖ a policeman told Daily Times. That day he and the other police couldn‘t
find anything to eat the whole day as they were on duty.
―I wish I could have opened fire when a group of students started screaming ‗Wardi behind terrorism‘ in front of us, but I
couldn‘t,‖ said a Rangers jawan, who has been posted there for the last three days.

JPMC is still heavily guarded. ―Contingents from different police stations - Preedy, Mithadar, Kharadar, Saddar, Jackson,
Dockyard and Defence – have been deployed here for the last two days, disturbing the routine work of all these stations,‖ a
police official from Mithadar, Liaquat Ali Jat, told Daily Times.
(By Amar Guriro, DailyTimes-B1, 28/08/2007)

                                  Committee set up to ease traffic problems
KARACHI, Aug 28: In order to overcome the growing traffic problem in Karachi, the city government has decided to
gradually remove all encroachments that hinder traffic flow and shift the inter city bus terminals.

Decisions of an immediate and long-term nature were taken in this regard in the light of directives of the Supreme Court at
a meeting held under the chairmanship of Karachi DCO Javed Hanif here on Tuesday.
It was decided that encroachments would be gradually removed from 51 places as identified by the traffic police and action
would be carried out under a schedule.

Balochistan-bound buses would not be allowed to enter the city and would be parked outside the city while buses entering
from the Super Highway would be bound to park at a temporary terminal at Sohrab Goth.
Illegal parking which causes bottlenecks on roads will also be removed.

A technical committee was set up to find practical engineering solutions of an immediate nature and to implement these
forthwith. The committee will include senior officials of the transport, communications, traffic police and other departments.

The committee will prepare its recommendations for curtailing pressure at all traffic bottlenecks and submit a report to the
DCO within three days.

The committee was told to take stock of those roads where traffic jams occur because of turning points or traffic pressure
grows due to the failure of traffic signals or other engineering aspects which can be overcome with minor improvements.
It was decided to rectify all defective traffic signals immediately and the traffic police and transport department would take
steps for making them operational.

The meeting was attended by representatives of various transport organisations, DIG Traffic Wajid Durrani, senior officials
of different CDGK departments, the cantonment board, KPT and the towns.
(Dawn-18, 29/08/2007)

                             KPT ready to give city govt land authority: Ghauri
KARACHI, Aug 28: Federal Minster for Ports and Shipping Babar Khan Ghauri said on Tuesday that the Karachi Port Trust
(KPT) was ready to give land authority to the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) in order to develop a single
authority in the metropolis.

At a ceremony to distribute the allocation orders of Housing Scheme Phase II among federal government employees, Mr
Ghauri said that land orders of some federal authorities such as PECHS and Pak Colony would soon be given to the
CDGK. He added that the KPT was ready to give land to the Karachi Mass Transit Programme but the developer wanted to
use the required 27 acres land for commercial purpose, about which the KPT had reservations.

Pointing out that the country faced a shortfall of 500,000 housing units, the minister said that during his tenure in the chair
of the housing ministry, he approved many housing projects for federal government employees. He added that the current
government had provided all the basic needs of the people. He advised that allottees be handed over possession orders

and that they take steps for the protection of their plots in view of the nefarious activities of the land mafia and start
construction work.

Earlier, Federal Secretary Housing and Services Abdul Rauf Chaudhry said that the allocation order of 300 plots ranging
from 120 square yards to 600 square yards would be distributed among federal government employees.

The director-general of the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation, Shahid Hameed, said that under the
same project, 219 plots were distributed among Karachi‘s federal government employees. He said that federal government
employees could submit applications for phase III which would soon start with the help of PECHS, in which 1,000 flats
would be developed for federal government staff from grade 1to 16.
At the end, the federal minister distributed land allocation orders among 25 federal government employees.
(Dawn-18, 29/08/2007)

                                SHC wants construction plan of parking plaza
KARACHI, Aug 29: The Sindh High Court directed the city district government on Wednesday to draw a construction plan
for the parking plaza on the site of Shahabuddin Market, Saddar, in harmony with the adjacent Empress Market, which was
a national heritage structure.

The shop-owners of the market complained that they were being shifted to an alternative site in the Lines Area, which has
no comparison with their existing premises. They proposed that the city government planned to build a parking plaza on the
roof-top of the building while a parking lot could better be accommodated in the basement.

Justices Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Ali Sain Dino Metlo, who constitute the bench seized of the petition, extended the stay
order in favour of the petitioners against their forcible eviction. It observed that the front elevation of the new plaza should
have symmetrical design opening on the Preedy Street.

CNG station
In a petition questioning setting up of a gas station on plot number 85, Block 14, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, the bench extended its
interim injunction till Thursday when the case would come up for hearing again.

The neighbouring residents have challenged the sanction granted for conversion of a residential plot in a residential block.
They said the city district government, the Karachi Building Control Authority and other respondents have not followed the
prescribed procedure.

Minwalla case
A division bench of the SHC comprising Justices Muhammad Afzal Soomro and Rehmat Hussain Jaffery on Wednesday
adjourned the hearing of a bail plea filed by a former Cathay Pacific employee till Sept 6, adds PPI.

The bench was hearing the bail application of Darayus Cyrus Minwalla, who is facing a reference filed by the National
Accountability Bureau in an accountability court for his alleged involvement in the purchase of used and worn-out aircraft
for PIA, causing a huge loss to the national flag-carrier.

The NAB, Sindh, requested the court to dismiss Mr Minwalla‘s bail application.

Upon his return from Dubai, Mr Minwalla was arrested on Aug 15, 2007 at Karachi airport in compliance with an order
issued by the Accountability Court. Other two accused nominated in the reference had earlier been granted interim bail by
the SHC.

Filing comments on Mr Minwalla‘s bail application, Investigation Officer Irfan Naim Mangi submitted that the accused was
the key person behind the agreement on the lease, extension of the lease and purchase of B747-300 aircraft between PIA
and Cathay Pacific Airways from 1999 to 2002.

The IO said that Mr Minwalla was aware of the repercussions of receiving and paying kickbacks in the deal and had
received at least Rs10.5million from an international airline for his role in the successful execution of the agreement.
The IO said Mr Minwalla had left Pakistan in 2005 soon after a preliminary NAB investigation into his involvement in the
deal. Mr Minwalla was aware of the inquiry but deliberately avoided to cooperate [with NAB] despite issuance of notices.
(Dawn-19, 30/08/2007)

                                 Contract cancellation a very real possibility
The city government is seriously considering cancelling their contract with the private firm that was supposed to import
1,500 CNG buses for Karachi after financial complications have risen.

City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has questioned the concerned officers of city government why full scrutiny was not made
before entering into the agreement.

Official sources told The News that very few investors enter the transport business, adding, ―It is now very difficult to invite
people to this sector despite the fact that the city government is facilitating them in every aspect‖.
The transport problem in this city has reached to a point of no return and the citizens are anxiously waiting to see this
problem resolved as early as possible. The present setback is attributed to the private transporter who has put this issue
into further abeyance.
Once such an agreement or contract is cancelled, the entire process will have to be repeated.

According to sources, private transporters are plying 3,500 buses in Karachi against the requirement of 10,000. Moreover,
most of these obsolete buses are emitting excessive smoke, which poses serious health hazards to citizens as well as
polluting the environment.
The arrival of 125 CNG buses in Karachi appears to be completely rolled back as the city government officials feel that the
financial stability of the said firm has become doubtful.

An officer of city government admitted that a more than two-month delay would translate into a delay of more than six
months, and, eventually, the buses‘ arrival would be pushed back to next year.

According to city government sources, they had entered into a contract with the said private company which was now
undergoing some problem in LC with the bank concerned, while the original firm has developed doubts and thus stopped
the shipment of these buses from Dubai.
The city government had been facilitating the said firm in Karachi under the private-public partnership scheme by providing
all facilities, particularly exemption from customs duty.

These 125 refurbished buses, which could be run on both diesel and CNG, were expected to arrive in the first week of
August. However, their arrival now seems a distant reality.

A CNG owners association representative was of the view that the city government should have examined the financial
stability of the firm prior to entering into the contract.
The city government had also contacted PSO for CNG filling stations for these buses as there exists no facility in Karachi to
cater to such buses.

The city Nazim had relied much on this private firm but now after coming to know about the financial snags a hunt is on for
some other private firm that has an experience in the transport sector.
The city Nazim had made a promise to the citizens during his various press conferences that more than 8,000 CNG buses
would be imported for Karachi with the objective to solve the transport problem of the megapolis.

DCO Karachi Javed Hanif Khan was not available on telephone to give a comment in this regard as he had also pointed
out, during an informal chat with newsmen, that the CNG buses would soon be arriving in Karachi. He had also held
meetings with private transporters and transport authorities to identify the routes for these buses.

Karachi has been facing public transport problems for a long time now and this development could be a big blow for the
citizens who have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of these CNG buses.
The owner of the said private firm was not available on telephone to comment on the issue.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-13, 30/08/2007)

                                KCR delayed as report on feasibility awaited
KARACHI, Aug 30: Despite the availability of the feasibility report, work on the planned revival of the Karachi Circular
Railway has not kicked off since its revalidation report is yet to be received from the UK consultant M/s Scott Wilson.

Similarly, the Karachi Mass Transit Cell has initiated the updating of the Karachi Mass Transit Study 1999 under the Asian
Development Bank funding programme for the next 40 years, Dawn has learnt. The KCR project‘s feasibility was prepared
by the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), which also arranged a soft loan of $850 million for it. To be implemented
on a build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis, the project was given for revalidation under the instructions of Prime Minister
Shaukat Aziz since the federal government is to act as the guarantor.

The Malaysian firm with which the city district government Karachi (CDGK) had earlier signed an MoU for the
implementation of a light rail (tube) on an elevated track has been asked to furnish a guarantee by November 2007, along
with proof of its experience in such projects.

However, reliable sources say that fresh bids for the project are likely to be invited before the implementation agreement.

According to Sindh chief secretary Ejaz Qureshi, who presided over the last meeting that reviewed the Karachi Mass
Transit Programme (KMTP) and the KCR revival, the projects require land for the installation of tracks, depots, workshops,
stations, administrative facilities, an operation control centre, stabling and other requirements. Therefore, the federal
government wanted the project cost weighted by foreign consultants and a monetary guarantee from the contracting firm
that would ensure the timely completion of the project. The foreign consultants will offer advice on how best to implement
the project without unnecessarily inconveniencing commuters, and asses the minimum amount of land required.

Mr Qureshi told Dawn that land belonging to the provincial government, the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Pakistan Railways
and the CDGK is required by the Malaysian firm for the project where the firm wanted to set up ancillary facilities for its
smooth operation and for commercial use to offset the cost.

According to the firm, the requirement of the land at Tower was assessed to be 26 acres, and 36.2 acres at Sohrab Goth.
The cost of these pieces of land would be in billions of rupees and could not be transferred to the firm without ascertaining
its minimum requirement after double-check with consultants for the sake of transparency.

Significantly, however, according to a speech delivered on August 28 by the federal minister for Ports and Shipping, Babar
Khan Ghauri, the KPT has reservations about the KMTP developer‘s intention to use the 27 acres for commercial

M/s Scott Wilson‘s report is likely to be made available within two months, thus paving the way for the initiation of the KCR
project and the KMTP.

Lyari Expressway
The Sindh chief secretary, Ejaz Qureshi, stressed the need for speedy completion of the southern side of Lyari Expressway
to overcome ongoing traffic congestion and facilitate people, especially during Ramazan, adds APP.
He was presiding over a meeting held to review the progress of Lyari Expressway here on Thursday.

Lyari Expressway Resettlement Project Project Director Shafiqur Rehman Paracha and his counterpart in the National
Highway Authority briefed the participants of the meeting about the progress made so far.
The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary Development Ghulam Sarwar Khehro, Secretary Local
Government Fazalur Rehman, Karachi DCO Javed Hanif, EDO Revenue Saleh Farooqi and Project Coordinator NHA Arif
(By Habib Khan Ghori, Dawn-19, 31/08/2007)

                                              Alternative road planned
Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre‘s administration with assistance of the local administration is planning to construct a
new road leading to the hospital from Aisha Bawany School in order to provide quick and safe access to ambulances in
case of any emergency, sources knowledgeable about the matter told The News on Thursday.

The sources said this plan of providing alternative access towards the hospital was under consideration for some time as
Rafiqui Shaheed road leading to JPMC is often in a gridlock during peak hours. But now the plan is pursued even more
urgently after recent violent incidents at the city‘s biggest hospital following clashes between two student organizations
which left two dead. The source added that Supreme Court‘s suo moto notice of continued traffic troubles was also a major
factor in reviving this plan.

The sources added that alternative road is likely to be constructed from Aisha Bawany School till the JPMC‘s casualty
ward. This road would be reserved for ambulances carrying serious patients giving them access to not only JPMC but
National Institute of Cardio-Vascular Diseases as well. The road will not be a public thoroughfare When contacted, Dr.
Azher, deputy director JPMC confirmed that alternative route towards the hospital was under consideration. He disclosed
that the local administration will hold a meeting with the JPMC officials on Friday (today) to consider the plan.

All out-patient departments (OPDs) and Accident & Emergency of JPMC were closed consecutively for five days because
of tension following murder of a medical student inside JPMC premises on 15th August after two student organizations
were involved in clashes. After a relative period of apparent calm or ten days, another student was gunned down in the
wake of further clashes between the same two groups.

Both of these incidents prompted Dow University Health Sciences (DUHS) to close its affiliated medical colleges while
boys‘ hostels of Sindh Medical College and Dow Medical College respectively were vacated.
Meanwhile, the hospital administration on Thursday said normalcy has been completely restored at JPMC. However, one
official said fear still looms as certain doctors were reluctant to join their duty despite heavy presence of law enforcement
agencies to meet any eventuality.
(By Imtiaz Ali, The News-14, 31/08/2007)

                            Charged parking: City Council selects contractors
The City-District Council on Thursday gave approval to the highest bids received by prospective contractors for the
collection of parking fee at 11 covered parking sites in the jurisdiction of City District Government Karachi (CDGK) for the
year 2007-08.

The city council meeting, chaired by City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil, was held in a peaceful and smooth atmosphere
although the earlier pending issues of price-hike and recurring incidents of traffic jams in the metropolis could not be taken
up for further consideration. However, two prominent opposition members stood on points of order and raised objections to
the reported incident of Sindh Chief Minister‘s ―insulting‖ remarks on women rule in the country. Upon their raising
objections, the session convener ruled that there was no need of taking up the issue as a clarification had already been
issued by the chief minister the very next day of its appearance in media.

Various other opposition members also objected to the newly accorded authority to town nazims for releasing funds to
union councils for carrying out development works out of the CDGK annual grant of Rs9.6 million for the UCs. They said
that giving the inspection and mandatory certification authority to the town nazims would open doors for corruption on a
political basis whenever a conflict occurred between the UC nazim and the town nazim.

The 11 covered parking sites for which fee-collection contractors were selected on the basis of their bids, include: Hyderi
Market, Hill Park, Zoo, Crystal Court, Sasi Arcade, Safari Park, Sindbad, Paradise Centre, Clifton Centre and Beach Park.
The Hill Park site fetched the highest bid of Rs 32,80,000. Public auction for receipt of bids for this purpose was held on
July 16. Through another resolution, the council gave approval to the highest bid of Rs 10,242,000 received at a public
auction on June 23 for granting licence for entry-fee collection at the Karachi zoo.

The council members also unanimously praised the services of District Officer (council) Muhammad Zakir who retired from
his service on August 23. A resolution was adopted unanimously, commending the services and efforts of Zakir in running
various affairs of the city council and CDGK. The council also gave approval to the proposal of giving special bonus,
equivalent to six-month‘s salary to the retiring city council official. The session was later adjourned till September 3.
(The News-14, 31/08/2007)

                                  SHC dissatisfied with traffic police report
Sindh High Court on Thursday expressed dissatisfaction over the traffic police report with regard to taking action against
smoke-emitting and noise-creating vehicles vis-a-vis implementation of court orders.
―We find the report nothing but an eyewash in terms looking at things in their true perspective and the prevalent
continuation of pollution,‖ the SHC‘s division bench observed after perusing the report. The court was hearing petitions
moved by a lawyer, Islam Hussain, and the Helpline Trust against smoke-emitting and noise-creating vehicles and illegal
bus terminals in the city.

DIG Traffic Wajid Khan Durrani had filed a report containing details of action taken by the traffic police against the smoke-
emitting and noise-creating vehicles as well as against those plying without number plates, etc. According to the report, the
traffic police detained 2,484 vehicles for emitting excessive smoke and creating noise pollution from June 2004 to August

Besides, as many as 187,232 vehicles were challaned for committing traffic violations like emitting excessive smoke,
having noisy silencers, fancy number plates, pressure horns, playing music in public transport vehicles, tampered meters
and unregistered vehicles, and Rs24.22 million was collected in fines during the said period. Petitioner Islam Hussain
submitted that despite several orders there was no substantial progress with regard to implementing court orders by
concerned quarters of provincial and city governments.

The report regarding steps taken by Environment departments to ensure implementation of court orders was not submitted
by the authorities concerned. SHC‘s division bench comprising Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Mohammad Athar Saeed
also took notice over the non-appearance of DIG Traffic who was stated to be engaged in controlling traffic due to the
arrival of prime minister in the city.

The court issued notices to Secretary Transport, Director General Environment Protection Agency, DIG Traffic, Motor
Vehicle Inspector (Auto Rickshaw Wing) and some responsible officers of CDGK for their appearance so that further
necessary steps may be taken for the implementation of court orders.

On April 26, 2006, the court had ordered DIG Traffic to ensure that no smoke-emitting and noise-creating vehicles ply in the
city after a period of three months and the DIG was given full authority to impound such vehicles after the lapse of the said

On December 1, last year the SHC had constituted a committee headed by Advocate General Sindh with the direction to
submit definite proposal regarding final cut-off date for the removal of smoke-emitting and noise-creating vehicles from the

The committee comprised Advocate General Sindh Anwar Mansoor Khan, Secretary Transport, DIG Traffic,
representatives of City District Government Karachi, petitioner and representatives of transporters organizations. The
petition is pending in SHC since February, 2004.
(By Jamal Khurshid, The News-14, 31/08/2007)

                                      VVIP once again disrupts city traffic
Commuters suffered yet another day of frustrating traffic jams in the city on Thursday due to a number of reasons, primarily
VVIP movement early in the morning when motorists at some points remained stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for as long
as 45 minutes. Moreover, many passengers preferred to get off buses and other public transport and walk long distances
while buses turned back midway into the city at some points causing extreme hardship to passengers.

A commuter complained that she remained stuck in traffic gridlock for nearly 45 minutes on Shahrea Quaideen early

A student, Tasneem Ali, said that she saw a massive traffic jam on main Rashid Minhas Road near the Millennium
Shopping Mall in the afternoon that seemed to have resulted owing to non observance of traffic laws by motorists.
It has been a common sight on the city‘s commercial hub, I.I. Chundrigar Road, say observers, that no parking is allowed
along the road on left side in the morning when high-ranking officers pass along the road up to the police head office. When
the same officers make their way back to their residences in the evening, parking on right side of the road is disallowed.
(The News-13, 31/08/2007)

                           3 leave this life and one enters... it all in a traffic jam
KARACHI: At least three patients, including women, died and a baby was born in the traffic jam that continued for over four
hours from Banaras Chowrangi to Abdullah College here on Thursday. Traffic was jammed from around 6:00 p.m. in Orangi
Town. The people who died were identified as 46-year-old Orangi Town Sector 13 resident Abdul Jabbar who was being
rushed to hospital in a Khidmat-e-Insaniat ambulance. Resident of Orangi Town Sector 16, Hakeemuddin, 65, died in a taxi
after a heart attack. In another incident a woman identified as Zubaida, around 50 years, died in a taxi as well. The wife of a
textile businessman, Aisha, delivered her baby in a taxi after being stuck for three hours in traffic. This is her second child.
DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani said that two heavy vehicles broke down in the middle of traffic causing the jam. One of two
vehicles broke down and the second‘s tire was loose. ―We don‘t have any tow vehicles in the right condition,‖ he said. ―We
just have around 18 that were given by Qatar to Pakistan in out-of-ordered condition.‖ The vehicles were repaired but are
not strong enough to tow heavy vehicles. Three or four tow vehicles are in the process of being approved for heavy
vehicles. There is, apparently, some disagreement over whether they should be CNG or not.
(DailyTimes-B1, 31/08/2007)

                                  City Council decides traffic issue is ‘dead’
KARACHI: The issue of traffic has already been discussed several times, also in the media, and is not worth discussing any
more, members of the Treasury benches in the City Council session held Thursday.
They discussed and adopted three resolutions including one for the appreciation of the 43-year services of the council‘s
district officer, a license to collect entry fees at the Karachi Zoological Garden and contracts to contractors for charged
parking at eleven sites.

The session was presided over by City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil and held at the City Council Secretariat (Old KMC
Building). The house adopted a unanimous resolution to appreciate the services of District Officer Council Muhammad

Zakir. He had a good command on the local government system including the present Sindh Local Government Ordinance
2001 and the previous one implemented in the city. The House is approving a bonus equivalent of six month‘s salary for
him, the resolution said.

The other resolution dealt with the license to collect entry fees at the Karachi Zoological Garden which was approved by the
majority. Opposition members expressed their reservations. ―The House is approving the resolution to grant the license to a
private firm which won the bid in an auction held at June 23. The firm had given the maximum bid of Rs 10.24 million for the
fiscal year of 2007-2008,‖ the resolution stated.

The third resolution was approved collectively by both benches. It decided to give the contracts of the city government‘s
charged parking space which was surrounded by boundary walls in 11 places in the city.

The bid for charged parking at Hyderi Market was won by Shahzad Yousuf (Rs 2.65 million), Hill Park‘s charged parking
was given to Abdul Jabbar (Rs 3.28 million), Karachi Zoological Garden to Muhammad Ishaq (Rs 0.422 million), Crystal
Court to Muhammad Suleiman (Rs 0.455 million), Sassi Arcade to Amanullah Qadri (Rs 0.262 million), Safari Park to
Amanullah Qadri (Rs 0.51 million), Sindbad to M. Saleem Ahmed Khan (Rs 0.98 million), Paradise Center to Ghazi
Salahuddin (Rs 0.344 million), Clifton Center to Rafiq Ahmed (Rs 0.32 million), Beach Park to Messers Faizan
Communication (Rs 2.05 million) and Faizi Rehmene Gallery to Shabbir Shaheen (Rs 2.48 million).

Shameem Mumtaz Wasi, a member of the Opposition, condemned Sindh Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim‘s recent
statement that the ‗rule of women was cursed.‘
―The remark has ignored the government‘s much-discussed ‗enlightened moderation policy‘ and should be slammed by
everyone,‖ she said. MQM leader Altaf Hussain who called himself a champion of women‘s rights had not issued any
statement against the CM either, she said.

Saeed Ghani, Awam Dost Group‘s leader, labeled the CM‘s statement unethical. City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil criticised
the use of the House for such issues and asked members to come back to the agenda. Abdul Razzaq, another Opposition
member, drew the attention of the House to the pathetic conditions of the city‘s roads which have blocked a regular flow of
traffic after the recent rains. ―The Works and Services Department should immediately start patchwork similar to that
undertaken by former city nazim Naimatullah Khan,‖ he said.

Asif Siddiqi of the treasury benches said that if the House discussed such issues then matters related to the city
government would not be discussed. ―The House should start further proceedings on the agenda,‖ he said.

However, Jalil did not allow the Opposition to raise the issue related to the city nazim‘s letter to town nazims. She said that
the matter would be discussed with the city nazim to clarify the entire process of maintaining a check and balance on the
schemes being carried out by union council nazims.

A joint resolution was presented for approval but members of the treasury objected to one of the points raised by the
Opposition of revealing financial details of the cleaning process of storm water drains. The session was adjourned till
Monday, September 3 at 3:30 p.m.
(By Jamil Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 31/08/2007)

                                   Traffic congestion a norm in Baldia Town
Baldia Town continues to suffer owing to the lack of traffic police and the rare occasions when the constables are actually
spotted usually occur during the day. It is quite strange, however, that despite the traffic police being inactive, there has
been no sign of a major traffic jam in the area.

During a visit to Baldia Town earlier this week, it was learnt that the town facilitates thousands of commuters on a daily
basis. Moreover, industry and factory employees are among the majority who use public and private transport to get to
work and back. Heavy vehicles, including trucks and lorries, often pass from here.

The Northern Bypass plays a major role in keeping the town free of traffic congestions, as all heavy vehicles use it. The
Northern Bypass is also used for intercity traffic as well as a route to Iran via Quetta. On the other hand, coaches, buses,
rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles use major roads of the town while the inner streets are seldom used. However, there
have been a few cases of slow-moving traffic reported in some parts of the town. The Rasheedabad main road of Union
Council (UC) 8 is one such area and has been facing minor traffic congestion. This road a commuting route for Site and is
located at the end of the town.

Residents told The News that encroachments and unauthorised parking are the main reason for this irregularity in traffic
flow. During the visit, numerous pushcarts, animal carts and make-shift paan shops (cabins) on either sides of the
Rasheedabad road were seen and the flow of traffic was anything but smooth.

As a result, mini buses and other large commercial vehicles get caught up in such traffic interruptions. Residents also
complained that the road has partially broken due to the recent rains and because traffic signals have not been installed on
this route, problems are created for the people, especially after dark. Residents suggested that local town administration
should educate the people regarding such violations.

The Timber Market Road of UC 6 is another area where the traffic situation is not as smooth as the rest of the town.
Encroachments and sewerage problems have led to traffic congestions here. Moreover, the roadside is being used by
locals, who have expanded their shops and factories without informing the local administration. In addition to this, they have
also choked most of the drains, situated on the road. The open nullah is being covered and will soon become non-
functional because factories are being constructed on it. Not only this but houses are also being constructed on this strip.

The Seven Number Graveyard (saath number kabaristan) Road, situated in the same UC, is also facing a traffic problem.
However, unlike other places, this is because of the decreased width the road. The situation is so bad that the double road
now looks like more of a single road and people face problems each time a truck or some other heavy vehicle takes this

The Hub River and 13-D main road are the two major thoroughfares of the town, the former being one of the largest roads
in the area. The road facilitates people from six UCs, including UC 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Furthermore, people also use this
road to commute to and from Site, Keamari and Gadap Town.
(By M. Zeeshan Azmat, The News-19, 01/09/2007)

                                Fat trucks breaking the back of city’s bridges
KARACHI: Not all of the city‘s bridges are designed to bear the weight of trucks and trailers all at the same time, a scenario
that has developed each night in Keamari and other main transit routes because movement is banned before nighttime.

The government‘s decision to ban the movement of heavy vehicles was taken to ease the monster traffic jams that were
developing during the daytime. CDGK EDO Nisar Ahmad Saryo warned that the bridges constructed before 1995 were not
designed for heavily loaded transport but the ones constructed after 1995 can absorb the extra heavy load.

―One portion of the KPT Jinnah Bridge was completed in 1982 while the rest of the construction was done in 1995,‖ a civil
engineer of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) told Daily Times. ―Jinnah Bridge has been designed to absorb a load of 100,000
six-axle trailers. The bridge has a life span of 50 years but parking of heavy trailers over the bridge is causing damage and
the life span would decrease as a natural result.‖ He was extremely critical of bridges constructed by the CDGK which he
maintained were ―stuffed with sub-standard steel, cement, crush and flexible load-bearing pads‖.

There are around 57 old and new bridges in the city with nine from the RCD Highway to the Northern Bypass. Normally, 38
percent of trucks carry 8.2 tons of extra load and an extra load of 12 tons or above is carried by 43 percent of trucks,
sources in the National Highway Authority (NHA) and Motorway Police told Daily Times while referring to the weight the
axle can take. Traders and owners of mills are responsible or overloading and not the transporters, argued Sindh Goods,
Trucks and Trailers Association‘s Malik Ahmad Khan. ―They compel the transporters to mount the extra load to save
transportation charges and the number of runs.‖ On the other hand, transporters face fines of up to Rs 30,000 daily from
the highway police.

About 30,000 trailers (65 percent) and trucks (35 percent) are engaged in inter-city transportation of goods and other
material. The contractors get a 75 percent share while the remaining 25 percent is spent on the actual project.

Out of 18,000 mini buses and coaches, 5,000 have been altered to work as goods carriers, said Syed Mahmood Afridi of
the Mini Bus and Coach Owners Association.

Afridi recalled that a portion of the Sher Shah Bridge had once collapsed only to be repaired with steel and rubber. The
newly constructed bridge at Quaidabad, Landhi also collapsed on one side. The Sindh government has allowed heavy
trailers to enter the city from the Super Highway to New Karachi Industrial Area, the National Highway to Manzar Petrol
Pump intersection to Younus roundabout to Dawood roundabout via Road 8000, Mehran Highway and from the Northern
Bypass to Paracha Chowk to Estate Avenue to Siemens roundabout and back to Gulbai-Mauripur Road and then to
Karachi Port (East and West Wharf) and the Oil area to Police Post No 3 Shireen Jinnah Colony.

The city already has public and private transport of 700,000 motorcycles, car and jeeps. Also, 30,000 two-axel dumpers
work the city in violation of the motor vehicle ordinance.
(By Munawar Pirzada, DailyTimes-B1, 01/09/2007)

                                            Newly-built bridge collapses
KARACHI, Sept 1: Six people were killed and some others were feared dead when a part of a key bridge of the Northern
Bypass collapsed on Saturday afternoon, police and rescue workers said.
Two trailers, one with a container and the other with a cement tank, were on the Shershah bridge at around 1.20pm when
the 70-metre Baldia loop of the structure buckled.

The city police chief, Azhar Farooqui, said that four bodies had been removed from the place of incident. ―The number of
casualties may rise as some people are still trapped under the broken section of the bridge,‖ he added.

The driver and cleaner of the other trailer are believed to be dead. Civil Hospital sources said two bodies and parts of a
mutilated body were brought to the mortuary.

Two cars, a donkey cart, a police van and some people were buried under the mangled mass of concrete, lending
credence to reports the casualty figures will rise.
Area people said a minibus, a passenger coach and many pedestrians were trapped under the debris of the bridge, whose
collapse created such a loud bang that the residents of nearby localities felt a massive earthquake had pummelled the city.

Chief Fire Officer Mohammed Ehtisham told Dawn that a rescue operation was under way in an extremely dangerous
condition. ―We have dug a tunnel down one of the trapped car, with its driver dead inside, as it is impossible to lift that huge
concrete mass.‖

He said the possibility of rescuing victims from under the debris was dim. ―Everything has been smashed and flattened and
there is no chance of any survivor making it alive.‖
Rescue volunteers said the broken piece of the bridge sank four to five feet into the ground. They said the sliding of the
broken piece had made their job more perilous.
(Dawn-1, 02/09/2007)

                                            Six killed in bridge collapse
KARACHI, Sept 1: At least six people were killed and many others injured when the Shershah bridge, which formed part of
the recently-inaugurated Northern Bypass, collapsed on Saturday afternoon. An unknown number of people remained
trapped under the mangled mass of concrete and it is feared that the casualty figures will rise.

As the 70-metre Baldia loop buckled at about 1.20pm, two trailers and other vehicles that had been on the bridge were
hurled about 25 feet on to the road below, near the crowded Shershah intersection.

At least two private cars, a donkey-cart, a minibus and a coach said to be packed with passengers were trapped – or
crushed – under the masonry of the bridge which collapsed with an earth-shaking impact that led residents to believe that
the city had been struck by a massive earthquake.

The Shershah senior police officer, Zahid Hussain, told Dawn that two cars trapped under the rubble were visible ―but there
are no signs of any passenger minibus or coach.‖
He commented that the number of casualties would have been much higher had the incident taken place after 3pm when a
large number of vehicles, including buses and minibuses, use the road from Habib Bank Bus Stop to Gul Bai.
―It is difficult to say yet how many people are trapped in the debris,‖ said DIG West Falak Khursheed. ―Two trailers and a
few cars came down with the bridge and fell on vehicles using the road below.‖

One of the trailers, carrying bags of cement, was being driven by 45-year-old Mohammed Qasim who told Dawn that his
survival was nothing short of a miracle. ―The vehicle started to tip suddenly and fell over the side of the collapsing bridge,‖
he said while being treated at Civil Hospital Karachi. A samosa vendor added that the bridge collapsed with a deafening
noise and ―raised clouds of dust and debris that engulfed everything.‖

Initial rescue operations were characterised by extreme tardiness, confusion and an evident lack of coordination. A couple
of hours after the tragedy, engineers claiming to be from the National Highway Authority (NHA) appeared on the scene and
started to dig a tunnel with excavators. The Karachi district coordination officer (DCO), Javed Hanif, who also reached the
spot hours after the accident, asked the engineers under whose orders they were digging the tunnel. They explained to the
DCO and the city nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal that since one of the girders of the collapsed section still appeared intact,
they were trying to create an opening through which trapped people could be rescued. Subsequently, the top officials of the
city government and the NHA engineers removed themselves into a nearby textile mill to discuss the matter further.

A police official told Dawn, meanwhile, that the machinery and heavy equipment being used in the rescue operations were
insufficient for the purpose of moving the estimated 4,000 metric tonnes of the collapsed structure.

Through official records, the police have established the registered owners of two cars crushed under the fallen slabs. The
metallic-red Toyota Corolla bearing the number plate AMA-795 is registered under the name of Khwaja Farrukh Karim, a
resident of Block J, North Nazimabad.

The white Toyota Corolla with an AMK-417 number plate is registered under the name of Kharadar resident Rizwan Raza.
However, officials told Dawn that the car may have been sold because soon after the accident, a young man from Mohajir
Camp arrived at the scene having seen footage of the crushed car on television. ―He said that his relatives had been
travelling in the car and that it belonged to them,‖ said a police official.

However, Edhi sources said that a man named Rizwan was trapped in the white Corolla, and that he appeared to be alive.
The Edhi helicopter hovering over the scene would take him to hospital as soon as he was freed from the wreckage, they

Yousaf Barakzai, the project director of the National Highways Authority (NHA), supervised the Northern Bypass project
built by the National Logistics Cell (NLC). He told Dawn that one of the four supporting pillars inside the nearby textile mill
had collapsed, causing one of the two girders of the bridge‘s span to give way. ―I cannot immediately say, however, what
caused this recently-constructed structure to buckle in this manner,‖ he said.

A medico-legal officer at the CHK confirmed that two bodies and some mutilated body parts were brought to the hospital.
―The dead are as yet unidentified,‖ he told Dawn, ―but the injured include Yasir Ashfaq, 27, Nazakat, 20, Murad Bibi, 60 and
Mohammed Qasim, 45.‖ He added that Mohammed Hanif, one of the Rangers‘ personnel, was injured when, angered at
being asked to move away, the crowd gathered at the scene of the accident hurled stones at law-enforcers.

At a press conference held later in the day, communications minister Shahim Siddiqui revealed that about a year ago, the
ministry had found flaws in the bridge‘s design and recommended reconstruction. However, the NLC hired foreign
consultants and following their recommendations, put in steel sheets. ―The contractor claimed that the bridge‘s stability had
been increased ten-fold,‖ said Mr Siddiqui.

Confirming the deaths of six people, the minister said that six to seven people in three vehicles remained trapped under the
masonry. ―City government staff are carrying out rescue work but it is impossible to lift some 4,000 metric tonnes of rubble
with cranes,‖ he said. ―Rescuers are in the process of making tunnels inside the wreckage.‖

The minister promised that the families of those killed would receive Rs0.5 million in compensation and the government
would bear all the expenses of the injured people‘s treatment. The owners of the damaged vehicles would also be

According to Mr Siddiqui, who belongs to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, an inquiry committee is being constituted
comprising neutral experts, engineers, elected representatives, city government authorities and the town nazim concerned.

It will submit a report within two weeks, he said, making it clear that action would be taken against the persons found
responsible, be they from the NHA, the NLC or the consultant company. ―I am ready to resign if there is any mistake on my
part,‖ he said, adding that the bridge‘s reconstruction may take up to six months but ―the rest of the 57-kilometre long
Northern Bypass is safe and can be used. The structural life of the construction, inaugurated two months ago by President
General Pervez Musharraf, is 50 years.‖
(By Tahir Siddiqui & S. Raza Hassan, Dawn-17, 02/09/2007)

                              Minister admits fault in Northern Bypass design
The Federal Minister for Communications Shamim Siddiqi admitted that there was a fault in the design of the structure of
Northern Bypass which he also pointed out a year ago when the bridge tilted during its construction.

Taking notice of this, he had also recommended the redesigning of the entire structure. However, the consultants took up
the matter and, after considering everything, assured him that they had strengthened the structure almost ten times
compared to the the initial plan.

When asked why action was not taken despite the fact that a Union Council Nazim of the area informed the authorities
regarding the fault in the structure, he said that the contractors were highly reputed and they had considered everything
only then was the project was given approval.

Addressing a press conference at the office of the National Highway Authority (NHA), Siddiqi said that they were setting up
an investigation committee that would take two weeks to complete the inquiry. He said that the contractor and consultant
were the main stakeholders and one of them could be responsible for this accident. He said that he would supervise the
investigation committee himself and strict action would be taken against whoever was found responsible. He said that the
investigation report in this connection would be made public on completion.

Expressing regrets over the matter he said that Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz had also expressed grief over the
incident and it has been decided that the victims would be given Rs0.5 million each while the injured would also be
compensated for their treatment and the owners of vehicles damaged would also be given compensation. Regarding the
bridge, he said that it would take some six months to dismantle the collapsed portion and rebuild it.

He further said that the CDGK was carrying out the rescue operation. The collapsed structure, he said, weighed about
4,000 metric tons which is causing difficulty in the rescue operation as there is no machinery available to move such a huge
load. He said that they were trying to rescue those stuck under the debris. For this purpose he said that three tunnels would
be made as to rescue those who are still stuck into the debris. He expected the operation to be completed in a couple of
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-13, 02/09/2007)

                          Relatives contend bridge built to save nearby factory
Finding no response to their cries, some injured persons under the debris of what one described ‗snake-like‘ newly built
bridge at Sher Shah, ostensibly constructed to save huge factory there, managed to extricate themselves from the mangled
remains of vehicles and the debris to tell stories of horror, looting, and anguish.

―As I disembarked from the passenger coach (Fareedi), suddenly something heavy struck me and I came under it,‖ injured
Yasin, 35, lying in the emergency ward of Civil Hospital, told The News. Yasin, who was coming from Chaukandi along with
his younger brother, Shahzad, 18, to his residence in Sher Shah, said, ―I continuously cried for help but no one responded.‖
Then he managed to extricate himself from debris and found one of his hands broken. He was suffering from pain in the
chest and back. His brother who alighted from the ladies‘ compartment footboard was missing. He said his purse, which
also contained phone numbers of his relatives was missing. He wondered now how he would inform his relatives and as to
whether his brother was alive. He said when he gained conscious; he saw one car, which had been destroyed under the
debris. He said more than one dozen passengers were traveling in the coach.

Another injured, Nazakat who sustained wounds on his face and other body parts said as he proceeded to cross the road
after alighting from a coach, he did not know what hit him because he almost lost consciousness. ―I only heard cries/voices
but I could not comprehend it,‖ he recalled.

Ms Murad Bibi said she was buying ‗pan‘ from pan cabin at the bridge when thick piece of something hit her. Lady doctor
Rohina Hasan said the tendon of her hand has been exposed. Hence it could not be called a minor injury.

Doctors at Civil Hospital said they received two bodies (dead on arrival) and three injured including a woman, all out of

Hussain, paramedical staff at the mortuary said they had also received vital internal human organs like heart, liver etc,
which were brought by Edhi ambulance driver wrapped in piece of cloth.

Identity of dead could not be ascertained immediately. Doctors said one old man with white beard sustained single injury on
his head, which proved fatal. His other body parts were safe.
Another dead man‘s face was disfigured, doctors said. Edhi ambulance driver said the victim was the driver of a trailer. He
said they brought dead and injured from sides of the fallen bridge.

People residing in Naval Colony, Hub, Yusuf Goth, Daud Goth and other areas thronged the Emergency at the Civil
Hospital as their relatives pass through this route.

Ghulam Mohiudin, who came to know about whereabouts of his two missing nephews, told this reporter that this bridge was
inaugurated around 15 days ago. He said he passed over it daily on his motorcycle and found it strange bridge. It looks like
snake with lot of curves as if ‗it was built through hills.‘ He claimed that this was mainly done to save ‗huge mill‘ through
which, the bridge passes. Had a passage was acquired from the factory, there would have been no need of constructing
bridge, he believed.

He said several ‗crossings‘ had been developed on the bridge as if it was developed after cutting through the hills. He said
he saw more than 25 feet wide portion of bridge, which fell on several vehicles. He believed that this bridge was developed
for heavy vehicles, which implied that it should have been stronger.
(By Imtiaz Ali, The News-14, 02/09/2007)

                                      Ten killed in Karachi bridge collapse
KARACHI: A colossal engineering failure, the first in the history of Pakistan, occurred on Saturday when a newly-
constructed bridge of the National Highway Authority collapsed in the afternoon, killing, at least, 10 people, and injuring
scores of others, including three under-training police constables. It is feared that many more people are trapped
underneath the debris of the bridge, which was constructed by the Frontier Works Organisation.

The second section of the bridge, which was inaugurated by President Pervez Musharraf on August 6, less than a month
ago, was also found dangerous and was closed to traffic. Cracks were seen appearing on its pillars.
The tragedy occurred between 1230 to 0100 hours when the track leading to Gulbai and Shershah collapsed, taking with it
a number of vehicles, including two trailers and a police mobile. The vehicles were buried under the rubble.

After the incident, large contingents of Rangers and police reached the spot and cordoned-off the area. KESC and Sui Gas
authorities also reached the site and disconnected power and gas connections.

The contract for the construction of the bridge was awarded by the NHA to FWO, which had completed the work in mid
2007. The 57-kilometer highway is being constructed by National Highway Authority (NHA) to lessen the pressure of heavy
traffic from the city roads. The bridge joins the KPT to the National Highway and RCD Highway.

The first two bodies that were recovered were of two unidentified women. The bodies were badly mangled with only hands
and feet in discernible condition.

Two cars were also crushed. It was hard to identify how many people were in Toyota Corolla AMA-795. The victim in
another car AMK-417 was identified by his brother as Rizwan, a resident of nearby Kharadar locality.

A man selling corn was among those killed.
A trailer TLJ-408 belonging to Lucky Cement Factory was also crushed. Its driver Mohammed Qasim, who was injured,
later died. The driver of the second trailer TLA-795 that went down was seriously injured and could not be identified.

A police van SP-7862 of Police Training Center, Saeedabad, also went down along with the collapsing structure. Three
constables were injured.
Many other vehicles, including a minibus, remain buried under the debris.

A taxi-driver, Iqbal was rescued when he contacted his family on his cell-phone. Later, volunteers following his directions
rescued him. Other trapped people also phoned their relatives but the phones quickly went quiet.

Following the incident, the traffic was badly disturbed, as hundreds of people of the area and from the surrounding localities
gathered on the spot. The rescue operation by the city government could only be started after an hour of the incident.

Three bodies and five injured were brought to the Civil Hospital. The only deceased who could be identified was Ali
Mohammed, 55.

The injured were Murad Bibi, 60, Nazakat, 20, Yasin 27, Mohammed Hanif, 35, and Safdar, 22. Five injured were taken to
the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and were identified as Zarif and her 12-year-old daughter Taj, Abid, 20, Zohaib, 18, and
Ameer Abdullah, 21.

Chief Fire Officer Ehtesham said that bodies were still lying under the collapsed bridge.

Engineers say that no bridge in the world has ever been constructed without support on the turning while this bridge was
not given any support over the long turning. They termed it a structural failure.

Sources said that in the mid of February and March, serious defects were found in the bridge. A foreign team had inspected
the bridge and suggested that it should be reconstructed.

When contacted, the Capital City Police Officer, Karachi, Azhar Ali Farooqi, regarding the inquiry and registration of case,
said that it was apparently a structural engineering failure and the governor Sindh had constituted an inquiry under the chief
secretary.CCPO Farooqi added that the inquiry committee would check the material, the engineering design and after the
inquiry would fix responsibility and then a case would be registered.

The federal minister for communication has suspended three general mangers and one project director of National
Highway Authority and blacklisted the contractors of the project.
(By Salis bin Perwaiz, The News-1, 02/09/2007)

                                        The bridge didn’t break, it slipped
Talking to The News, a reliable source said that the bridge didn‘t collapse because it was weak. Rather, it slipped off since
there was no concrete support at the joints. He further said that the portion that had collapsed was not damaged at any
point in the middle which could be clearly seen.

However, the source said, it slipped from its pillars where the filling wasn‘t properly done. In order to explain the fault in
Northern Bypass he pointed out towards Gulbai Bridge which was built four months ago. He said that there were huge gaps
between joints at the sides of the bridge and the contractors had started filling them on Friday but similar gaps on Northern
Bypass were left unfilled that weakened its supporting power and caused its collapse.

He further said that the transport community had time and again informed the National Highway Authority regarding the
faults in the structure of several bridges (including Northern Bypass) across the country. He added that their cries went
unheeded as the National Highway Authority never took them seriously.
He further said that in a national press conference held in a local hotel here some four months ago the transporters from all
across the country came with their proposals regarding flooded roads and the dilapidated bridges in Sindh, Balochistan,
and the NWFP.

However, he said, they were not allowed to speak and the points they raised were not considered.

To prove his allegation, he said that during recent rains almost all the bridges that had collapsed in Balochistan were
constructed under the supervision of National Highway Authority while those constructed by other companies survived the
record breaking rains this year that clearly indicates the poor engineering and construction standard of the NHA-favoured
(The News-13, 02/09/2007)

                                 Technical fault ignored for early completion
A narrow turning was the main cause behind the collapse of the Northern Bypass bridge on Saturday despite the fact that
experts and transporters had pointed out this technical fault during the construction of this bridge.

Disclosing this, sources told The News that experts engaged in the project ignored this fault just to please the federal
government which wanted to see the completion of the project within a specific time.
The sources added that pillars constructed under this narrow turning were not given the required time to strengthen, as the
engineers and experts were in a hurry to complete the bridge for its inauguration at the scheduled time by President Gen
Pervez Musharraf.

Sources added that the bridge‘s pillars were erected too narrow owing to space constraint, even though sufficient space
was available in the surrounding area to widen the turning in question.

According to sources, the said narrow turning became the main cause of this incident despite the fact that the drivers of
heavy and light vehicles had been regularly complaining to the authorities concerned about this technical fault.

The National Highway Authority (NHA) had planned the Northern Bypass project which was constructed by Frontier Works
Organisation (FWO). Yousuf Barakzai is the consultant engineer of both the Northern Bypass and the Lyari Expressway.

Technical experts pointed out that the said narrow turning could not bear the heavy load and it also posed high risk to
heavy traffic. Eyewitnesses pointed out that 18 to 20 tonnes of cloth was loaded on one of the ill-fated containers and 25
tonnes cement on other container, adding that most of the containers weigh 50 to 80 tonnes, which was extremely
dangerous for passing through the said narrow turning.

Experts pointed out that usually a fuel tank carries 350 litters and in case a fuel tank had exploded, the situation could have
been far worse for the whole area.

Authorities pointed out that the Quetta-Karachi link was disconnected due to the accident which affected traffic flow on the
RCD Highway.

Sources said that the authorities have directed the administration to take steps for affecting alternate routes for the heavy
traffic as such a situation could cause food shortage in the city.
(By Tahir Hasan Khan, The News-13, 02/09/2007)

                                     2 out of 12 bridges dangerous: CDGK
KARACHI: A consultant recently declared the Jam Sadiq Bridge and the Natha Khan Goth Bridge dangerous after a survey
of 12 bridges carried out by the CDGK‘s works and services department.

The WSD, which is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the city‘s roads and bridges, recently awarded a
contract to a private firm to check the infrastructure of bridges, said WSD EDO Nisar Sario. Repair work on Jam Sadiq
Bridge started recently as it is a major link between Korangi Industrial Area and the rest of the city. ―The inspection of Natha
Khan Bridge is in full swing and it will take some time to decide its fate,‖ he added.

Teen Hatti Bridge was declared dangerous by the WSD after a heavy girder of the Lyari Expressway fell about three
months ago. ―The time has come to inspect all the bridges and flyovers that were constructed 20 years ago,‖ a WSD official

During a recent press conference, the city nazim was asked about the condition of Quaidabad Bridge. ―I know the bridge is
in bad condition. It will be repaired after Babar Market Road is done,‖ he had said.

The other bridges need to be potentially checked are those at old Mauripur, Sohrab Goth on Super Highway near Lyari
Expressway, the right track of Rashid Minhas Bridge near Drigh Road Police Station on Shahra-e-Faisal, Lasbella Bridge
near Golimar, Yasinabad Bridge and Gharibabad Bridge in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, Teen Hatti Bridge and the Liaquatabad
Flyover in Liaquatabad Town, Quaidabad Bridge leading to Dawood Chowrangi in Landhi Town, Wallace Bridge on I. I.
Chundrigar Road and Lilly Bridge near PIDC.
The authorities did not have the right equipment to cope with a disaster of this scale. ―The city government officials have
been busy for the last eight hours to remove a trailer loaded with loose cement,‖ said an Edhi Foundation volunteer.

Boy scouts also turned up to help control the crowd. ―We‘ve been here from 4:00 pm,‖ said Usman Cheema, a senior guide
with the PIA Boys Scouts. He said that they had been trained for such situations but there was nothing they could do. The
SHOs of Mochko and Baldia police stations said that half their energy was wasted trying to disperse the spectators who
were not making way for the rescue work.
(By Jamil Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 02/09/2007)

                                           4 die in Karachi bridge collapse
KARACHI: A portion of a bridge that was inaugurated by President Pervez Musharraf just a month ago collapsed on
Saturday afternoon, killing at least four people, injuring several others and leaving an unknown number of people trapped

The Northern Bypass at Paracha Chowk in Sher Shah was built at a cost of Rs 300 million by the National Highway
Authority (NHA). The president and prime minister have called for investigations into the disaster.

Architect and structural expert Zafar Razzak told Daily Times that the bridge was heading for a collapse from the day it was
built. ―The bridge was not straight; it was tilted towards the right at the end,‖ he said, adding that this structure is considered
faulty by one school of thought. ―Some German experts had suggested that the NHA make some modifications to reduce
the risks.‖ Speed breakers were then put in to reduce the risk of the curve. ―If you look under the bridge, you will find black
strips of carbon fibres that were installed on the suggestions of the foreign experts to support the curved bridge,‖ he added.

AP adds: Bystanders and relatives of those trapped under the rubble were angered by slow rescue efforts and clashed with
the police.
(DailyTimes-A1, 02/09/2007)

                                     Expert: Bridge didn’t collapse from load
KARACHI: The section of the northern bypass bridge that collapsed Saturday was part of a box girder bridge, considered
one of the ‗strongest bridges‘ with a capacity to withstand 140 pounds per square centimeter.

Structural expert and one of the city‘s renowned bridge architects Shoaib Ismail told Daily Times that the part of bridge that
collapsed was strong, made up of installments from upper, lower and side sections that are welded together. ―There could
not be some structural fault in the bridge as [the National Highway Authority] might [have had experts review the bridge]
before opening [it],‖ he said, adding that the architects of the bridge project designed it properly. Girder and box girder
bridges are all over Pakistan, since these types of structures are cheap to build and strong, Ismail said. The girder is the
simple form of a Beam Bridge consisting of two flanges (top and bottom plates) welded to a web (side plate).

The structures are mostly made of wood, iron or steel girders as well as reinforced concrete. In Pakistan, mostly concrete is
used to build these types of bridges, Ismail said, adding that steel is also a popular construction material these days. ―It will
take a detailed survey to find out the real reasons behind the collapse of the portion of this bridge and with out any survey it
is really difficult to tell exactly that why it has collapsed,‖ Ismail said. Ismail added that the bridge could not have collapsed
because of the load. ―Logically these bridges are made in such a way that they can stand against [the] heaviest load, so I
don‘t think that this portion has collapsed because of the load,‖ he said.

Architects, engineers rush to the spot: The news of the bridge collapse spread in the city like wildfire and several structural
engineers and architects also reached the scene with the rest of the public. ―Saheb went to the site to see what happened
there,‖ the office assistant of a renowned bridge architect, Dr Shahid Aalam, told Daily Times.

―I am getting late. I have to go to the site so I will talk to you later,‖ another architect, Zafar Razzak, told Daily Times.
―I visited the site and observed it from different angles to figure out what the reasons were,‖ bridge architect Shoaib Ismail
also said.
(By Amar Guriro, DailyTimes-B1, 02/09/2007)

                                            One pillar got displaced: NHA
KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: The bridge collapsed as one its pillars was displaced, said the National Highway Authority in a
press release reported by APP

The bridge was constructed by the National Logistic Cell (NLC) and it was part of the 57-km Northern Bypass. M/s
Engineering Consultant International was the consultant. The bridge was completed in two years ago but later a fault
appeared in its design following which the bridge was redesigned in light of recommendations from a foreign consultant
company. The NHA re-opened the bridge after it was fully satisfied after a trial observation period.

At the press conference, NHA Project Director Yousuf Barakzai said that the design was drawn up by a wing of a company
in Cyprus for Engineering Consultants International (Pvt) Ltd. The design was approved by the engineering section of the
NLC followed by the approval of the NHA.
―The bridge was designed to be the latest and most durable one in the city but it is a matter of entire astonishment how it
collapsed,‖ Barakzai commented.

To a question about which company in Cyprus was responsible for the design, he said he had forgotten the name. ECIL
Resident Rngineer Iqbal Ahmed Alvi could not be contacted for the name.

―The piling of the pairs of the bridge were substandard and the building material was poor quality,‖ an NHA engineer
claimed. "We were coming from Lahore with a delivery of clothes to Mauripur when we suddenly felt a powerful vibration,"
said Abid Hussain, the driver of trailer (TLA-795). He and his conductor Ameer Abdullah said they were sure they were
going to die. "Instead of hitting the breaks I jammed my foot on the accelerator to get out of there," he said.

Police official Khalid Hameed confirmed four deaths that later went up by 2 and 12 injured but added that several vehicles
were trapped in the debris. Two bodies along with body parts and six injured people were rushed to Civil Hospital. Five
injured people were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and another to Murshid Hospital.

Witnesses said a portion of the bridge fell with a huge bang. "It created such a big sound that we thought it was an
earthquake," said neighbourhood resident Zahid Khan. Others thought a bomb had exploded.

The dead were mostly identified as poor people. Ali Mohammad, 55, a resident of Shershah hailing from Attock, was a
father of four, who worked in the fisheries, according to this cousin Salim. The Civil hospital injured are Mohammad
Nazakat, Ghulam Yasin, Murad Bibi, Qasim and a Ranger's jawan Hanif who was injured during an outbreak of violence at
the scene. The injured at Abbasi Shaheed are: Abid Hussain, Ameer Abdullah, Zohaib, Rafia and her 12-year-old daughter
Taj Mina. "We were waiting for a bus at the stop when the bridge collapsed with a sudden bang," Rafia, a resident of
Baldia, told Daily Times from hospital.

Beast dies under concrete burden: A donkey also died in the Shershah incident. ―I was passing by with my donkey cart
when suddenly the bridge collapsed on us,‖ said donkey-cart holder Ahsan Ali. ―There was no chance of saving him.‖ A
distraught and teary-eyed Ali paid forty thousand rupees for the animal who helped him support his entire family. Ali was
also injured.
(By Faraz Khan and Munawar Pirzada, DailyTimes-B1, 02/09/2007)

                                        Drigh Road flyover closed to traffic
KARACHI, Sept 2: Following the collapse of a bridge forming part of the newly-constructed Northern Bypass, the city
government on Sunday closed Drigh Road flyover to carry out necessary repairs.

According to CDGK officials, earlier it had been decided to close the single-track flyover, linking Sharea Faisal with Rashid
Minhas Road, to all vehicular traffic for one day only.

Since the repair work was taking a long time it was expected that the flyover would now reopen for traffic by Monday
evening, they said.

These repairs had been long overdue as the flyover had developed many potholes, they said, adding that the authorities
concerned awakened from deep slumber only after the fateful incident — the collapse of the bridge on Saturday — that had
claimed lives of innocent people.

EDO Works and Services Nisar Sario told Dawn that some damaged portions of Drigh Road flyover had been repaired.
He said that as the flyover had been constructed in the middle of the road, the city government had been planning to
dismantle the bridge and reconstruct it by acquiring nearby land at Drigh Colony Railway Station.
―We have to maintain the flyover till a final decision is taken in this regard,‖ Mr Sario said.

He said that the repair work of Jam Sadiq flyover in the Korangi Industrial Area was already in progress.
―At present we are strengthening the columns and girders beneath the flyover and we will also repair tracks of the flyover
for which the temporary closure of the flyover will be inevitable,‖ he added. The EDO hinted that the repair work on Sohrab
Goth and Natha Khan bridges, which were in dilapidated conditions, would start soon.

He said that acting on the directives of City Nazim Mustafa Kamal, the works and services department would start a
citywide survey from Monday to assess the strength of all the bridges and flyovers.
(Dawn-13, 03/09/2007)

                                       Experts at a loss to explain collapse
KARACHI, Sept 2: Experts and professionals have varied views about the collapse of a bridge on the Northern Bypass on
Saturday as they could not comprehend how part of a box girder-bridge could collapse in such a fashion as such bridges
are considered among the strongest of their sort.
―Such bridges are inherently strong with their pre-stressed construction. So how a significant portion of a new bridge could
fall in such a manner is in fact a mystery for all of us,‖ Siddiq Essa, a consulting structural engineer, told Dawn.

He said the incident was the first of its kind in Karachi, which had shocked every professional in the field of structural
engineering. ―It is very difficult to say anything decisive. It could be anything … it could be a fault in the construction or the
design etc,‖ he said.

Mr Essa said he had visited the site of the incident out of professional anxiety on Sunday and looked for refurbishment on
the other lane of the bridge, which is still intact.
―But, I could not find any refurbishment on the damaged portion,‖ he said.
He was referring to the statement of Communications Minister Shamim Siddiqui citing such refurbishment months ago.

Asked whether the use of Tor steel could be a reason behind the fall of the bridge, as is being thought by some experts, Mr
Essa said in a bridge like this, steel became secondary because it was constructed using the pre-stressed method and not
the reinforcement technique.

He said most of Karachi‘s buildings and structures were built with Tor steel instead of TMT (thermo mechanically treated)
steel and yet none of them collapsed.
―Tor steel could be dangerous during earthquakes but not in the situation which we have witnessed at the Northern
Bypass,‖ he said.

Enhancing steel standards
Another structural engineer suggested to the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to enhance its
standard set for steel in the country, which could at least give the authorities advance warning of collapse of any structure
and help save precious lives even if the building/structure had inherent flaws.
―By enhancing the set standard of steel bars no structure would collapse immediately and without giving any warning as the
portion of the Northern Bypass did,‖ Jawed Akhtar, a structural engineer belonging to a private consultancy firm, said.

According to him, it had been suggested to the PSQCA to standardise TMT steel instead of Tor steel, which is in vogue in
the country at present.
―Any building built with TMT could give ample time before its collapse if its fault becomes grave and causes ultimate
damage, which is not the case with Tor steel,‖ he said. According to him, most of Karachi‘s 50-plus bridges could not bear
heavy loads for the same reason.
―Karachi falls in a seismic zone, which requires the capability of at least 16 per cent elongation (elasticity) to brave tremors
of average intensity while Tor steel offers only 9 per cent,‖ he said.

Zarak Khan Khattak, another structural engineer, said TMT was introduced in India in 2001 and had now captured two-
thirds of the steel market in the country.
(By Hasan Mansoor, Dawn-15, 03/09/2007)

                               Govt blames private firm for collapse of bridge
KARACHI, Sept 2: The government on Sunday sought to distance itself from the collapse of a bridge — part of the recently
inaugurated Northern Bypass — and heaped the blame on a private engineering firm responsible for the portion of the
structure that buckled on Saturday afternoon and left nine people dead.

Speaking at a press conference, the chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, Lt-Gen (retd) Farooq Ahmad
Khan, said a major structural flaw was detected when the span of the bridge was installed and one of the girders went up
by around 7.8 millimetres in March 2006.

He said the private engineering firm undertaking the construction of the portion of the bridge turned to a Greek consultancy
firm which gave the structure a clean bill of health in June 2006 following some structural alterations. In Feb 2007, the
bridge was opened to vehicular traffic on a trial basis.

But Mr Khan refused to say who was responsible for the engineering disaster and what action would be taken against
them. He even expressed ignorance about Communications Minister Shamim Siddiqui‘s comments in which he had told the
media that the army-run National Logistics Cell – which had built the bridge for the National Highway Authority – had been

The communications ministry suspended at least four officials of the NHA on Saturday night. Documents pertaining to the
bridge construction were also sealed.

But the most the NDMA chairman could say was that the names of a couple of people who could be responsible for the
collapse of the bridge had been placed on the Exit Control List. He told a newsman he could not name the names.

‘Beyond recognition’
The authorities supervised a slow-moving rescue operation and succeeded in retrieving three more bodies from the
mangled mass of concrete 20 hours after the occurrence of the accident.

Edhi sources told Dawn that the bodies had been mutilated beyond recognition. They added that mutilated body parts were
responsible for some confusion about the death toll.

Fire brigade officials, drawing on their meagre resources, took part in the operation in the absence of trained rescue

The body of 32-year-old Rizwan Raza, who was killed in his car (AMK-417), was retrieved after his legs were amputated.
―We shifted Rizwan‘s body to Khurasan for funeral arrangements,‖ chief volunteer Rizwan Edhi said.

Referring to another body, he said the victim was identified as Moosa, a resident of Baldia Town.
―His face was badly mutilated. We reconstructed his faced by using cotton which led to his identification.‖
The third body recovered from the heavy concrete structure was identified as Tanveer.
―The body was also badly mutilated,‖ Mr Edhi said, adding that the body was sent to the Civil Hospital for legal formalities.

Crowd control
Crowds of curious onlookers descended upon the site of the accident on Sunday. Rangers personnel controlling the crowds
did not do their job in a tactful manner and scuffled with officials of the city government on late Saturday night.
Many onlookers disregarded the city government‘s warning about getting too close to the perilously tilted bridge. Some of
them could not help feeling upset about the poor quality of the masonry and remarked that ―the government can only build
bridges for bicycles‖.

Unable to remove the wreckage, the authorities decided to shift the contents of a trailer still stuck in the debris of the
collapsed bridge.

The NDMA chairman told newsmen on Sunday that the NLC would present a detailed plan on Monday for the removal of
the dangerous portion of the bridge. He refused to put a timeline on the process.
(By S. Raza Hassan, Dawn-13, 03/09/2007)

                                                 Road in bad shape
FOR the last seven years I am a regular visitor to Sanghar, which is a remote area and also the second biggest district of
Sindh, with no direct main railway or main national hi-way connection.

During the last two to three years one could notice a lot of development activities taking place in the district, with
construction of new roads, extensions and repairs of existing roads, law and order situation, etc. Now one can travel during
late evening hours, which was not possible before. Thanks to the zila nazim.

I would like to draw attention of the zila nazim to the need for early repairs of road connecting Jhole with
Sanghar/Mirpurkhas Road. At present it is in bad shape and people are facing a lot of problems travelling on this road.
Moreover, sugarcane crushing season will start in November and a lot of cane traffic will pass through this road.
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 03/09/2007)

                                          Northern Bypass Collapse
                               Citizens grapple with intense fear of traveling
The collapse of a bridge on the Northern Bypass has spread intense fear among the citizens who have now lost their trust
in all the‘s city flyovers and underpasses.

People from all parts of the metropolis flocked the site of the disaster on Sunday. They expressed their utter
disappointment and said that citizens can no longer trust the construction standards of any of the flyovers or underpasses
in the metropolis. ―There are a number of bridges that were built decades ago. I doubt if they are safe for commuting,‖ said
Fareeda Khanam, a resident of Model Colony, Malir, adding that the authorities were least concerned about the renovation
of the old bridges many of which were dilapidated. ―I believe that we all better stay home and not commute at all.‖

The Karachiites are extremely fearful of driving through the underpasses or flyovers. ―My mother called me and asked me
not to use Quaidabad Flyover,‖ said Raheel Khan a resident of Gulshan-e-Hadeed.

A resident of Sher Shah commented that Meeran Naka Bridge, which was built decades ago, has survived the worst
incidents. While was once submerged under rainwater when the Hub Dam was not yet built, the Northern Bypass could not
survive the load of heavy vehicles.

People said that they have completely lost their trust in the government that played with human lives by compromising on
construction quality. ―They lay stress on the earliest completion of the structures without sensing the importance of these
projects and the threats on account of undue haste to complete the project,‖ pointed out Adnan Mir, a resident of

A resident of SITE Town claimed that everybody in her area knew that an engineer who was working on this bridge had
refused to sign the project‘s clearance as he had pointed out some technical faults. ―Despite knowing everything, the
government pressurised the consultants to carry on which shows that they were involved in corruption and they did not
have any interest in saving human lives,‖ said Amina Bibi, a resident of Bakra Peeri. Amina including other residents of the
area told The News that one of their neighbourhood residents was missing from home and they believed that he was still
under the debris.

Commenting on the suspension of some officials concerned, people stressed that this would not resolve the matter and the
responsible should be hanged. ―The minimum punishment for those responsible should be the capital punishment,‖
maintained the residents saying that 10 precious lives were lost by so far while public property worth billions of rupees had
also been destroyed.

Renowned architect and town planner Arif Hassan said that this was a case of serious mismanagement.

―You are going to have such mishaps until the institutions that plan and implement these plans, give up the out-fashioned
stereotype working style. The professional capacity of local government institutions has been weak. These institutions were
independent of any public control but they have to be accountable anyway.‖

Aleem Khan, who has been associated with A.A Associates as a civil engineer, termed it as the biggest civil engineering
disaster and said that a thorough investigation should be initiated. He added that the authorities should learn a lesson from
the incident.
(By Aisha Masood, The News-14, 03/09/2007)

                                Collapse of bypass hits routine life of locals
The collapse of of a bridge on the Northern Bypass paralysed business activities and restricted the movement of area
people in addition to suspension of vehicular traffic.

The locals who were present in large number at the site of the collapsed bridge said that their movement in the area was
seriously affected because of this incident. Many of them complained that they were victim to baton charging by the police
and Rangers while other volunteers who were not even authorised also used sticks to disperse them.

One of them said the intersection of Paracha Chowk Railway Crossing is a key crossing and almost all the residents use it
for commuting across the city but the law-enforcement agencies have cordoned off the area which has been causing
difficulties to the locals. Another local said that people have to walk as long as two kilometres up to Ghani Chowrangi since
the traffic has been suspended in the area.

Moreover, all the shops and offices near the restricted area have been closed while a large number of labourers and other
workers will have to wait till the area is opened to the public. A container that fell off the bridge could not be lifted from the
site even after the passage of more than 24 hours.

It is worth mentioning here that roads leading to Paracha Chowk have been closed to traffic and diversions have also been
proposed. Nevertheless, commuters faced traffic congestion on Sunday.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-14, 03/09/2007)

                       Ebad, Kamal order officials to examine all Karachi bridges
Sindh Governor Ishartul Ebad Khan on Sunday visited the site of Northern Bypass Bridge that collapsed on Sunday and
inspected the ongoing rescue operation.

The governor was briefed about various relevant departments of CDGK which were busy in rescue operation while experts
from NED University and other organisations were also providing technical assistance in the rehabilitation process. He was
informed that Sui Southern Gas Company and other departments had also sent their heavy machinery for the rescue work.

Meanwhile, City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has ordered a complete survey of all the bridges which fall within the purview
of the city government.
He issued a directive to this effect to the Works and Services Department of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK)
on Sunday. He said that a complete and a detailed survey of all small and big bridges was required and if needed, the
services of private consultants and experts would be acquired to overcome the shortcomings.
He said that on the basis of the survey report, if it was recommended or required, immediate repair or reconstruction work
would be started.

The city Nazim maintained that the CDGK was carrying out the repair and maintenance work on the newly constructed
bridges in a satisfactory manner.
Inspite of that, he said, a separate survey of every bridge is needed so that the people may not face any risk in the future.
(The News-13, 03/09/2007)

                                          Northern Bypass record sealed
KARACHI: The death toll in the shocking occurrence of bridge collapse remained unchanged on Sunday, while three
bodies of those killed on Saturday were retrieved from the rubble and the rescue authorities ended the operation.
There were high profile visits, including that of the Sindh governor and the chief of National Disaster Management Cell, to
the spot, where 10 people died on Saturday after a section of the newly-constructed bridge of the Northern Bypass caved

The two bodies recovered on Sunday were identified as Shadab, a resident of Landhi and Rizwan, a resident of Kharadar.
The later was crushed in a car. The third could not be identified.

The Chief Fire Officer Ehtesham said that they had ended the rescue operation. Rescue officials faced serious difficulties in
reaching the bodies as they lacked equipment to cut twisted steel and concrete slabs. Another issue that plagued the
rescue efforts was lack of leadership and coordination among the rescuers.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Governor, Dr Ishratul Ebad, visited the site on Sunday. On the occasion, the law-enforcement
agencies resorted to a mild baton charge to disperse the onlookers. But it was the chief of the National Disaster
Management Cell who told a press conference in Karachi that a board would conduct inquiries and the report would be
presented to the prime minister.
He said that the board would look into all aspects, including who had approved the design of the structure, the kind of
material used in the construction and who allowed the traffic to pass through the bridge despite faults.
He said that on the instructions of the prime minister, the entire record of the Northern Bypass had been sealed and those
involved in the construction of the Northern Bypass put on the ECL. He added that it was not yet decided how to remove
the rubble.

Officials have warned the people to stay away from the site, which is still dangerous, and presence of large number of
people is hampering access by officials. The Ministry of Communication has announced compensation of Rs 500,000 each
for the victims.

Meanwhile, authoritative sources told The News the NHA has suspended Project Director Yusuf Barakzai, three general
managers, including GM Construction Col Tehseen and GM Design Amir Ameen.

The sources said the NHA chairman, who was in Nokhandi on the Iranian border when the bridge collapsed, rushed to
Karachi by road and reached the city early Sunday. He immediately visited the site and had sent a report to the president
by Sunday noon.

When asked about the reasons for the collapse, an expert on highway engineering said on condition of anonymity,
apparently it was a design fault. He said the fault was pointed out earlier and an Australian consultant was hired for
$100,000 fee to inspect the project that he later cleared with some suggestions, which were stated to have been carried

However, the expert also stated that the 120 meter portion of the bridge that collapsed on Saturday fell in the opposite
direction, contrary to the apprehensions expressed earlier. When asked about his personal analysis of the accident, he said
that the affected curve was extremely sharp. The girder weighed about 4,000 tonnes and was supported by a tier/pillar of
1.5 metres, which should have been at least two metres to reduce the risk factor. ―The tier burst because of the
extraordinary weight, gravitational and negative forces of the traffic,‖ said the expert, adding that speed breakers on the
bridge might have also played a role in this tragedy.
The Northern Bypass was constructed by the NLC, while its consultants and supervisors were the ECL. Meanwhile, the
Supervisory Police Officer, SITE, stated that they had lodged their official report and were waiting for the inquiry report for
registration of an FIR. SPO SITE Sohail Zafar Chatta said that a report registered at the SITE police station mentioned the
names of the deceased and injured and the vehicles that had been damaged.
He identified some of the deceased as Ali Mohammed, resident of Shershah, Fayyaz Ahmed, Moosa, resident of
Saeedabad, Rizwan, resident of Kharadar, and Shahzad. Some 14 persons were injured in the incident.
(The News-1, 03/09/2007)

                                                 Petrol dealers’ strike
This week‘s nationwide strike of the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association may have been called off for the time being
but the issues that were being raised remain unresolved. The bone of contention is the margin of profit that dealers can
charge from the sale of petroleum products. The government has changed the formula to calculate the margin in order to
escape the wrath of the Supreme Court. As a result, however, the dealers get a lesser amount in the sale of their products.
They say this is an undesirable situation since they had been promised a certain percentage from the sale of these
products as their profit.

The roots of this confrontation can be traced back to a 2002 agreement of government with oil marketing companies and
their dealers whereby a respective margin of 3.5 percent and four per cent was fixed on petrol‘s retail price including taxes.
In 2005, an anomaly in the formula was challenged. The question was whether the margin and commissions should be
calculated over taxes. That was followed by the filing of a petition in the Supreme Court. As a contingency step, last year
the government omitted sales tax from the calculation, causing a decrease in earnings of the oil-marketing companies and
their dealers.

Last week, the government notified a fresh formula, removing the petroleum development levy, another tax, from the
formula. In response, dealers and oil marketing companies, who have seen their profits decline, took the stand that the
impact of this was too much. This has to be seen in proper perspective. The reduction in profit margins for dealers or
companies have not meant lower prices for the consumer. The government says the difference of 73 paisa can not be
passed on to consumers as it was being used for cross subsidization of diesel and other products. The industry argues that
rising costs and the massive investment they have made during the last five years allows them a fair margin as this was
part of their agreement with the government. The decision of the petrol dealers association to close down petrol pumps this
week and also to threaten closure of CNG stations means that the general public is being punished for no fault of its own. It
is a pressure tactic being used by them to get the government to agree to their version of the formula and is tantamount to
blackmail. Furthermore, the government may have a point in that there is no plausible reason for the margin to be
calculated on the price plus tax because the tax levy is something that comes under the purview of the government and
should be of no concern to the dealers.

Oil marketing companies say that they have changed the concept of fuel retailing in Pakistan and despite this their rate of
return is very low if compared with international standards. Here, too, the public perception is different because ordinary
Pakistanis are mostly united in thinking that the oil companies are making massive profits every year — a fact attested by
their solid balance sheets and annual declaration of hefty profit. Given the fact that strikes by petroleum dealers can have a
crippling effect, it is time the government sat down and held serious negotiations with both dealers and oil marketing
companies and come to some formula that is acceptable to all and which also takes into account the fact that oil consumers
would not like to be fleeced further.
(The News-7, 03/09/2007)

                               The NLC has no business constructing bridges
A section of private builders and people belonging to different walks of life have strongly criticised the involvement of the
National Logistic Cell (NLC) and various other entities related to the armed forces in getting contracts for building different
mega projects in the city and in the country. Most of them believed that such organisations should go back to doing what
they were brought into existence for and stop developing real estate property instead.

These reactions pertained to the collapse of a bridge on the Northern Bypass, constructed by the NLC, on Saturday.

Chairman, All Pakistan Contractors Association (APCA), Agha Feroz Usmani said that there should be an open playing
field for the private sector in the awarding of such contracts.
He said that bids for the said project were not invited from the builders, adding that open tenders should be floated in such
cases. He said private builders have an expertise when it comes to the building of mega projects in the city, ―but they are
not being given equal opportunities vis-a-vis NLC and FWO in such contracts.‖

Usmani said that this incident has perhaps created black history in the world, as there was no known example wherein a
bridge had fallen after 24 days of its inauguration.
―Even makeshift houses do not fall so early. The authority in question took three years to construct the bridge that fell within
one month of its inauguration,‖ he said. ―It is claimed that organisations like NLC maintain quality in their work and this
‗quality‘ stands amply exposed with the collapse of the bridge,‖ he added.

Usmani further said that awarding contracts to private builders on merit would also benefit the civilians as they would get
more job opportunities in the process.

Another private builder, who chose to remain anonymous, said that NLC was not formed to materialise mega projects in the
country, adding that it was originally formed to develop certain capacities that could prove helpful during wartime.

He said the authority in question was first brought towards the private goods carriers and then was developed as a real
estate company. He said such entities got contracts on favorable conditions and thus deprived the private sector of its due

―The government should have no business running contract companies and it should do only those works which the private
sector can‘t do,‖ he added.

Chairman, Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD), Hafeez Butt said that the common man gets nothing when a
contract is awarded to entities like NLC. He said that awarding contracts to such organisations to developing something
was meant to facilitate the armed forces.
He stressed that there should be open bidding for all projects and all organisations should have equal opportunity to
participate in these biddings. ―Favoritism should have no business throughout the process of awarding contracts,‖ he

Central leader of the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) Nasir Mansoor said that Rs 3 billion was spent on a project that
collapsed soon after its inauguration.
He said that many schools and colleges could have been set up using such a huge amount instead. He also said that mega
projects benefit only a small section of the population while the majority gets nothing.

―We never uphold merit in our system, as kith and kin are always awarded the projects that bear immense significance,‖ he
said, adding, a technical error in the bridge was created just to save the factory of the son of a general.
He said the government has announced Rs 0.5 million as compensation for the bridge victims but no chunk of amount
could compensate the victims‘ families.

Mansoor said that LPP would hold a protest demonstration against the bridge collapse incident.

A citizen Abdullah said that the officials who have been suspended as part of the inquiry into the said incident would soon
be reinstated when the dust settles, ―as things remain unchanged in our system.‖
(By Qadeer Tanoli, The News-13, 03/09/2007)

                                              Why did the bridge fail?
The sudden collapse of a curved elevated section of the recently-inaugurated Karachi Northern Bypass (KNB) at the
intersection of the RCD Highway and Central Avenue in SITE has sent tremors through the engineering community and the
government construction industry. About ten people have died so far, and numerous vehicles (including a donkey) lie
crushed in the debris of the structure.

The question on everyone‘s lips: Whose fault is it? This is difficult question to answer without a detailed investigation into
the original design, the construction quality, the construction supervision record, the subsequent strengthening design, and
many other factors. Can the government ensure that this is competently done without any cover-ups or concealments?

Allegedly, about a year ago, the structure of the bridge tilted during construction. A decision was made not to dismantle and
reconstruct, but to provide external reinforcement after jacking up the sagging portion. In hindsight, the decision may be
questioned — but it was made at the time by supposedly responsible professionals with an ethical duty to public safety.

At my request, a noted structural engineer involved in bridge designing posed some questions that need to be investigated
in the forensic engineering analysis (see box).

Of the various actors in the KNB drama (owner, consultant, contractor), two are military-run organisations. The National
Highway Authority (NHA), the federal organisation that commissioned the 56-kilometre bypass is headed by Maj. General
Imtiaz Ahmed as Chairman (although most of the project was done under the chairmanship of Maj. General Farrukh

The construction contractor is the National Logistics Cell (NLC), an organisation whose ‗Sarbarah‘ is the Quarter Master
General, Lt. General Afzal Muzaffar, and the Director-General is Maj. General Khalid Zaheer. NLC was created in1978 as a
crisis management organisation of the federal government. It works in close co-operation with the Army and is primarily
driven by manpower drawn from there. NLC‘s diversification into mushroom businesses, investments, construction and
collection of toll taxes has caused concern in the government and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) circles. They are now
venturing into speculative commercial construction, with the over-sized 43-storey Karachi Financial Towers proposed to be
erected on a 2.5 acre plot carved out of the amenity railway yard on I.I. Chundrigar Road.

The designers for the KNB are Engineering Consultants International (Pvt) Ltd (ECIL) a 700-professional strong
consultancy firm, headed by Engr. Zaheer Mirza. Some, yet unnamed, foreign consultants were brought in to oversee the
strengthening of the tilted bridge structure.

Shamim Siddique, the MQM Federal Minister for Communications, is reported to have said ―I am ready to resign if there is
any mistake on my part.‖ Politicians are acrobats: They keep their balance by saying the opposite of what they do!

Pakistani leaders are well-known for expressing ―deep shock‖ and ―severe grief over loss of life‖. They are equally well-
known for promising ―to leave no stone unturned‖ during the investigation to ―fix the responsibility‖, and ―make accountable‖
the guilty persons. But our record of delivering on these exaggerated promises is dismal. So don‘t hold your breath.

How easy will it be to find a military-run organisation at fault, even though all the three actors in the drama probably
participated in the decision to choose the strengthening option over the dismantling/reconstruction one?

There have been numerous catastrophic structural collapses during Pakistan‘s 60-year history; the most recent being the
Margalla Towers in Islamabad. Angelique Apartments, Dadabhoy Centre, and Fayza Heights are among the many known
to all in Karachi. Holes have developed in the deck slabs of Jam Sadiq Ali Bridge in Korangi, and, for the second time, in
the bridge connecting Sharae Faisal to Rashid Minhas Road. There is dire need to continuously evaluate the safety of old
bridges and structures, and to verify the integrity of various over/underpasses (Nazimabad, Liaquatablad Gharibabad, etc)
both recently-built and those under construction (Askari-IV, Jahaur Intersection, Gulshan Chowrangi, Nagan Chowrangi,

etc). Have these all been built by qualified, PEC-licensed contractors and designed/supervised by competent engineering

We need to move from blaming God (Allah Ki Marzi) for all calamities, to ensuring better standards of construction and
safety in Pakistan.

Some questions that need to be asked
• The curved part of the bridge seems to have collapsed when a cement tanker was passing near the middle of the curved
span. Had ‗torsion‘ and ‗shear‘ been taken into account in the design?
• Extensive fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composite retrofit reinforcement appear to have been applied at the bottom,
sides of web, and as confinement to the circular columns as strengthening of the structure after it was constructed. How
was the necessity of this strengthening realised, and to what degree of thoroughness was the repair/retrofit analysed?
• There is evidence of extensive failure of the inclined web of the box girder at the support. How did this come about?
(By Roland deSouza, The News-13, 03/09/2007)

                                               Who was in AMK 417?
All expectations for the survival of Rizwan Raza Rajia, one of the victims of the Northern Bypass bridge collapse,
evaporated into thin air early Sunday morning when rescuers recovered his body from the debris of the bridge.

Rizwan, who was in his early 30s, was buried in Hussaini Bagh graveyard in Mewashah on Sunday after Zohrain prayers.
His death was mourned by a large number of people who attended his Namaz-e-Janaza at the Soldier Bazar Imambargah.
He is survived by a widow and three minor children, with the eldest one just six years old. Rizwan had married some eight
years ago and he was residing in Kharadar near Akhund mosque. He was an employee of a private garment factory where
he enjoyed respect and reputation.

Rizwan was of loving nature as, according to some of his friends, he used to devote much of his time to his family and

On that fateful Saturday, Rizwan had offered Fajr prayers at the Kharadar mosque and then went to drop some material at
his flat which was being renovated, said his close friends. According to them, Rizwan later went for his car servicing at one
of his reliable workshops and while he was returning to his home travelling under the ill-fated bridge, a large portion

After seeing images of his car‘s number plate (AMK 417) protruding from under the collapsed bridge on the TV screen,
many of his acquaintances rushed to the spot of the incident.

Rizwan‘s family members, who were present at the site, were quite hopeful when Edhi officials told them that they would be
bringing Rizwan to hospital through their helicopter.

Edhi officials were also optimistic about Rizwan‘s survival as he was still alive under the giant debris and there was a
possibility that he could have been pulled out alive. However, when the rescue team managed to reach the spot, they
remained unable to pull him out of the car till the arrival of metallic-cutter as the car was badly crushed and stuck to the
debris. Later, the rescuers only came up with his corpse which was shifted to Civil Hospital at around 6:00am for legal

Rizwan was driving his white Toyota Corolla (AMK-417) when the incident occurred. His relatives, however, asked that the
physical condition of his body not be highlighted.
(By M. Zeeshan Azmat, The News-13, 03/09/2007)

                                        Bridge closes 4th time for repairs
KARACHI: The right-turn bridge of Rashid Minhas Road was closed down for repairs for the fourth time. This resulted in a
massive traffic jam near Drigh Road Railway Junction on Shahra-e-Faisal.
―The repair work has started and it will be completed within the next 24 hours,‖ said an official of the works and services

Officials banned entry because four major potholes developed into major problems for traffic and commuters have been
facing great difficulties for the past couple of months.
This is the fourth time that city government officials have closed this bridge because of faults developing due to the use of
substandard material. Furthermore, even through the surface of the bridge has been continuously damaged, no authority is
taking any measures to stop heavy vehicles from using it.

Traffic has been diverted to Shahra-e-Faisal from the signal at Faisal Base. Even though traffic is relatively thin on Sundays
there was a massive traffic jam.
(By Jamil Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 03/09/2007)

                             Confusion over death toll: official 6, unofficial 12
KARACHI: Rescue work at the Northern Bypass stopped by Sunday after two more bodies were retrieved in the morning
from the debris. This brought the official toll to six but there was some confusion.

―We reported just six bodies including body parts of a person from the scene,‖ DIG Traffic Falak Khursheed told Daily
Times. ―We couldn‘t tell if the body parts were from a man or woman.‖ He said that there were no bodies under the bridge
and no one has come forward to the police claiming that their relatives are missing.

The DIG refuted the claim that a passenger bus was stuck underneath. ―This is fake news because the police have
investigated it,‖ the DIG added. ―If the traffic police catch any bus or driver over a small issue, their [union] leaders such as
those of the Karachi Transport Ittehad reach us in 30 minutes. So, how is it possible that a loaded passenger bus would be
under the debris and not a single transporter has said anything after two days?‖

A camp was set up for missing persons by the SITE town administration. Representative Manzoor Hussain told Daily Times
that some people had named the following missing: Azhar, Fakhar, Abdul Ghaffar, Zaman, Asif, Rehman, Ali Raza and
Saleem. According to him, over nine bodies were retrieved from the debris by Sunday morning.

City Nazim Mustafa Kamal told Daily Times that the CDGK‘s help had wound up and the rest of the work was the
responsibility of the NHA and NLC. He said as far as he knew six people were confirmed dead.

The people who were confirmed dead by the police are: Ali Mohammad, Fayyaz Ahmed, Mohammad Moosa, Rizwan,
Shehzad and an unidentified person‘s limbs. The police did not officially confirm any others but according to separate
reports from policemen at the scene and the SITE town camp some bodies were taken away by their families without any
police or medical formalities. Their names are Naseem Bibi, Khalid, Kareem Mohammad, Abdul Qadir, Shadab and one
unidentified person. Complete information is not available on them.

No FIR has been registered yet by the SITE town police. SHO Rana Mohammad Sadiq said that if they received the orders
to do so after the inquiry, they would register one.
The Bomb Disposal Squad has inspected the scene and ruled out terrorism.
(DailyTimes-B1, 03/09/2007)

                       Names of senior NHA, NLC officials put on exit control list
KARACHI: In two days a committee of experts will be formed to launch an inquiry int the Northern Bypass collapse and the
names of suspect officials have been put on the exit control list, said National Disaster Management Cell (NDMC) chairman
Lt. Gen. (retd) Farooq Ahmed.

Ahmed was addressing a hurriedly called press conference at the head office of the National Highway Authority on Sunday.
Ahmed reached the city at noon on the directives of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to conduct a full survey as he was also
the chairman of the PM‘s Inspection Commission.
―On the directives of the PM, all relevant records of the National Logistic Cell (NLC) and NHA have been sealed and the
names of the high-ups of these two authorities who could leave the country at any time, have been put on the ECL,‖ he

The NDMC chairman said that as all relevant data has been sealed and evidence is also being collected from the scene,
the committee will conduct a thorough inquiry. ―Beside this, the NLC will present a detailed plan tomorrow (Monday) to
initiate the task of removing debris from the site,‖ he added.

Elaborating on the details of the Northern Bypass Project, Ahmed said that its total length is 56 kilometers and was
completed in two parts by two separate firms, NLC and ECIL at an estimated cost of Rs 3.5 billion. NCL had completed its
32-kilometer portion while the ECIL had finished a 24-kilometer portion. ―The damaged part of the bridge is the 120-meter
out of 600-meter total length of the bridge at Paracha Chowk in Shershah area which was completed at an estimated cost
of Rs 320 million,‖ he added.

―A fault was identified at the site in March 2006 when the first girder was put on the columns and a tilted side was pointed
out by the ECIL who consulted experts from Greece. The Greek engineers presented a solution after they completed their
task in three months the repairing work was started.‖
He said in answer to a question that no decision has been taken to blacklist NLC.

Meanwhile, there is a theory that the separation of joints caused the bridge to tilt. Because there was no supporting pillar,
the portion in the centre of the 45-degree curve collapsed, suddenly jerking the joints that connected it at the two ends.
Perhaps pressure of heavy transport was constantly adding more pressure to the joints, some civil engineers of the
National Highway Authority speculated.

Two months earlier, the portion of the bridge from Mauripur to the Northern Bypass was raised from one end because of
the separation of the joints, the engineers claimed. The NHA had sought help from a foreign firm that fitted additional load-
bearing pads and steel plates.

―I frequently pass by the bridge transporting goods from Lahore to Karachi. Ten days ago, a sudden jerk was felt which
made me to stop. I had found that the joints were separating slightly from each other. The curve had a narrow turn which
causes the passing vehicles to slow down and thus put more load on the bridge,‖ speculated 17-wheeler trailer driver and
witness Tariq Niazi.

APP adds: Directives were issued to federal and provincial organisations to take all possible rescue measures for the
bridge which collapsed at Shershah, said Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad.
He also issued orders for an inquiry to be headed by the chief secretary to determine the cause of the bridge collapse.
Negligent and inefficient officials responsible for this incident should be punished at all costs. Families of the deceased
should be compensated and the injured should be treated on government expenses.
He contacted Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz who asked his inspection team to conduct an investigation and directed federal
government organisations to cooperate in the rescue operation.

The governor also appealed to experts of NED Engineering University and other experts to provide their technical expertise
for the rescue measures.
He asked SSGC authorities to deploy their available machinery for the rescue operation.

The NHA has declared the debris clear that there are no more bodies. ―We stopped the rescue work on the site after

making sure that there isn‘t a single body under the collapsed part of the bridge,‖ Iqbal Ahmed Alvi, resident engineer of
Engineering Consultant International (ECIL) Limited told Daily Times. He declined to issue any further comment, saying
that he was not the competent authority.

Meanwhile, Edhi chief volunteer Faisal Edhi bluntly rejected these claims and insisted that there is the possibility that there
are more bodies under the wreckage. ―The bridge collapsed during peak hours and the way it collapsed indicates there
would still be more bodies,‖ he told Daily Times.

Talking about the Saturday rescue operations, he said that traffic jams hampered work. ―We put a rescue helicopter on
standby as almost all the roads in the surrounding areas were completely jammed,‖ he added.
(DailyTimes-B1, 03/09/2007)

                                      ANP assails ban on faulty rickshaws
KARACHI, Sept 3: The Sindh chief of the Awami National Party (ANP) and chairman of the Pukhtoon Action Committee
(Loya Jirga), Shahi Syed, deplored the proposed ban on two-stroke rickshaws without making arrangements for any
suitable alternative. He termed the government proposal a blatant violation of human rights.

Mr Shahi was addressing a gathering after the inauguration of a party‘s office in East Zone, Korangi. The ANP chief
charged that the Pakhtun population in Karachi had been deprived of employment opportunities.
He said that two-stroke rickshaws had been operating for many decades but now the government on the pretext of
environmental pollution was considering banning them.

Mr Shahi said that they would cooperate with the government if it came up with alternative employment to facilitate
hundreds of thousands of rickshaw drivers.
He also criticised incidents of setting ablaze heavy vehicles in the wake of any disturbance in the city.
The ANP leader urged the relevant authorities to ensure alternative measures before the imposition of any ban on the two-
stroke rickshaws.
(Dawn-18, 04/09/2007)

                                               Bridge collapse & more
IT would be a mistake to see Saturday‘s collapse of the Shershah bridge on the Northern Bypass in Karachi just as a tragic
event which killed nine people. The collapse brings to light many issues that need to be addressed, from accountability to
corruption to the need for a city to have a master plan. The National Highway Authority supervised the project that was
conducted by the National Logistics Cell (whose sudden foray into development work is hard to understand) and a private
foreign firm did some consultancy work. Everyone is keen to punish the responsible but no one is eager to take
responsibility for it. The communications minister on Saturday said that his ministry detected a fault in the bridge‘s design,
reported it and was assured that the matter had been handled. Meanwhile the chairman of the National Disaster
Management Cell on Sunday seemed to place the blame on the private consultancy firm. The NHA said that the bridge had
been cleared for traffic after being carefully observed. Everyone involved in the project bears varying degrees of
responsibility for the incident — but the buck has to stop somewhere. Who will decide where?

So far, an inquiry has been ordered, a few people at NHA suspended and a few names even placed on the ECL. This
shows a desire to ascertain the truth but will it be followed through? The key lies in appointing a truly impartial inquiry
committee which consists of engineers and other technically qualified people as well as town planners and administrators.
Only those detached from the issue can produce an objective analysis of what went wrong and hold those responsible for
it. And it is crucial that the accountable are identified and held accountable for their gross errors of judgment and

It is perplexing why bridges built decades ago still stand strong today while a bridge on the Northern Bypass could not
survive a few months. This raises the question, why are organisations being awarded projects they may not be cut out for?
It is also a reminder of the futility of carrying out development projects without having a master plan in place. It is criminal
that a city like Karachi still doesn‘t have a master plan yet roads and expressways are being dug up left, right and centre
with no consideration given to the impact they will have on citizens or the environment. It is time to step back, take stock of
the situation and avert further disasters from taking place.
(Dawn-7, 04/09/2007)

                                                 Bridge collapse
                                        City council seeks judicial inquiry
KARACHI, Sept 3: Deploring the collapse of a bridge forming part of the recently constructed Northern Bypass, the City
Council on Monday called for an inquiry into the causes of the fateful incident by judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Opposition member Abdul Razak of the Al-Khidmat group initiated the debate on the issue and was later joined by several
members of the house.

Expressing his concern over the tragedy, Mr Razak said that the incident had raised a number of questions in the minds of
the citizens as the project had been executed under the supervision of an army agency and inaugurated only on Aug 6 by
the president in the Governor‘s House.

Demanding a thorough probe into the incident, he urged the authorities to take exemplary action against all those officials
involved in the project.

Terming the incident, that had claimed lives of the innocent citizens, a great tragedy, leader of the house, Asif Siddiqui of

the Haq Parast group clarified that the federally funded project had been carried out by a federal agency and the city
government had no role to play in that project.
He said that more than 40 flyovers, underpasses, bridges had been constructed in the city by several civic agencies.

Mr Siddiqui said that as many as 13 development agencies had been operating in the city but the CDGK took the lead by
initiating relief activities on the day when a portion of the Northern Bypass collapsed. Besides, he added that the city
government had already ordered survey of all the existing bridges and flyovers in the city and stressed the need for a single
authority to look after the civic issues.

Mr Siddiqui also clarified that the federal communications minister was in no way responsible for the collapse as alleged by
the opposition members.

However, Opposition leader Saeed Ghani of the Awam Dost Group said that the city government could not absolve itself
from the responsibility as it was responsible for all development activities taking place in the city.

Questioning the transparency in the uplift projects, he said that house should be informed as to why all the contracts had
been awarded to a particular group.

Suleiman Baloch said that the city government had been blamed for any mishap in the city just to gain political mileage.

Imran Khan of Haq Parast group urged all the house members not to politicise every issue and said that the NHA had
already pointed out the fault and argued that we must also look into the report of foreign engineers. However, he supported
the proposal of instituting a committee comprising judges of higher courts.

Haq Parast member Taver Ali criticised police action against the onlookers at the site.

Qaiser Mehmood, Shahjan Baloch, Afsar and Ramzan Awan took part in the debate.

Later, the treasury tabled a resolution on the tragedy of Northern Bypass. The resolution also called for the creation of
single development authority in the city. At the same time, the opposition also moved an amendment to the resolution
suggesting that Lyari and Malir development authorities should also be merged with the city government.

Upon this, the convenor of the house, Nasreen Jalil, adjourned the session for Tuesday.
(Dawn-19, 04/09/2007)

                                     NLC tasked to remove bridge wreckage
KARACHI, Sept 3: With all the victims believed to have been recovered from the debris of the collapsed Shershah Bridge,
the National Highway Authority on Monday tasked the National Logistics Corporation, which had constructed the mega
structure, to remove the wreckage.

Minster for Communications Shamim Siddiqui told Dawn that the removal of the debris would begin on Wednesday when
the collapsed bridge would be completely cardoned off.―The city government will cordon off the site to avoid any further
causalties,‖ he added.

The minister said that since the NLC was the construction contractor, it was also responsible for the removal of the debris.
―The NLC will complete the task in two weeks,‖ he said.

Mr Siddiqui said a federal investigation team, headed by himself, had already started the probe to acertain the cause of the
collapse. ―The composition of the investigation team cannot be disclosed at the moment so that the probe is not
influenced,‖ he added.

He said heavy machinery and equipment were required for removing the debris.
―Other departments including the Frontier Works Organisation and the city government have also been asked to extend
assistance in the removal of the wreckage,‖ the minister added.

He said a high-level meeting of the National Highway Authority, chaired by him, decided on Monday that NLC would be
tasked to remove the debris.

The meeting was attended among others by City Nazim Mustafa Kamal and Chairman of the National Disaster
Management Cell, Lt-Gen (Retd) Farooq Ahmed.

Meanwhile, Gen Farooq told a news conference here that an investigation board was being formed to investigate the bridge
collapse. He said the board would review the quality and quantity of the material used in the construction of the bridge.

He said the names of all those involved in the construction of the collapsed bridge had been put on the Exit Control List and
that all relavant record had been seized.

The NLC in a statement said that the Shershah Flyover had collapsed due to a faulty design.

It said that the NLC had repeatedly pointed out the fault in the design of the structure to the consultant firm.

The bridge was constructed by the National Logistics Corporation and it was a part of the 57-km Northern Bypass. M/s
Engineering Consultant International was the project‘s consultant.

The bridge was completed two years ago but later a fault appeared in its design following which the bridge was redesigned
in the light of the recommendations of a foreign consultant company.
(By Tahir Siddiqui, Dawn-17, 04/09/2007)

                                             Traffic mess on city roads
KARACHI, Sept 3: Motorists and commuters endured the worst-ever traffic jams on almost all major thoroughfares of the
city on Monday when mercury touched 35 degrees centigrade with 65 per cent humidity.

Unlike the previous traffic jams which normally occurred during evening peak hours, Monday‘s traffic snarls-up started
taking place in the forenoon and continued till late night.

Sharea Faisal, M.A. Jinnah Road, Shahrah-i-Iraq, Rashid Minhas Road, Shahrah-i-Pakistan, Soldier Bazaar, Nishtar Road,
Manghopir Road, Pak Colony, Sir Aga Khan-III Road, Garden Road, Baldia Road, Banaras, University Road, a portion of
Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, I.I. Chundrigar Road, Shahrah-i-Quaideen and other arteries remained jam-packed with

A number of ambulances shifting patients to hospitals remained trapped on the clogged roads. At least three ambulances
were seen stranded on Sharea Faisal whose drivers kept on blowing hooters in a bid to rush the patients to hospitals and
yet their efforts went in vain. The unprecedented bumper-to-bumper traffic on Sharea Faisal was caused by an
unannounced closure of Defence-Korangi Road for laying a 48-inch-dia pipeline.

With the collapse of Shershah bridge, which used to serve as the fastest route for heavy vehicles going to and coming from
Hub Chowki and the coastal highway, thousands of vehicles took already overburdened city roads as an alternative. This
resulted in traffic chaos on Baldia Road, Banaras, Habib Bank Square, Manghopir Road, Shershah and its adjoining areas.
Besides, two main arteries leading to the site of the ill-fated bridge remained closed for undertaking rescue work.

Moreover, the closure of COD Flyover left the commuters with no option but to take U-turn on signal-free Sharea Faisal.

Sufferings to continue
Ordeal of the motorists taking Sharea Faisal route is likely to continue for another 10 to 15 days, as work on a pipeline
being laid at Korangi Road is expected to complete in a couple of weeks.
(By Azizullah Sharif, Dawn-17, 04/09/2007)

                                           Anatomy of a bridge collapse
The collapse on Saturday, within days of inauguration, of the multi-billion Northern Bypass built in Karachi by a military
organisation National Logistic Cell (NLC) has raised some serious issues that need to be looked into dispassionately. One
such issue is the growing involvement of military related institutions like the NLC in contracting and construction and the
manner in which they are awarded contracts by client departments like the National Highway Authority (NHA).

Was the NLC created for building roads, bridges and other civil mega projects and is it qualified to undertake such

On December 27, 2005, the writer asked a question in the senate about the charter of duties of NLC and its job description.
The senate was informed that there was a National Logistic Board functioning through the NLC headed by the
quartermaster general in the GHQ. Further, the NLC was "the only crisis management organisation in the country" whose
charter of duties "was approved by the Cabinet Division of the government of Pakistan".

When demanded, a copy of the charter was also placed on the floor of the House. According to the charter the NLC was to
work in seven areas including 'transportation of commodities, procurement of transportation trucks, building of truck bodies,
hiring of storage facilities, engaging local and foreign consultants, raising of organisations necessary for the performance of
the mission assigned and engaging staff and labour'. The charter does not authorise and the NLC has no business to
undertake a construction project.

As it was a written question no supplementary questions were allowed to be asked. Also there was no point in asking
supplementary questions about giving construction contracts to NLC not mandated by its charter. In the past the questioner
was greeted with boos and jeers by the Treasury and accused of lack of patriotic fervour and even undermining the
defence of the country.

The Saturday collapse of the bridge has brought into sharp focus the relevance of those questions, jeers and boos
notwithstanding. Here are the questions about NLC that were asked and the replies given by the government revealing the
tip of the iceberg.

1. Does the NLC also take part in securing commercial contracts of the government departments?
Reply: "NLC does participate in nation building. These projects are given to the NLC through open tender/competitive
bidding. M/s NLC is also registered O&M contractors with Pakistan Engineering Council".

2. Whether NLC has been awarded contracts on single contract basis without tenders?
Reply: In fact when government launches development works in remote/inaccessible regions in the country, most of the
building firms shy away from them. Under these circumstances, the government gives contracts on single contract basis to
NLC and other organisations as well".

The senate was shocked when in reply to yet another question it came to light that the contract for the Karachi Northern
Bypass was awarded by the NHA to the NLC without bids and on single tender basis.

It is on record of the senate that the over 2.4 billion contract for building the Karachi Northern Bypass was awarded in July
2002 to the NLC without bids. The question was of oral category that permitted asking supplementary questions. We asked
if Karachi was a "remote /inaccessible region" that persuaded the NHA to give the contract to NLC without bids. But we
were silenced for raising 'unpatriotic' questions.

Unfortunately we had to wait for the bridge to collapse and the loss of so many lives on Saturday September 1, to drive

home the point that our concerns were not out of malice or absence of patriotism but were based on a genuine concern that
involving military outfits in business, commercial and building enterprises was not the right thing to do and needed to be

The inquiry committee that is being set up must now look into several issues such as the following:

- Why was the contract awarded to NLC without open bids and who is responsible for this apparently weird decision?

- How many contracts have been awarded both to the NLC and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), another military outfit,
on single tender basis without bids? A re-examination of the justification is called for.

- Who headed the NHA, the client for these projects and authority to award contracts since the 1999 take over by the
military? It may be a mere coincidence that army officers have headed the NHA during most of this period. But the
coincidence does not throw bright light on the image of the military when a civilian department headed by a military officer
is perceived to be awarding contracts to other military organisations.

- Did the NLC also sub contract parts of the Northern Bypass project to sub contractors, what were the reasons for it and
was the sub contracting approved by the NHA? If it was sub contracted because the NLC lacked expertise or capacity to
execute the project itself, why was it awarded the project in the first place and that too without bids?

- Is the NLC a corporation under the companies ordinance which would bring it under the purview of Securities and
Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and is it under the tax net of the CBR?

The NLC is about to enter into more lucrative power generation and coal exploration and mining projects as well. On June
25 the NLC published ads inviting pre-qualification bids in areas of coal exploration and oil and gas exploration and
production. It has raised questions if the NLC has become a major stakeholder in the recently set up Thar Coal Mining
Company for the exploitation of coal deposits in Thar in Sindh, how is it compatible with the government policy of divesting
the strategic areas like oil, gas and power?

A month later in July last it invited bids for pre-qualification to undertake activities relating to thermal power generation, high
voltage transmission lines and grid stations. From an organisation created thirty years ago required to undertake work
relating to emergency and heavy freight as contained in its charter, it has become a huge business and commercial
enterprise engaged in construction, operating dry ports, manning and collecting toll tax on toll plazas (also without bids),
power generation, coal mining and much else besides -- none of which is mandated by its charter.

It is time to look inwardly and do some soul searching. Was it Iqbal who said:
Khuadaya terai sada dil banday kidhar jaain
Darveshi bhi ayyari aur sultani bhi ayyari
(O God, where should the simple folk go, For the darvesh and the sultan both are cunning)

(By Farhatullah Babar, The News-6, 04/09/2007)

                                               Bridge collapse question
The tragic collapse of a bridge in Karachi, less than a month after it was opened to traffic, has raised a number of questions
and also brings to the fore the issue of increasing involvement of the armed forces in economic activities that are normally
outside the scope of militaries elsewhere in the world. And it would be good if these questions were not evaded or brushed
aside and instead answered with some degree of seriousness and introspection. Given that the National Logistics Cell of
the army was given the contract -- without any competitive bidding -- by the National Highway Authority to build the bridge,
the first obvious question is that under what policy was the NLC awarded this particular contract given that it is not exactly a
construction or civil engineering firm. In fact, one may well ask that why an organisation whose job is to help the armed
forces in logistics has been so busy all these years providing drinking water to many of Karachi's residents. Furthermore, it
may be instructive to note that some years ago a question was asked in the Senate on exactly this matter. The relevant
ministry was asked under what policy NLC was involved in construction projects and why was it given contracts for such
projects without any competitive tendering process. The reply given then is revealing: the government claimed that the
organisation often participated in development work in "remote/inaccessible regions" and that most construction firms would
not be interested in such contracts. Firstly, that would hardly constitute reason enough to do away with competitive bidding
entirely. Secondly, since when did Karachi come to be categorised as a 'remote/inaccessible' region?

The minister of communications has now admitted that as late as a year ago he had discovered that the bridge had a
design defect. The NHA has also admitted now that the bridge was "under observation" after being under construction for
two years and that it was opened to traffic "on experimental basis" after the authority was satisfied that the design flaws had
been suitably addressed. What the phrases "under observation" or "experimental basis" mean in such a context is not
exactly clear but the facts are that the bridge collapsed within a month after being opened for public use -- therefore it
would be fair to say that the decision by the NHA to open the bridge on "experimental basis" amounted to playing with the
lives of innocent people since it led to the collapse of Sept 1.

The questions that need answers in this regard are as follows: i) under what policy and on whose orders is the NLC (the
FWO should be added here as well, though not specifically with regard to the collapse) awarded contracts without any
competitive bidding; ii) why wasn't the issue of the bridge having a possible design flaw investigated more closely; iii) on
what basis was clearance given by the foreign consultant (as in were changes made in its design) and iv) why didn't the
minister make an issue of the defect at the time he detected it and order necessary changes in the design and shouldn't he
now step down for his failure to have acted earlier? Clearly, the whole process reeks of non-transparency and people will
be justified in asking whether the bridge collapse is -- in more than a metaphorical sense -- illustrative of corruption in
government. The removal or suspension of some mid-level NHA officials is clearly not enough and neither is the
communications minister's promise of an inquiry. The latter will not be seen as impartial for the simple reason that the
minister says that he will head it and the conflict of interests inherent in such a situation (the NHA which built the bridge
comes under the communications ministry) will not lend any credibility to its findings. The National Disaster Management

Authority has also stepped in and promised an inquiry, but here too the fact that the authority, the NHA as well as the NLC
are all headed by military officers (the head of the NDMA recently retired as a three-star general) means that any inquiry
carried out by the NDMA will risk being seen by the public at large as not being entirely impartial.

Some heads will have to roll but only once responsibility for the disaster is assigned to those deserving of it. Mere
suspension or removal from service is not enough, in most countries such collapses within days of a structure being
opened for public use usually lead to prosecution and there is no reason why that route should not be followed in this
instance. While a check of all of Karachi's bridges has been ordered, the ministry and communications and the NHA should
come clean and disclose exactly how many other structures built by them have experienced design defects. Furthermore,
the policy of awarding military organisations infrastructure construction projects without competitive bidding makes little
sense and the earlier it is done away with the better.
(The News-7, 04/09/2007)

                                   6-member committee to start work Wed
KARACHI: A six-member inquiry team has been set up to look into the reasons behind the collapse of a portion of the
Northern Bypass, stated the chairman of the National Disaster Management Cell (NDMC) and chairman of the Prime
Minister‘s Inquiry Committee, Lt. Gen. Farooq Ahmed, at a press conference Monday at the National Highway Authority

The team would be headed by Prof. Dr Sahibzada Farooq Ahmed Rafiqui of NED University and its members are, Farooq
A. Chaudhry, Zafar Razzak, Prof. Dr Sarosh Hashmat Lodhi, Farrukh Hassan Pasha and Munir Ahmed Rana.
The committee has all necessary clearance and would start work Wednesday. Its report would be submitted to the prime

All records on the bridge will be presented to the committee by Sept 4. The committee has already visited the site and
gathered evidence.

The chairman said that he has been briefed by Communications Minister Shamim Siddiqui and City Nazim Mustafa Kamal
on the debris removal. Another briefing will be received on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. from experts of the Frontier Works
Organisation (FWO) and afterwards the remaining debris would be removed.

The portion of the bridge that collapsed had been redesigned and the portion that escaped collapse had been rehabilitated.

Talking about the NLC, Lt. Gen. Farooq Ahmed said that it has a good reputation in construction work. It has constructed
18,000-kilometer long roads and more than 100 bridges in country. It is the only company that secured projects in
Afghanistan worth Rs 4 billion.

Referring to a question about flaws in the design of the bridge by the NLC, he said that any statement issued by the NLC in
this regard is incorrect. The committee has been formed and therefore no one should issue any statements.

Referring to another question about the conditions of other bridges in the metropolis, he said that there are bridges of the
City District Government Karachi (CDGK) as well as the Federal government. However, those falling under the control of
the federal government are duly inspected annually and the federal government has allocated a heavy amount for this
purpose in the budget for 2007-08.

When skepticism was expressed that the inquiry would yield no results, Lt. Gen. Farooq Ahmed said that everyone should
trust the government. The findings of the committee will be followed by appropriate action against those who would be held
responsible. He declined to conduct the proceedings of the inquiry before the media.

Responding to a point raised by a member of the press that Minister Shamim Siddiqui has also announced an inquiry, Lt.
Gen. Farooq Ahmed said that the minister may continue with his inquiry but the PM‘s inquiry team was going ahead with its
as well.

But members of the inquiry committee are government servants who may come under the influence of high officials, it was
pointed out. Lt. Gen. Farooq Ahmed rejected this, saying that the inquiry committee would not be influenced by any
government official.
(DailyTimes-B1, 04/09/2007)

                                       Northern Bypass portion collapse
                                     Bridge plan changed around factory
KARACHI: The National Highway Authority (NHA) ignored a basic survey conducted by the Sindh Board of Revenue
(SBOR) about the land on which the Northern Bypass was built as a result of which its plan was changed to incorporate a
sharper curve.

The basic alignment area of the bridge was 174 feet and it was
reduced to 150 feet, which is why the curve increased from 45
degrees to 90 degrees, said highly-placed sources in the SBOR who
had occupied an important position on the survey team in 2004.

During the survey at that time three problems were pointed out. One
was that 144 shops in the area were illegally constructed on
government land. The second problem was of the same nature for
loom factories at Baloch Goth and the third was the presence of
Paracha Textile Mills. Sources said that it was pointed that they

needed to demolish the shops and loom factories and a portion of Paracha Textile Mills, which consisted only of godowns
and not machinery.

Sources claimed that Paracha Textile Mills was legally constructed on its own land but the NHA allegedly wanted to avoid
giving compensation for its removal to make way for the bypass. And thus, as it was to stay, the need for a greater curve
appeared in the bypass.

At that point, sources said, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur Rehman‘s (JUI-F) Qari Usman came forward and started a protest
to save the shops of a certain group of people even though they were encroachments. After strong protests only 94 shops
were demolished and given Rs 38,000 each in compensation. The shops of Mawach Goth were demolished without

―The shops were not a bar in the way of the bridge‘s construction,‖ Qari Usman told to Daily Times Monday. ―We had
protested at that time but the protest was for shops at Sher Shah Chowk. The NHA wanted to give the benefit to Paracha
Textile Mills because they got a huge bribe for it,‖ he claimed.

Munawar Pirzada adds: A few vehicles are still trapped beneath the debris and a smell has started to fill the air, residents
told Daily Times.

The Northern Bypass at Paracha Chowk in Sher Shah lies amid the largest industrial area of the country known as Sindh
Industrial and Trading Estate (SITE). Opposite the collapsed portion are Noor Mosque and a dispensary. Next to them is
Paracha Textile Mills that runs along about 90 percent of the bridge‘s length at this part. At the end, starts the land on which
Gandhara Industries (Pvt) Ltd is housed near the tail of the curve. On the side of fallen part lies Olympia Cotton Mills and
National Containers (Pvt) Ltd.

Amar Guriro adds: ―Only a detailed forensic analysis can disclose the real reasons of the collapse and the media must be
careful before blaming someone for this collapse,‖ said a structural consultant and the owner of a construction company
that runs several projects in different parts of the province. He added that the publication of his name would affect ongoing
projects of his firm.

Karachi‘s Northern Bypass project takes off from the ICI Bridge and traverses through Mauripur Road, SITE Road and RCD
Highway and the collapsed bridge is the second of the two flyovers of this 62.15-km project, he said.

At RCD Highway, the bypass alignment changes to km 19+300 and then traverses in the new alignment section and
connects with the Karachi-Hyderabad Super Highway at km 26+500. The total length of the project is 62.15 km. Two
flyovers were provided at Gulbai and Paracha Chowk and two interchanges have been provided at RCD Highway and
Super Highway. The collapsed bridge is about eight kilometers away from zero point (at ICI bridge).

―The Northern Bypass project is horizontally divided into two parts. Each part consists of two lanes and the collapsed part
was opposite zero point - coming towards the Gulbai side,‖ he said. ―About 200 feet of one side (of the two lanes) and 100
feet of a side spin collapsed and the weight of the collapsed part is about 500 metric tonnes.‖ The construction cost of the
collapsed part is about Rs 80 million. It consists of eight columns with foundations 50 feet deep, he added.
―The bridge has not collapsed because of design faults, the use of substandard construction material or overload. There is
something different at play here and it will be resolved soon,‖ another structural expert speculated.

He said that the collapse is nothing new. ―Just a couple of weeks ago a bridge collapsed over the Mississippi River in the
USA. If such events happen in the most advanced country then it‘s very possible that it happens here and even more so
because there‘re no experts.‖ There is a sub-department of the National Highway Authority (NHA) that reviews all the
projects and then issues a no-objection certificate (NOC), he said.
(By Qazi Asif, DailyTimes-B1, 04/09/2007)

                         City council rejects resolution on bridge collapse probe
The City-District Council on Tuesday rejected the demand put forward mainly by its opposition benches for a judicial probe
into the collapse of the Northern Bypass Bridge at Shershah on September 1.

The rejection of the demand for a judicial probe into the tragic incident by the council surprised not only the city council
opposition members but many quarters among the neutral observers and witnesses of the council proceedings.

Saeed Ghani, the council opposition leader, told The News after the session that first the opposition benches walked out
from the session against the unreasonable attitude of council leadership and treasury benches. He added that their
plausible demand of a judicial probe into the bridge collapse was unduly rejected and even their proposed amendment to
the treasury-moved resolution on the same issue was not read out to the council members for plain consideration.
He said that for the second and final time the opposition benches walked out from the session as they were not allowed to
debate on the issue of newly given certification and inspection authority to the town Nazims regarding development works
at the union council-level in the metropolis.

However the council adopted the treasury-sponsored resolution, which praised the rescue and relief work carried out by the
city-government led by the city Nazim, various concerned town Nazims, and senior CDGK officials for the victims and other
affected quarters of Shershah Bridge collapse.

According to the opposition benches, their proposed amendment that in the cause of unity of command over civic affairs
the CDGK should take back into its fold the Malir and Lyari development authorities, was not read out to the house in
disregard of norms.

The city-council meeting also passed two resolutions, moved separately by the treasury and opposition benches, to
condemn the incidents of two bomb blasts in Rawalpindi on Tuesday morning and express sorrow and grief over loss of
human lives, injuries, and damages due to the gruesome terrorist activities.

Before the second walkout by the opposition benches, Ghani‘s remarks on point of order on the issue of newly given
authority to the town nazims for the UC-level development works attracted commotion and ire of the treasury benches.
When the session resumed after the break the House carried out its proceedings without the opposition members and
passed four resolutions on various city-government affairs.

The vital resolutions adopted by the council pertained to conversion of land status of the area around the Shahrah-e-Noor
Jehan from Abdullah College Chowrangi to Qalandari Chowrangi and the project for widening of a portion of Shaheed Millat
Road from Jail Chowrangi to Hyder Ali Road.
(The News-14, 05/09/2007)

                                   Bridge debris removal to take two weeks
KARACHI: The debris of the collapsed portion of the Northern Bypass Bridge will be removed starting today and will take
two weeks, said National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairman Lt.-Gen. (retd) Farooq Ahmed at a press
conference at the National Highway Authority‘s (NHA) office Tuesday.

Out of the two 60-metre spans of the affected portion, the one which collapsed completely will be removed while the other
half will be demolished. This will be carried out by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) [a sister concern of the National
Logistic Cell (NLC)]. The group commander of the FWO will supervise the removal process.

There were two ways to carry out the process. Either the entire portion could be cut into pieces or it should be dropped
mechanically or through explosives. However, he left this decision for the experts.
The debris might affect the adjoining industrial units if the portion was dropped and it may jeopardise the lives of the
workers of these units. It will be divided into 20 phases to avoid this possibility. The entire process will be carried
scientifically and four teams of domestic experts have been formed to offer technical guidance throughout the process and
construct the bridge ab initio.

The chairman said that the inquiry committee had collected all available evidence from the scene of the incident before
further proceedings. Local machinery will be used to remove the debris. However, foreign experts along with imported
machinery may also be used if necessary.

Traffic routes will also be organised during the demolition process, he said.

Rangers and police teams have been formed to cover the area for security reasons. Attempts will be made to keep the
water and sewerage lines intact but alternate arrangements have been planned to continue supply of potable water and
drainage if they get damaged.

He said that the treasury had suffered a loss of around Rs 90 million and blamed the construction company for the incident.
―The inquiry committee is composed of civilians. No member hails from the armed services except me,‖ he said, adding that
the leader of the committee, Prof. Dr Sahibzada Farooq Ahmad Rafiqui was issued an official letter transferring all powers
to him.

The head of the inquiry may ask anyone to appear in front of it. Its leader can get any evidence found at the spot tested
from abroad. The inquiry committee will start its proceedings in three steps. It will ascertain the actual cause of the
collapse, select those responsible for the incident and finally, suggest measures for the prevention of a similar incident in
future. The final report will be submitted to the prime minister.

The chairman said that six months earlier NDMA had asked the Sindh government and the City District Government
Karachi (CDGK) to form a team of 88 experienced personnel for rescue work in the city but it was not responded positively.
The formation of this team has been requested once again. The federal government will pick up all expenses of training the
team but the department concerned will be liable to pay their salaries.

Meanwhile, a handout from the spokesman of the ministry of communications adds that the Communications Minister
Shamim Siddiqui had mistakenly named AA Associates responsible for the collapse.
(DailyTimes-B1, 05/09/2007)

                                  Checklist for bridge construction proposed
The Chancellor, Z.A. Nizami, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), has suggested a checklist of
requirements with regard to the construction of mega structures such as bridges and flyovers.
He put forward this proposal while presiding over a seminar titled ―Learning from the past to brighten our future‖ at the
SSUET on Tuesday. The seminar was organised in collaboration with the Engineering Review. The President, Karachi
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Majyd Aziz was the chief guest on the occasion.

Referring to the collapse of the Northern Bypass, he described the incident as a disgrace to engineers. He said that
everyone associated with the construction of this structure should be held responsible for this tragedy. Nizami said that
because checklist requirements are not fully met, the national exchequer is burdened with huge financial losses.

Moreover, Nizami announced that the university will organise special seminars on large structures in an attempt to keep a
check on catastrophes such as the collapse of the bridge in question. Earlier, while addressing the seminar, Aziz said that
Pakistan is not devoid of talent but sadly, it is not being properly used. Furthermore, Aziz said that within two years,
Pakistan will be a different country. ―We (industrialists) are not setting up our industries in Dubai but in Pakistan,‖ he added.

Aziz called for a greater focus on IT skill development and sciences, and disclosed that a delegation from Texas, USA, is
expected here next spring. He said that an agreement will be signed at the Governor House whereby a number of talented
students will be sent to the US for training in various industrial units.
(The News-19, 06/09/2007)
                                                  FWO gets ‘go-ahead’
The Inquiry Committee constituted to probe the collapse of the Sher Shah bridge on the Northern Bypass, after inspecting
the site on Wednesday, gave the ―go ahead‖ to the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) to remove the debris of the fallen
structure as well as its affected parts.

The seven-member Inquiry Committee, comprising structural engineering experts from leading engineering Universities of
the country, has been constituted by the Chairman of the PM‘s Inspection Commission, Lt.-General (Rtd) Farooq Ahmed
Khan to present its recommendations on causes behind the collapse.

Members of the inquiry team Wednesday morning collected all required samples and evidence needed to carry out the
necessary tests, took photographs and finally issued written directives to the FWO and NHA experts to remove the debris.

During the inspection, Chairman, PMIC, Lt-General (Rtd) Farooq Khan, Chairman, NHA, Major-General Imtiaz Ahmed, DG,
FWO, and other senior officials of these organisations were also present. They assured the Inquiry Commission of their full
cooperation in the investigation process.

Members of the Inquiry Committee refused to answer newsmen‘s queries after their inspection of the fallen bridge and
made it clear that they were only bound to submit their report to the Prime Minister‘s Secretariat through the PMIC.

An NHA official told The News on the occasion that PMIC Chairman had delegated his powers to Inquiry Committee and
now it was authorised to summon any person and authority involved in the construction of the bridge as well requisition all
the records. He said the FWO had completed its home work for carrying out ―controlled explosions‖ to demolish the
affected portion of the bridge for which they had started cordoning off the area to avoid any untoward incident.

The NHA official said heavy cutters, drilling machines, lifters, loaders and trucks were also present on the site of the
collapsed bridge and the demolition process as well as the cutting of a fallen concrete slab of 3,500 tonnes into smaller
pieces would hopefully begin after midnight or at dawn on Thursday.
According to him, the entire process of clearing off the affected portion of the Sher Shah bridge could take three weeks.
(By M. Waqar Bhatti, The News-13, 06/09/2007)

                                Heavy vehicles ordered not to wait on bridges
KARACHI: After the ban on heavy vehicles entering intercity roads, hundreds of 40-feet trailers carrying 70 to 80 tonnes of
load each lie in wait at the city‘s entrance points, especially over bridges. In order to avoid a ‗bridge incident‘, DIG Traffic
issued Wednesday directives to departments concerned to not allow these trailers to wait on bridges.

―On the ICI Bridge alone, over 100 of these trailers wait from evening till midnight before entering the city. That means a
700-tonne constant load on the bridge, apart from other vehicles. Thus we fear another tragedy like the Northern Bypass
collapse,‖ Muhammad Khalid Khan, Karachi Goods Carriers Association (KGCA) president, told Daily Times.
―Yes we are aware of this and that‘s why I have directed the department to not allow these trailers to wait on these bridges,‖
Karachi DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani told Daily Times.

The transporters are of the view that ‗mismanagement‘ inside the traffic police is the real cause of the traffic jams in the city.
―Since the DIG banned lower police staff from fining vehicles, these lower staff create problems in the flow of traffic,‖ Ashiq
Hussain Niazi, secretary general of the KGCA, told Daily Times. The police are not getting their share from the roads so
they create problems, he added.
―The massive traffic jams in the city are not because of heavy traffic but because of the traffic department‘s
mismanagement,‖ Muhammad Khalid Khan said. ―Right now heavy traffic is banned and there are still traffic jams.‖

Durrani said that he didn‘t tell the courts to ban heavy vehicles form entering the city, the courts made the decision on their
own. Muhammad Khalid Khan said that there is a lack of coordination between the traffic department, the city district
government and the highway department. ―They are all misguiding the honorable courts. DIG traffic claimed that traffic
problems on intercity roads would be resolved if there was a ban but it has not been solved. The court should take suo
motu notice and ask the DIG for an explanation,‖ he told Daily Times.

Meanwhile, heavy-vehicle owners have increased the fare rate. ―Two weeks ago 40-foot trailers were charging Rs 40,000
to Lahore from Karachi for 65 to 75 tonnes, but, now it has risen to between Rs 65,000 and Rs 75,000,‖ Ashiq Hussain
Niazi told Daily Times.

Not only to Lahore, but, transporters have increased the fare rates to Peshawar, Quetta, Afghanistan and Taftan and other
parts of the country and neighboring countries. ―There is no other way but to increase the fare rates. Before the ban, a
trailer would take one day to load, but, after the ban it takes three,‖ Muhammad Khalid Khan explained.
(By Amar Guriro, DailyTimes-B1, 06/09/2007)

                                            Tragedy on Northern Bypass
THE bridge of Northern Bypass in Karachi collapsed causing loss of precious lives and grave damage to the national
This gigantic project was inaugurated at a ceremony by no less than a person who is the president and Chief of Army Staff,
Gen Pervez Musharraf. He is all-powerful, ruling the country for past eight years and wants to return for next term.

Now everyone, from Sindh chief minister to the Karachi city nazim, is shunning responsibilities.

According to common sense, the major responsibility lies upon the contractor, engineers and the men in office of the
organisation that gave the contract and was responsible for quality control, and their cronies.

As per common sense, the work was not according to specifications and design.
There must be lack of steel, cement and other material that caused the collapse in such a short time.

Such projects are supposed to be made for generations to come.
This catastrophe reveals that state of affairs in the construction for which the city nazim and others have been boasting

Here I feel that a court martial and summary trial should take on the responsible people and award them an exemplary

THE collapse of the 1.2 km Shershah bridge in Karachi is yet another manifestation of the callous disregard for human lives
by the authorities. In a telling revelation, the NHA released a statement that the bridge was completed two years ago but
had developed a ‗fault‘ which was rectified after hiring foreign consultants (presumably to provide post facto legitimacy to
negligence and incompetence) and was opened on an ‗experimental‘ basis for traffic. Exactly who were meant to be the
subject of this experiment? The people who died on Saturday?

This bridge was reportedly inaugurated by Gen Musharraf on Aug 6 and in less than a month it has collapsed. The NHA
further informs us that the contractor for this bridge was the National Logistics Cell (NLC).

According to Dr Ayesha Siddiqa‘s book, Military Inc., this organisation was created in 1978 to handle a wheat shortage
crisis in the country and directly reports to GHQ. Now it is a transportation behemoth. What qualifications does it have to
build bridges?

Maybe the correct person to answer this would be the NHA chairman who incidentally is a major-general of the army. A
criminal case should be registered against the appropriate people of the NLC. It has been reported that Gen Musharraf has
ordered a probe into the incident. Would he call to account those who are considered his own?
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 07/09/2007)

                                           DIG ‘Stuck-in-Traffic’ Durrani
KARACHI: None other than DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani, traveling from Shaheen Complex to Police Central Office on I. I.
Chundrigar Road, was stuck in traffic in his official vehicle (SP 1152) with two police mobiles as part of the protocol squad
Friday. ―Saheb‘s vehicle was stranded for almost half an hour but there was nothing we could do. Every vehicle there was
in a similar situation,‖ one of the traffic policemen on I. I. Chundrigar Road told Daily Times. When Durrani‘s vehicle got to
Habib Bank Plaza, he found himself completely jammed from both sides of the road. ―Make way, make way for Saheb to
go!‖ one of policemen sitting in the police mobile shouted through his loudspeaker. But no one was listening because no
one could move an inch. The traffic policeman standing in the middle of the road also tried to clear the way but with no luck
because of the heaps of mud. ―Good he got stranded,‖ quipped one motorcyclist. ―Now he can feel what we feel.‖
(By Amar Guriro, DailyTimes-B1, 08/09/2007)

                                     People burn tanker after it hits youth
KARACHI: Angered people burnt a water tanker on Friday after it hit a youth at Garden (west) while another person was
also killed in a separate road accident in Landhi.
The body of 18-year-old Mavia was taken to Civil hospital where he was identified. According to the police, Mavia was a
resident of Bagh-e-Hilal Apartments in Garden (west) and was crossing the road near his house when it happened. A water
tanker bearing number LSA-593 hit him and he died on the spot.
The people who were present at the scene started rioting, burnt the tanker, burnt tires on the road and pelted stones on
vehicles passing by. Police got to the scene and dispersed them. The unidentified responsible driver managed to escape.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Ali, 35, was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) where he died after
sometime. According to information, Ali was a resident of Landhi No. 2 and was hit by an unidentified truck near his house.
(DailyTimes-B1, 08/09/2007)

                                                   Kings of the road
Many members of the Pukhtoon community in Karachi are associated with the transport business through which they earn
a reasonable livelihood. According to an estimate, more than 70 per cent of the public transport, including buses, rickshaws
and taxis, are run by the city‘s Pukhtoon community. Many of them are either illiterate or have only the minimum of
schooling. As they are less educated and jobs are scarce, the transport business offers them the ideal opportunity to earn a

Pukhtoons are by nature very hard working. To become a driver of a passenger bus is not an easy job. One has to go
through a number of phases to reach that level, and one can be expected to work for up to 18 hours a day. As a first step,
an aspirant is hired as the helper of a conductor. After gaining some confidence and experience, he is promoted to the rank
of a full-fledged conductor. Finally, he is able to become a driver. All these stages need a great deal of hard work. Being
physically strong and hardy, the Pukhtoons are ideally suited to this business.

President Karachi Transport Ittehad, Irshad Bukhari, says that after the creation of Pakistan, the Memon community had
also entered the transport business. He said that this community eventually left the business as the margin of profit was
very low, particularly given the hard work required to run matters smoothly. The Pukhtoons were able to fill this vacuum.
―Often one sees young Pukhtoons cleaning the tires of buses or working as conductors or drivers on buses running on
various city routes. Even a majority of mechanics in the city are Pukhtoons,‖ says Bokhari. He claims that a majority of
rickshaw and taxi drivers are also Pukhtoons. Because most Pukhtoon migrants to the city are not educated they start
serving in the transport business where no degree or formal qualifications are required.

Chairman of All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association, Yousaf Shahwani, points out another reason for the
community‘s preference for the transport business. He says that Pukhtoons by nature need the freedom and liberty to do a
job of their own choice and they generally do not like to become low-level employees in organisations. So, he says, they
start driving vehicles or they start off as cleaners or conductors. People in such jobs are free to work at their own pace. ―A
man in the transport business is not compelled to do something against his wishes. So Pukhtoons love to become drivers,
conductors and finally the owners of a bus, taxi or rickshaw.
He says that daily 3,000 oil tankers from Karachi are dispatched to upcountry destinations. Sometimes their journey can
take up to 30 hours on long routes. Shahwani says that driving on long routes is not without its incentives. He says the staff
gets free and lavish meals at restaurants situated on these routes.

Twenty-three-year-old Arif Khan is a conductor of a mini bus. He originally belongs to Khaki, Mansehra. Five years ago he
came to Karachi and started working as a helper to a conductor of a bus which was driven by his elder brother. After he
gained some experience, his brother promoted him to a full-fledged conductor. Though his brother has stopped working as
bus driver, Arif Khan continues to work as a conductor and is optimistic that he will be working as a driver some day soon.
(By Qadeer Tanoli, The News-20, 09/09/2007)

                          Motorbike rider injured in policeman, bus driver chase
A motorcycle rider had a narrow escape when another bike of a traffic constable came into his path, making him slip across
the road. A resident of Gulshan-e-Maymar, Raheel Khan informed The News that he was driving his motorbike along
Sharae Faisal while a minibus (Registration No AE9051) of route D-7 was on his side.

Owing to the minibus being overcrowded, a traffic constable signaled the bus driver to stop but the driver refused to heed
his call. On this, the traffic policeman chased him on his motorbike (AK-3154) and, all of a sudden, pulled the brakes in
front of the bus,‖ explained Khan.

Consequently, the bus hit the constable‘s bike which slipped and came into Khan‘s path. His bike then crashed into the
policeman‘s vehicle, sending him flying ahead on to the road where the flow of traffic was already very fast. Though his life
was saved, the motorcyclist sustained several injuries.

The poor motorist, who was made to suffer in the battle between the traffic police and bus driver said that a citizen‘s life
seems to be worth nothing. ―This has become an everyday occurence,‖ he complained.
Many of the commuters on the scene agreed that the traffic constable should not have stopped his bike the way he did.
However, the bus driver perhaps left him with no choice after he did not heed his policeman‘s call to pull over.
(The News-14, 09/09/2007)

                                                    A bridge collapses
SEPTEMBER ONE was a fateful day marked by a tragedy that should not have happened. The collapse of the Shershah
bridge of the Northern Bypass in Karachi has had a ripple effect.

The people in general have now lost confidence in the infrastructural works that are being trumpeted no end by our political
barons. The possibility of ascertaining the truth behind this incident is dwindling with each passing day owing to the dubious
intentions of the agencies concerned. Each one is trying hard to acquire an exoneration certificate, hoping that this tragedy
will be buried fast and forgotten soon.

The stakeholders are attempting to gloss over their individual and collective responsibility without bothering to analyse the
underlying factors that led to the collapse of this structure so soon after its inauguration. It is deplorable that the incident is
not taken as an eye-opener. Neither has it served as a catalyst that could prompt the powers that be to seek effective
solutions to system building and traffic management problems. Given the present approach adopted by the government
and others involved, the situation is not likely to improve in the near future.

If one looks around the city, one will find that a lot is happening in the traffic management sector. New flyovers are being
planned and built while the old ones are being renovated and expanded. This has become necessary because hundreds of
new automobiles are registered every day in geometric progression that increases the congestion on the city roads that are
already inundated with vehicles.

The vast majority of the population is forced to commute in sub-human conditions to and from its work place without any
hope of obtaining relief. In this scenario, it is obvious that the government has been attempting to focus on isolated mega
projects. This approach has largely proved to be ineffective.

The fact is that massive investment in the transportation sector is not making any improvement in the life of the common
man. Since the government has refused to recognise the gravity of the problem, the situation is becoming worse by the
day. What is vital to note is that improvement in the transportation system does not need any hi-tech or capital-intensive

Effective traffic engineering and management, incentives for transporters to procure buses, segregation of local and
through traffic and enforcement of the law are some of the simplest but urgently needed steps that must be adopted without

The existing capacity of local institutions related to transportation is entirely insufficient to deal with the emerging problems.
Take the traffic police. For more than 1.5 million vehicles and 10,000 kilometres of city roads, the net strength of the
personnel in the cadres of the traffic cops is only around 3,000. Of them, many staff members are on clerical duties,
managing VIP motorcades and doing other non-operational tasks.

The dearth of proper hardware, vehicles, tracking devices, digital equipment and even adequately equipped field offices
further reduce the capacity of the police to manage routine traffic. As a consequence, the anarchy on the roads multiplies
fast, eventually leading to severe loss of efficiency.

City and town administrations lack the capacity to plan appropriately. It is disappointing to note that a city of Karachi‘s size
is being run without a scientifically laid down road rehabilitation and expansion plan. Whatever works are undertaken are ill-
timed and badly coordinated. Repairs are begun close to the monsoon rains that completely upset the normal performance
of vehicles.

The time schedules are inappropriately worked out that lead even small works to be completed in months, even years. For
nearly two years, Rashid Minhas Road and University Road have been dug up with work going on at a snail‘s pace. It will
take another year to complete simply the essentials of the assigned task.

Given the clout of the road lobby, the railways are being eliminated as a means of transport. Had the freight railway service
been in full operation to transport containers from ports to upcountry destinations, many of the traffic and bypass roads may
not have been required.

The transport sector is being held hostage by oil marketing giants, the automobile manufacturers and military‘s NLC. The
press has reported that the oil companies have made an extra profit of Rs100bn in the past five years. When the stakes are
so high, any immediate reform is difficult to achieve.

Exclusive reliance on road transport for communication is an unsustainable proposition. Even traditionally car-based
countries such as the United States are now contemplating initiating appropriate plans for public transport based on the
railway system.This is logical from several points of view. Universal access and affordability, low consumption of fuel (per
capita), cost effectiveness, economic utilisation of land and conservation of environmental quality in urban areas are a few
important merits. It is also vital that public control and management of the transportation sector ensures that its benefits
accrue to low-income communities.

For long-distance commuting, relying on an efficient railway system is much better than expanding roads. The system has
the possibility of transporting heavy cargo and liquid raw material without pollution and congestion. Many professionals
have suggested the creation of a cargo terminal at the suburban location of Pipri to be serviced through fast-moving train
links. Technically termed as ―cargo processing zones‖, such areas are quite extensively located in the developed countries
as also in many cities of the Third World.

It may be noted that the revival and expansion of the entire railway infrastructure in Karachi and the surrounding region will
not cost more than what a single mega road project such as the Lyari Expressway would. It depends on the wisdom and
foresight of policymakers to take cognisance of this fact and respond to common sense, a quality rarely found in our city
(By Dr. Noman Ahmed, Dawn-7, 10/09/2007)

                 Transport mafia fleecing customers as authorities turn a blind eye
Transporters plying both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses on the Karachi-Hyderabad route are overcharging
commuters, especially on weekends, as the authorities continue to turn a blind eye to this issue.
According to details, commuters traveling between Karachi and Hyderabad have to suffer undue financial burden, as
transporters extort about 30 to 70 per cent extra fare from them. It is said that the concerned authorities in the transport
department are well-aware of this issue, but they preferred not to intervene due to reasons best know to them.

It is said that fare of air-conditioned coaches on the route is set at Rs120 by the transport authorities, while the bus service
run by the Police Foundation Sindh and some other coach services used to charge Rs130. However, in real practice, the
fare on this route is not uniform, and it varies on a day-to-day basis. On weekends and other rush days the commuters
have to pay anywhere between Rs150 to Rs200.
A regular Hyderabad-based commuter, Ali Hussain, said that transporters sometimes create artificial shortage of buses and
force passengers to pay higher fares. ―We have to reach office on time, and have no choice but to pay the increased fare.‖

Another commuter Kamran Khan said they often faced a shortage of buses in Karachi during the evening hours when they
have to return home. ―We are being fleeced on almost a daily basis. Authorities are not taking any action against erring

The worst is witnessed on Saturday evening on the Karachi side and Sunday night to Monday noon at Hyderabad side, as
a huge number of passengers on these days travel between the two cities to enjoy their weekdays at their homes. The
transporters used to charge even more than Rs200 per seat on these days. On other special occasions like religious and
national holidays the fare used to climb to Rs300 per seat.

Similarly, the non-air-conditioned buses of the route, whose fare is Rs80 per seat normally, charged Rs120 to Rs150
rupees which jumped to Rs200 on special days.

This situation sometimes results in brawls between transporters and passengers, but they mostly ends in the thrashing of
passengers due to aggressiveness as well as unity of bus drivers and conductors.
It should be noted that the primary bus stop for Karachi bound buses in Hyderabad is at Qasim Chowk which is under
Cantonment board control. The cantonment board issues contracts yearly in excess of millions of rupees, with this year‘s
contract beyond 15million rupees but there are no facilities for the passengers nor there is any accountability against the
corrupt transporters who continue to charge exorbitant rates and ignore the official fares.
(The News, 10/09/2007)

                                                     Kamal ka bridge
THE city government has been singing claims about giving Karachi numerous uplifting projects during its tenure. Whether
the projects are uplifting or just face-lifting is an open secret. The recent bridge collapse, responsibility for which no one is
ready to accept, was the very bridge Mustafa Kamal claimed was his proudest achievement.
He told a TV channel recently that he was proud that people could get from Lalukhet to Shershah in just 12 minutes
compared to the previous time of over an hour.

Well, not only has Mr Kamal made the journey from Lalukhet to Shershah shorter, he has also made the journey to Heaven
from anywhere in Karachi much quicker.
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 11/09/2007)

                                         Delay in import of buses resolved
The delay in the import of 125 new buses in Karachi, impeded by banking procedures, has now been resolved. The buses
will arrive by the end of September, told Samiullah, the owner of the firm which has entered into a private public agreement
with the City District Government Karachi (CDGK), to The News.
―We want to make sure that the buses are operational before they are put in use because they should be seen on the roads
and not in workshops,‖ he explained.

Furthermore, he added that these buses will introduce a ticketing system used all over the world. The tickets can be
purchased form any shop just like telephone cards and can be used like debit cards for purchasing other items.

―Once you step in the bus, swipe your card and enter the required amount, your ticket will pop out. There will be no need
for a conductor and it will be easy for people to purchase their tickets for a day or for a month,‖ said Samiullah.

An investment of Rs600-700 million has been made for the buses but the entire project is being hampered by the banking
sector. Samiullah said that he does not want the bitter experience of the Green and UTS bus project to repeated, which
failed miserably. Moreover, private sources in the transport business tell The News that big buses in Karachi are about
3,500 and but the city requires 10,000 more. These old and obsolete buses emit thick, black smoke which is a health
hazard for citizens and threatens the environment. As compared to Karachi, Islamabad has a lot more CNG stations, even
though the city has fewer cars than Karachi. In Karachi, about 700 cars are being registered at the motor vehicle
registration department every day.

The 125 buses which require diesel and CNG are expected to arrive in the city by the end September. However, the city
lacks the amount of CNG depots needed to facilitate these buses.

The City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal has also demanded the release of depots that have been grabbed by the Pakistan
Rangers. In this regard, the government has handed over two depots to private firms so that new CNG stations can be
established to facilitate the needs of the city‘s transportation system. Furthermore, the city nazim has promised citizens that
more than 8,000 CNG buses will be imported to solve the transport problems.

The city government has also invited tenders from private firms to establish CNG stations and 33 firms have sent their bids.
The city government is waiting to finalise the bids as its scrutiny is yet to be done. A city government official said that so far,
no decision has been taken in this regard.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-14, 11/09/2007)

                                                Northern Bypass bridge
THE recently-collapsed portion at Shershah crossing was the most delayed part of the Northern Bypass bridge. The
completion of this particular portion had taken more than a year which indicates that the NLC was facing some design
problems at this particular juncture.

As a layman and frequent user of this bypass I often wondered at the radii given at this portion. It was a sharp turn spread
over around half kilometre which seemed an uphill task for the heavy vehicles. Furthermore the NLC recently made a
speed breaker in the middle of this part to avoid over speeding by heavy vehicles.

It seems that this speed breaker played a key role in failure of this bridge. The application of brakes by every heavy vehicle
at this speed breaker (which was in the middle of the radii) under the influence of sharp turning led to some unbalanced
forces whose thrust was centrifugal in nature. This phenomenon was so frequent that it ultimately forced the bridge to bend
over and collapse. This speed breaker was made only about a month before.

Now it is for the inquiry committee to judge the NLC working. I can only request them to also witness the collapsed walls of
the bridge which is six to eight kilometres away from Shershah. This bridge was built at the intersection of the Northern
Bypass and Hub River Road. The recent downpour caused slipping of the walls along with protecting stones of this bridge,
though it was provided adequate protection against flowing waters.

What is more painful is that even when the bypass was in use for the last three to four months, nobody bothered to repair
the dilapidated Hub River Road. Today, in the absence of the Northern Bypass, this road becomes a crucial artery
connecting Karachi to Quetta. But is this road worthy of withstanding the load of heavy traffic?

We can only hope that the area nazim after reading this letter takes a ride from Shershah to Quetta bus stand on this road.
He will then be in a position to arrange some squeezed budget to get this Hub River Road in a travel-worthy condition.
M.Z. JAFRI, Karachi
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 12/09/2007)

                                                      Traffic jams
A MAJOR traffic jam recently in Karachi‘s Orangi township, especially the portion between Banaras Chowrangi and
Abdullah College, will be remembered by a happy couple and also by some mourners.
A lady on way to a hospital in the taxi gave birth to a baby, who could not wait; she was stuck in the jam. ‗Thanks‘.
Three patients died as no medical attention could be provided to them in time; their vehicles were stuck in the jam. ‗No

Would it be any wise to figure out who was responsible for the traffic jam? Or who is accountable for all the traffic jams
anyway? Now the blame game — the popular sport in our society — would begin.

The traffic jams have become commonplace in Pakistan. Aren‘t we proud that we have so many cars in our country, that is,
we are so rich? Are we ashamed that our vehicle drivers are so uneducated, wild, hasty, obstinate, arrogant and unmindful
of other people‘s predicaments? Are we embarrassed that our half-a- million-strong police force is useless? Are the city
governments also a contributor to this havoc?

Even the Supreme Court had to take suo motu action to find out the reasons for such traffic jams as the historic one we
have seen on Karachi on Aug 14.
But then, we have seen a way out of such confusion on Aug 31 — the strike by the oil companies; there was no petrol
pump open and not much traffic was seen on the roads. I wish it could continue. These companies are fleecing the
government in the shape of exorbitant profit.
M.K. NAQVI, Karachi
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 13/09/2007)

                                              Northern Bypass bridge
THE sudden collapse of the Northern Bypass bridge has raised several questions about the safe standards, quality of
material used and durability of all flyovers, underpasses and roads already constructed and being used as well as about all
those projects still under process of construction at different locations under the development programme of Karachi by the
city district government of Karachi.

Whosoever is directly or indirectly responsible for this tragedy must be exposed to justice without fear and favour of any
one regardless of his status. To avoid repetition of such incidents, the following measures have to be ensured:

a. Review of development plan and re-inspection of the site of all projects, newly constructed and under construction in

b. Round-the-clock stationing of professional engineers at the site of each project under process of construction to ensure
the fulfilment of the required standards.

c. Positioning of all required equipment at site to operate the rescue work, demolition of all old or newly-constructed
projects constructed with imitated material and found below safety standard, if any, anywhere in Karachi.

d. Put the names of defaulters of the current incident on the ECL to ensure their apprehension.

e. Ensuring alternative way out with demarcation of boundaries, lighting of detours as a precautionary measure at the site
of construction to minimise inconvenience to citizens.

The Jauhar Bridge in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, constructed more than a decade before and in frequent use of all kinds of light and
heavyweight vehicles, is in a dilapidated condition and poses danger to the safety of citizens passing over it, requiring
immediate review and inspection of the site.

There are many other projects under process of construction all over the city, including Gulistan-i-Jauhar, where no
professional engineers are available to supervise the progress of work while unskilled labour is attending to jobs in a
disorganised manner and no alternative way out arranged at site of dug- up trenches, causing inconvenience to citizens, in
general, and residents, in particular.

The current incident as an eye opener for all authorities concerned to review the development work in Karachi, keeping in
view the safety of citizens.

THE Northern Bypass bridge collapsed merely 20 days after being made operational. It was shocking to note that main
contractor M/s NLC was not seen at the project site though the defect liability period of any project is at least one year, as
per the standard contract condition after commissioning and handing over of the project.

The NLC should have immediately turned up with their engineers to design and deal with this emergency. Instead the
CDGK, the KPT and the Navy were called to deal with the situation though they do not have any knowledge or know-how to
deal with such kind of emergency.
In my opinion the main contractor NLC should take full responsibility for this disaster instead of shifting the blame on any
other subcontractor and start the dismantling operation after proper designing.

It may be noted that after detection of the fault before the foreign experts were called in, a Pakistani expert who is in the
field for quite a long time has suggested dismantling the same portion of the bridge and building it again but the suggestion
was disregarded.
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 13/09/2007)

                                       The tragedy of unsecure containers
It is not the first time that an unsecured container has claimed an innocent life since many such incidents have already
been reported but no action has been taken in this regard. People continue to complain about unfit vehicles, especially
heavy vehicles with poorly secured containers that remain unchecked by the concerned departments.

Eyewitnesses revealed that in Monday‘s accident a container tilted over an old black cab indicating that the terminal
operators are least bothered about the safety of other commuters. Family members of the deceased also alleged that traffic
policemen, especially those deployed at Landhi Industrial Area and the National Highway do not check unfit vehicles. They
reported spotting containers that are tied with ropes instead of twist locks. One of the eyewitnesses told this correspondent
that the accident took place at around 10.30 p.m. when heavy vehicles are supposed to be off the roads. Moreover, the
bridge where this accident took place is not part of the route of heavy traffic. Often, it is used by heavy vehicles as a short-

It is also worth mentioning here that the bridge was constructed decades ago and cannot even sustain the load of light
vehicles let alone heavy ones. The joints of bridge are in dilapidated state and vehicles when passing from it get heavy
jerks. An eye witness who regularly uses the bridge said that a similar jerk must have resulted in tilting of the container. He
said that National Highway has become a traffic nuisance in the sense that some times a container fell off the trailer other
wise its tie rod beaks down. But these unfit and unsecured vehicles, he alleged, are not checked by traffic police and
allowed to ply on city roads.

On October 7, the terminal operators had decided that no delivery of any container can be made from the port/terminal until
it has been verified that the twist lock is installed or affixed in four corners. Following this, the then Capital City Police
Officer Niaz Ahmed Siddiqui supervised a meeting in the presence of DIG traffic Captain Falak Khursheed, Advisor to
Home Minister Waseem Akhtar, representatives of KPT, Port Qasim, Motorway police and transporters in which it was
decided that from November 1 no trailers or trucks would be allowed on the city roads unless the containers are empty or
are properly loaded. It was also decided that strict action would be taken against vehicles if their physical fitness was not up
to the mark.

Terminal operators who attended the meeting include Qasim International Container terminal, Pakistan Ltd, NLC Container
Terminal, Karachi International Container terminal, Pakistan International Container Terminal and Al-Hamd International
Container Terminal.

On the contrary, DIG traffic Wajid Ali Khan Durrani said that the accident took place at around 11.15 p.m. and not on
account of the twist lock. He further said that the accident took place because of a ledge that was not properly attached. He
explained that the container is attached to the driving compartment with the ledge which should have been connected
properly. He further insisted that the driver was at fault and the concerned company should have made sure that the ledge
was secure. He further said that the ledge of the vehicle opened on the ramp and the container moved back and tilted the
taxi. Regarding the route of heavy vehicles, the DIG said that after 11.00 p.m. there is no specific route prescribed for
heavy vehicles therefore they can take any route. ―However, we discourage heavy vehicles on that bridge due to its
dilapidated state,‖ he continued. ―We have written to terminal operators to ensure that containers are secured before they
come on roads. In our FIR we also included the name of the company that the container belonged to,‖ he added.

Moreover, Nazim Landhi Town, Syed Asif Husnain said in a press statement that heavy vehicles are banned on the
aforementioned bridge and several notices have been issued in this regard. He further said that strict action will be taken
against the offender since this violation of the route has resulted in the death of Majid Khan. Husnain promised financial
support to his grieved family.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-20, 13/09/2007)

                                      98 intersections fuel traffic jams: DIG
KARACHI: There are about 98 problematic intersections on major arteries connecting downtown areas of the city to the
surrounding areas. Schools and offices getting off at the same time and the city-wide construction work are some of the
major causes of traffic jams.

A recent survey was conducted DIG (Traffic) Wajid Ali Durrani told Daily Times. They found that at least 98 intersections on
various major roads, including Shahrah-e-Faisal, RCD Highway, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, Nishtar Road, I.I. Chundrigar Road,
New M.A. Jinnah Road and Shahrah-e-Quaideen, create problems for the free flow of traffic, causing massive traffic jams
throughout the city. ―Additionally, the timings of schools and offices will cause problems during Ramadan,‖ he

The traffic department has decided to deploy at least six traffic police under the supervision of a high-ranking official and
volunteers from town administrations at all of these intersections to help resolve the problem, Durrani said. ―We have asked
all the town nazims to post volunteers at these intersections. Personnel from the Sindh police will also help out,‖ he said.

Most of the major schools are located on the main roads and the timings of these schools and offices of the federal,
provincial and local governments, banks and other public and private sector companies clash. Thus, everybody rushes
home at the same time, he added.

―For Ramadan we have asked authorities to direct the schools to close down at 12:30 p.m. and offices may close after 1:00
p.m. This is so the traffic department may better manage. A notification about the change in timings will be issued soon,‖
Duarrani said.

Meanwhile, the home department has imposed a ban on the entry of heavy vehicles in the city centers of Karachi under
Section 144 of the CrPC between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. during Ramadan. Heavy vehicles entering Karachi are allowed
to go up to the Karachi Port and the industrial areas via the R.C.D Highway or the Northern Bypass. They can go from RCD
Highway to Paracha Chowk to Estate Avenue to Siemens Chowrangi and back to Gulbai Mauripur Road and then to the

Karachi Port (East and West Wharf and Oil Area, up to Police Post No. 3 in Shireen Jinnah Colony). Or they can go from
M.T. Khan Road to the KPT Godowns and back via the NLC Intersection Mai Kolachi to the Port Area.

Durrani told Daily Times that his department has planned well for Ramadan the citizens will not face traffic jams, especially
during Iftar times, when everybody runs home. ―To regulate traffic flow, the Government of Sindh, under Section 144, has
also imposed a ban on unlawful assemblies – rallies, processions and meetings - on the following main roads: M.A. Jinnah
Road, Sarwar Shaheed Road, Aiwan-e-Saddar Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Regal Chowk (junction of Preedy Street,
Shahrah-e-Liaquat/Abdullah Haroon Road), Abdullah Haroon Road, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, Nishtar Road,
I.I. Chundrigar Road, New M.A. Jinnah Road and Shahrah-e-Quaideen. The ban is in effect for a period of 30 days starting
now. This order will also help regulate traffic during Ramadan,‖ Durrani said.
(DailyTimes-B1, 13/09/2007)

                        Zero tolerance for violators on Sh-e-Faisal starting today
KARACHI: If you are sick of traffic jams, exhausted of misbehaved drivers and don‘t want to see bikers crossing red lights
or scurrying about on pavements, Shahrah-e-Faisal could become the road to travel on. The traffic department has
announced that it will be made a model road and there will be zero tolerance for law breakers. ―There will be zero tolerance
starting Thursday on main Shahrah-e-Faisal from the airport to Metropole Hotel. We are declaring Shahrah-e-Faisal the
first model road in the city,‖ DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani told Daily Times. This will be formally announced Thursday at the
traffic office near Metropole Hotel, he added. ―Shahrah-e-Faisal is the city‘s main road and most foreigners coming from the
airport travel along this road... In the next phase, other roads will also be declared model roads.‖ Shahrah-e-Faisal is the
most important road in the city and most of the small roads from the city center lead to this road, but, because of the lack of
a proper system there is a traffic jam on different parts of this road every day. ―We have made the lanes on Shahrah-e-
Faisal clear, have closed any unnecessary intersections and 17 traffic sergeants will patrol each side, looking for violators
from morning to evening,‖ Durrani said. ―Now you will enjoy using Shahrah-e-Faisal.‖
(By Amar Guriro, DailyTimes-B1, 13/09/2007)

                               Dug-up roads may cause gridlock in Ramazan
KARACHI, Sept 13: At a time when over two dozen major roads of the city are still dug up, citizens apprehend massive
traffic jams on various main thoroughfares throughout Ramazan, particularly when the faithful will be returning home from
their workplaces for Iftar.

As a mad rush of vehicular traffic during Ramazan normally starts moving in one direction between 4pm till Iftar, the
ploughed roads and other thoroughfares, which are lying in a highly dilapidated condition, will create obstructions in the
smooth movement of traffic, thus adding to the miseries of commuters.

Moreover, the sharp-edged gravel on those roads which have been opened for traffic without undertaking carpeting work
will force motorists to drive at a snail‘s pace, also resulting in traffic snarl-ups.

In addition to this, several localities of the city have almost been locked as a number of their surrounding roads have been
dug up either for their re-construction or for laying storm-water drains and pipelines, thus compelling the residents to use
just one road while entering or exiting their neighbourhoods.

Some of the localities whose two and even three exit and entry points have either been partially closed for vehicular traffic
because of ploughed roads or stagnant sewage include Pakistan Chowk, Haqqani Chowk, Paper Market, GPO Quarters,
Saddar, Empress Market, Bohri Bazaar, Federal B. Area‘s Blocks 7, 8, 9 and 14, Adamjee Nagar, Al-Hamra Society,
Bangalore Town, a portion of Mohammad Ali Society, Gulshan-i-Iqbal‘s Block 14 and some parts of Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

For instance people residing in Adamjee Nagar and Bangalore Town have either been using a narrow street situated
behind Makkah Masjid or a service road running parallel to Sharea Faisal as both the major surrounding roads – Tipu
Sultan Road and Mohammad Ali Road -- have been lying dug up for the last eight months.

Even the service road through which residents have access to their localities has been partially ploughed.
Similarly, people residing in the Haqqani Chowk and Pakistan Chowk areas and near Paper Market are having a tough time
as three major roads surrounding their localities -- Outram Road, Dr Ziauddin Road and I.I. Chundrigar Road – have been
dug up while a number of surrounding streets are filled with sewage.
(Dawn-19, 14/09/2007)

                                     Karachi bus attack claims seven lives
KARACHI, Sept 13: Seven people were killed on Thursday when armed assailants hurled a hand-grenade and opened fire
on a minibus near the Karachi University, police and eyewitnesses said.
They said the powerful explosion set the vehicle packed with passengers ablaze, adding that parts of the bodies were seen
lying inside the bus stained with victims‘ blood.

The Islami Jamiat Talaba alleged that activists of the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation had attacked its workers
who were in the bus. The APMSO denied the allegations.

Witnesses said that nine assailants on three motorcycles intercepted the minibus on the University Road near the Sheikh
Zayed Islamic Centre. They first hurled some explosives into the bus and then sprayed it with bullets.
They said the assailants fled after the swift operation, leaving the victims in a pool of blood.

Police said four bodies had been brought to the Liaquat National Memorial Hospital. They were identified as Atif Butt, Imran
Shahid, Mohammed Siddique and Kaju Habibullah.

The IJT said four of the victims were students of Karachi University‘s applied chemistry, political science, library science
and mass communications departments and were its workers.

Two bodies were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. One of the dead was identified as Sarfaraz while the
identity of the other could not be ascertained.

JPMC‘s emergency centre deputy director Seemi Jamali said the unidentified victim was in his mid-20s and his back had
been blown.

Officials at the Liaquat Hospital said the four injured brought to the hospital had suffered bullet injuries and were stable.
However, Ms Jamali said Haji Ahmed, 50, the only injured brought to the JPMC, was seriously wounded.
―He is still in a precarious condition due to profuse bleeding,‖ she added.

Meanwhile, traffic on the main University Road met a gridlock and hundreds of vehicles were stuck when police cordoned
off the area. It took almost an hour for the traffic jam to clear.

Hundreds of IJT workers stormed into the LNMH where bodies of the victims had been brought in ambulances. Chanting
slogans against the government, most of them entered the causality ward and the hospital management called police to
control the situation.

Enraged youths also hurled stones on the main Stadium Road and blocked the road for 20 minutes.

Police officials said it was too early to ascertain the cause of incident because the investigation was in initial stages.
―Along with IJT workers, there were also other people who died or were injured,‖ said Capital City Police Officer Azhar Ali
Farooqi. ―We are looking into the matter but can‘t exactly say about the motive behind the attack.‖

Mubina Town police SHO Umer Farooq said no case had been registered because it took time to gather information about
the victims. ―We expect some time later in the night to register the case once we get complete data of the deceased and
the injured,‖ he added.
(By S. Raza Hassan & Imran Ayub, Dawn-1, 14/09/2007)

                                                    Northern Bypass
WITH the bridge on Northern Bypass collapsing, here is a chance for the media to come out at two levels and truly show
how independent they are. The public should know the following and the media should bring it into the open:

— Who were the contractors involved and what were their roles?

— How much were the contracts for?

— Who funded the construction?

— Which officials from the NHA approved the contract?

— How many other projects are these contractors doing with the government and what are these projects?

— Were there feasibility plans for this contract and are they publicly available?

The media should also get hold of the senior management of the NHA and the contractor and interview them about why the
tragedy happened.

At the second level the media should be investigating the numerous development projects going on around the city and the

What are the feasibility studies? Who are the people involved and how much are these contracts for? Journalists then need
to editorialise on the feasibility of these projects. As Robert Fisk said that the job of the media is to monitor the centres of

They do this to give voice to the people who stand to be affected by the powers that be who make decisions to benefit their
own position rather than benefit society.

(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 14/09/2007)

                                       Partial ban on two-stroke rickshaws
KARACHI, Sept 13: City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal on Thursday imposed a ban under Section 144 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure on the operation of two-stroke auto-rickshaws on the 15.2km Sharae Pakistan (Sohrab Goth to
Mereweather Tower) and the 6km M.A. Jinnah Road (Gurumandir to Tower).

The city government has been notified that the ban will come into effect from Sept 14 and will remain in place till further

The curb has been imposed in view of the Supreme Court‘s 2003 suo motu notice in a case regarding increasing
environmental pollution, and the Sindh High Court‘s three-year-old CP No.D-173/2004 against the provincial government
and others.
(Dawn-17, 14/09/2007)
                               SHC seeks report on city govt’s parking plaza
KARACHI, Sept 13: The Sindh High Court asked the provincial heritage department on Thursday to submit a detailed
report on the advantages and disadvantages of a parking plaza being constructed by the city district government at
Shahabuddin Market, adjacent to Empress Market.

On a petition filed by the shopkeepers of Shahabuddin Market, a division bench comprising Justices Sarmad Jalal Osmany
and Ali Sain Dino Metlo had asked the city district government to draw up a building design in consonance with Empress
Market, which is a heritage site.

The city district government says that Saddar and Preedy Street are miserably short of parking space while a parking plaza
planned at Jahangir Park had to be given up for environmental reasons. The new plaza was being constructed at
Shahabuddin Market in harmony with the adjoining Empress Market.

The shopkeepers of the market would be provided shops in the plaza and a makeshift market had been set up in the
nearby Lines Area, to which businesses could be shifted temporarily.
The shopkeepers were not, however, satisfied with the assurance and approached the high court, which granted them a
stay against their being shifted without their consent. The shopkeepers say that the shops being temporarily given to them
in the Lines Area are much smaller than their current premises, which would harm their business.

The bench asked the city government to ensure that the shops being allotted provisionally to the petitioners were at least
two-thirds the size of their shops in Shahabuddin Market and adjourned further hearing to Sept 19.

Order reserved on bail pleas
A division bench of the Sindh High Court reserved its order on Thursday on the bail applications of the two accused in the
PIA plane purchase reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau.

Former PIA director for corporate planning Rashid Hasan and Cyrus Darayus Minwala, a former representative of Cathay-
Pacific – the airline that first leased and then sold six 747-300 Boeings – are facing trial in an accountability court for
allegedly executing a deal for faulty planes. The ex-director is on interim bail before arrest while Mr Minwala has moved for
post-arrest bail.

Representing the applicants, Advocates Abdul Hafeez Pirzada and Arshad Mahmood argued that there was no evidence of
a shady transaction, which passed through normal procedures. A court of the offshore Island New Jersey had already held
that no criminal intent or liability was involved in the deal.

NAB deputy prosecutor-general Shafaat Nabi Sherwani argued that the reference had been filed after due investigation and
a loss has been caused to the national airline by the accused.
A bench consisting of Justices Mohammad Afzal Soomro and Mrs Qaiser Iqbal reserved its order after hearing arguments
on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mental Health Ordinance
A Sindh High Court division bench has directed the federal and provincial governments to file their comments on a petition
seeking the implementation of the Mental Health Ordinance, 2001, by Sept 26.

Moved by the Pakistan Association for Mental Health through Advocate Faisal Siddiqui, the petition requests directions for
the implementation of the 2001 ordinance in the following terms:
• The constitution of a federal mental health authority in accordance with Section 3 of the ordinance.
• The nomination of a board of visitors as envisaged by Section 4 of the ordinance.
• Appointment of a court of protection and magistrates.

The division bench comprising Justices Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Ali Sain Dino Metlo expressed its surprise about why
the government has failed to issue a notification for setting up a court and appointing magistrates.
The government counsel appearing before the bench were asked to file their comments.
(By Shujaat Ali Khan, Dawn-17, 14/09/2007)

                                   Model traffic patrolling force for the city
The Karachi Traffic Police introduced a Model Traffic Patrol System in the metropolis through a special traffic patrolling
force to get rid of the mess at least at the main Sharae Faisal artery.
A portion of Sharae Faisal - from PIDC to Madam Apartment, Airport — has been divided into 17 sections. The strength of
force here is 50 officials, including 17 section officers (SOs). Equipped with an address system, wireless sets and new
motorbikes, the personnel will patrol in their respective areas under the supervision of the SO.

The Provincial Police Officer (PPO) Sindh, Ziaul Hassan Khan, inaugurating the force at the Metropole traffic section on
Thursday, said that this force has been launched with ‗zero tolerance‘ to curb violations and to educate people about
relevant laws. He said that this force provided with the necessary equipment, vehicles and incentives will set the trend of
modern traffic policing, and allow no violation on the roads.

Talking about the security and traffic plan for Ramazan, the PPO said that they have identified mosques, imambargahs and
other sensitive places, where additional deployments will be made to maintain law and order during the month.
Furthermore, the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) and other civic agencies have been asked to complete their
uplift projects as soon as possible in order to avoid traffic gridlocks.

Earlier, DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Khan said that to facilitate the force members, Rs1,000 per month as additional allowance will
be given to each official. Besides, a 500-rupee reward on a monthly basis will be awarded to constables, who will challan
up to 400 violators.
(The News-19, 14/09/2007)

                                7 killed as bus ambushed on University Road
KARACHI: In what is being called the worst kind of terrorism in the city‘s recent past, seven people were killed, including
four students of the University of Karachi and three passengers, and more than one dozen were injured when unidentified
armed men opened fire for more than 20 minutes and then threw explosives into a passenger bus on main University Road.
The incident happened in the middle-class neighbourhood of Gulshan-e-Iqbal at about 7:00 p.m. when a Gulbai-bound
passenger bus G-7 (No. JE1686) was about to reach a bus stop by Naseer apartments near Safari Park on main University

Edhi Foundation chief volunteer Faisal Edhi confirmed the deaths of seven people and added that due to traffic jams the
ambulances reached the spot late. ―We are still not sure about the total number of injured as they were taken to different
hospitals,‖ Edhi told Daily Times.

Edhi and hospitals authorities told Daily Times that in the firing and explosives attack the following were killed: third-year
University of Karachi Political Science student Imran Shahid, Muhammad Siddique, final-year Library Science student Atif
Butt, first-year Mass Communication student Kashif Habibullah, driver Muhammad Rafique, Sukkur resident Sarfraz Keerio,
and carpenter Alvin Raza.

Alvin Raza was the father of two sons and two daughters and lived in Nasir Korangi. He was returning home from work on
the bus. ―They really did a terrible thing with us, I can‘t say anything,‖ his wife, a teacher at St. Joseph‘s College, told Daily
Times outside the LNH casualty. She was in so much shock that she couldn‘t even give her name.

One of the injured men was 50-year old scrap dealer Haji Ahmed of Bilawal Goth who was brought to JPMC. In the
indiscriminate fire he was shot in the left thigh and abdomen. Imran Ali, Rashid Khan and Altaf Hussain were taken to
Liaquat National Hospital.

Witnesses told Daily Times that the police arrived late and the people present at the spot had already taken the dead and
injured to different hospitals.
―Five bodies were taken to LNH and two to JPMC and one to a private medial center in Gulshan-e-Iqbal but later all of them
were taken to LNH,‖ Faisal Edhi told Daily Times.

Apparently an explosive substance was found undetonated in the bus and the bus driver Jan Mari was taken away by the
police – but these reports could not be confirmed.
―I was waiting for the poultry Mazda truck that went to nearby shops to drop off the chickens when it happened,‖ 32-year-
old Muhammad Sadiq told Daily Times outside the JPMC casualty. He arrived there with the injured Haji Ahmed in a private

He said the men were on motorcycles and were accompanied with a car but he didn‘t get a chance to note the number
down. ―When the ill-fated bus was at some distance from me they first opened fire,‖ Sadiq said. ―I ran behind a nearby tree
and the firing continued for more than 20 minutes and then I heard a big bang.‖ There was silence from the surrounding
areas for almost 15 minutes with only the passengers screaming for help.

CCPO Azhar Ali Farooqui said that according to driver Jan Mari there were three motorcycles with a total of nine young
men on them. They came to the bus stop, stopped the bus and started firing. They then threw a hand grenade inside and
took off.

Islami Jamiat Tulaba deputy secretary information Mohammad Danish told Daily Times that four of the dead were IJT
activists – Imran Shahid, Mohammad Siddique, Atif Butt and Habibullah.

Witnesses said that a rangers check post was located at a short distance. JI‘s Mairajul Huda Siddiqui said that no rangers
personnel were at the spot at the time. He added that the police arrived late and when they did, they baton charged the
crowd to disperse it.

According to Dr Seemin Jamali, victim Sarfaraz Keerio was with a bank in Mehrabpur and had come to Karachi for an
interview with another bank. ―His entire back had been destroyed by an explosive substance,‖ she said.

The CCPO has ordered that an inquiry committee will be formed, headed by DIG West Mir Zubair with TPO Gulshan and
SP Investigations Javed Maher.
A funeral was scheduled for 12:30 a.m. Friday morning outside Islamia College, according to reports. According to other
unconfirmed reports, one of the victim‘s families was being pressured.

APP adds: Four of those killed in the firing confirmed as Karachi university students, stated Media Adviser to the Vice-
Chancellor Prof. Inam Bari Jafri. He said that Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui has vehemently
condemned the incident and expressed deep sorrow and grief at the killing of the students. The university will remain
closed on Friday and Saturday. He said that the students had boarded the mini-bus from the Shaikh Zayed Centre Gate of
the University to head for the city when the vehicle was fired upon by armed men.
(By Amar Guriro and Faraz Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 14/09/2007)

                           Citizens concerned over traffic jams during Ramazan
One of the most important concerns for the citizens during Ramazan is the traffic situation in the city, as for the past few
months, the traffic system is a complete mess.

Most of the time, all major roads are jam-packed and people advise one another to be on roads three hours early in order
to reach their destination on time. Though, the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) has not announced a contingency
plan yet to streamline traffic, still informed sources told The News that to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, the help of the
municipal police, scouts, NGOs and other volunteers is being sought. Furthermore, all town administrations will ensure that
it has brought in volunteers on roads to help the traffic police. In this regard, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town Nazim, Wasay Jalil said

that ―last year there were 40 volunteers from our town and this time it has been increased to 100‖. Also, a similar number of
volunteers are being activated by all towns to regulate the vehicular traffic during Ramazan.

However, it has been seen that the citizens of Karachi, either driving their own vehicles or travelling by public transport, are
scared to be on the road in this sizzling weather. The city government despite several claims has not yet removed the
debris and encroachments on roads, due to which most of the time there are traffic gridlocks on major roads such as the
M.A. Jinnah Road, I.I. Chundrigar Road, M.T. Khan Road, Clifton Road opposite Gulf Shopping Arcade, and Korangi Road.

Encroachers as well as the transport mafia have occupied all roads and it is feared that during Ramazan, most people will
have to break their fast on roads. An agitated lady rushing to her office from Burns Road said, ―The citizens are responsible
for the traffic mess as the drivers do not follow traffic rules.‖ The District Coordination Officer (DCO) has also underlined the
need to launch a campaign for creating awareness among the people regarding traffic rules.

A traffic police standing at Empress Market said, ―There is no solution to this problem as every one feels proud to violate
the traffic rules and regulations.‖ Moreover, signals often remain out of order and it is beyond the control of a single cop. He
suggested that new buses should be brought in and traffic rules be equal for all. Furthermore, he also said that some areas
should be declared car-free zones especially, areas near big shopping centres as many of them do not have parking
spaces because of which, people park their vehicles on main roads causing traffic jams.

Another major hurdle in the smooth flow of traffic is encroachments, which should be removed at all costs, said an officer
from the city government transport department. Meanwhile, City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal, while inspecting the work on
development projects of Corridor II, University Road and Hasan Square loops said that the carpeting and repair work of all
major roads have been completed before Ramazan and both loops of the Hasan Square flyover have also been opened for
traffic. Besides construction, repair and patchwork on some other roads have been sped up and will finish soon.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-19, 15/09/2007)

                                 Transporters assail ban on faulty rickshaws
KARACHI, Sept 15: There has been a mixed reaction on the city nazim‘s decision of imposing a ban on the operation of
two-stroke rickshaws from Sohrab Goth to Tower via Shahrah-i-Pakistan and from Guru Mandir to Tower via M.A. Jinnah

The National Transport Ittehad, Karachi (NTIK) has called for an immediate withdrawal of the ban and announced that it will
continue the operations of two-stroke rickshaws on the same route. The transporters have also threatened to observe a
strike if the government fails to withdraw the ban.

On the other hand, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), more concerned about the health aspect, has welcomed the
decision as according to the PMA these two-stroke rickshaws were contributing greatly to noise and environmental

According to a PMA Karachi survey held in 2007, the two-stroke rickshaw engine generates noise from 95db to 110db
which is harmful to human hearing capacity.

This can be judged from the fact that an engine of aeroplane creates noise from 120db to 140db and it was for this reason
that hearing capacity of people living in Karachi was lesser than people in other cities.
Its other common harmful effects include peevishness, anger, high blood pressure, etc. Similarly environmental pollution
caused by rickshaws is also greatly harmful to health particularly mental nourishment (especially among children), causing
sinusitis and other ailments, dangerous diseases of respiratory tract and lungs, eye and skin diseases etc.
(Dawn-18, 16/09/2007)

                             NTI protests against ban on two-stroke rickshaws
The National Transport Ittehad has expressed its reservations against the decision of the city government to slap a ban on
two-stroke rickshaws on specific roads.
―We will keep on plying our rickshaws on these roads as the Sindh governor has given us a deadline up to June 2010,‖ said
NTI chairman Salim Khan Bangash. The member organisations of the aforesaid Ittehad, in a joint statement, said that they
oppose the ban on two-stroke rickshaws on roads specified by the city government.

The chairman of the Ittehad said that this ban would severely affect the families of the rickshaw drivers. They complained
that the inflation rate was already too high and through such a ban, the city government is going to add to their problems.

The city government, on Thursday, banned the operation of two-stroke rickshaws from Sohrab Goth up to Tower via Water
Pump, Karimabad, Liaquatadabad, Lalu Khet Dak Khana, Jahangir Road, Guru Mandir, M.A. Jinnah Road and some other
routes. Bangash said that proper time should be given to convert two-stroke rickshaws into four-stroke and added that
Hafizul Haq Hassan Zai and Group converted a two-stroke rickshaw into four-stroke CNG-fitted one and, for a test,
displayed it to the Secretary Transport.

He further said that the model rickshaw has less noise and smoke and meets the fitness standards therefore the
government should approve the same. ―If they have objections,‖ he said, ―they must tell us and we will improve our
rickshaws. The government should not compel us to buy particular rickshaws as they are very costly while the one
converted by us are much cheaper, he said.

The members of the Ittehad requested the city government to withdraw its decision of banning two-stroke rickshaws on
specific routes and alleged that traffic jams were the result of poor engineering by the city government as well as poor
performance of the traffic police. They also alleged that one of the major reasons for traffic jams was encroachments which
always reappeared with the backing of officials.
(The News-14, 16/09/2007)
                                                     Ramazan traffic
Ramazan, a holy month for Muslims, is also unfortunately associated with terrible traffic jams in the country's largest city.
Those who don't live in Karachi probably think that in any case the city has some of the worst traffic jams anywhere, but the
situation, in Ramazan that is, has to be seen to be believed. Karachi's already awful traffic situation is set to become even
worse now and, judging by the rhetoric thus far, there have been no clear plans announced by the authorities to deal with
this. The city Nazim is on record as having said that many of the major roads that had been closed for development work
have been opened to deal with the traffic situation in Ramazan. The DIG of traffic has said that the city traffic is particularly
worse at 98 specific traffic intersections. One initiative taken by the local town administrations is the introduction of
'volunteers' who have been recruited to help regulate the traffic flow in the city. However, given that no prior announcement
was made in this regard and that most of these volunteers are not trained for the job at all, this has turned out to be a farce.
Reports suggest that not only did many road users and drivers wonder just who these people wearing bright yellow jackets
and wielding sticks were, they were also harassed by some of these volunteers. Clearly, this is a terrible venture and it
should be immediately disbanded. Getting untrained volunteers who seem to have little or no idea on how to regulate traffic
is no replacement for having proper traffic police who are trained for this kind of job.

'Inspections' by the city nazim over the last two days have revealed that traffic flow has been 'normal' so far. However, it
must be taken into account that the first three days of Ramazan fell over a weekend, which means relatively less pressure
on the roads. The litmus test will come when the new working week starts tomorrow. Judging by past experience, the
prospects look bleak. The traffic authorities will have their hands full dealing with the situation that has been out of their
control throughout the year. In Ramazan, not only will they have to deal with the increased traffic pressure on the major
arteries of the city just before sunset, but will have to take into account heightened sensitivities of citizens who are bound to
be more impatient and irritable than usual. Anyone with any experience of having driven in Karachi during the peak rush
hours will know that this does not bode well at all. The traffic situation has gone from bad to worse in the last year or so –
so much so that the Supreme Court was left with little choice but to take suo motu action in this regard. What it uncovered
in subsequent hearings was that the authorities concerned had little idea of what to do, and, to boot, there was little or no
communication between the relevant departments. Unfortunately, there is so far no evidence to suggest that it will be any
different in Ramazan.
(The News-7, 16/09/2007)

                                             Need for parking lot in SITE
PARKING has become a major problem in Karachi. In many cases parking spaces are available but those have been
encroached upon by shopkeepers / factory owners who prefer to put their material outside their premises, thus depriving
motorist of their parking right.
This is done almost everywhere in the city.

Such is the case in a very busy lane starting from Ahmed Foods Industries Plot No. D 112 and Amreli Steels (Pvt) Limited,
Plot No. D 89. This lane ends on Chakiwara Road which is a commercial area consisting of banks, hardware shops,
travelling agents, PIA franchise office, restaurant, mill stores, etc.

As parking on the main road is not possible, the only option to park cars is the above-mentioned lane.
The factories situated on the main Estate Avenue have their backs in this lane where a sewage nullah also flows by.

Every factory has at least one gate. The space between gates is left unutilised which attracts encroachers, hawkers,
thellas, garbage disposal places, etc.
If this area, i.e. the space between gates of the factories on the back, is declared and reserved for parking, then it can solve
the parking problem to a great extent.

The parking lots may be declared as public parking and to be developed by SITE authorities and industrialists jointly.
The factories should be restricted to have maximum two back gates only. A multiple problems can be solved by adopting
this step.
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 17/09/2007)

                                                     Saga of Lal Pul
The Lal Pul is no more. The forces of development have swallowed it up and are about to present the citizens of Lahore
with another dubious urban-planning achievement in its place. In the past two articles, I attempted to put the ―development‖
of Lahore into a wider context and have questioned the efficacy of the roads, underpasses and overpasses laid and
constructed by the Sharif and Chaudhry governments.

The results of the experiment in investing only in hard, gray transport infrastructure at the expense of public transport are
plain for all to see. Yet, despite the clear evidence and lessons of the past, this government remains committed to this
failed template of unsustainable and haphazard urban development. This is not just poor planning, it is also a violation of
the law.

The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997, is one of a host of contingencies Pakistan was required to meet in order
to remain eligible for foreign loans. PEPA was enacted to make Pakistan compliant with the Rio Declaration produced at
the UN Earth Summit in 1992. The basic purpose of this Act is to bring environmental and sustainable development
considerations into play in the decision-making process and to provide citizens with access to information, the right to
participation in the process and to access to justice. PEPA does this by authorising the EPA to enforce environmental
quality standards and by requiring project developers to carry out environmental impact assessments, sharing the reports
of such EIAs with the public and submitting these EIAs to the EPA for further action.

None of this has been done on any of the underpasses and overpasses built by the present government on Lahore‘s Canal.

In 2003, when construction of the Mall Road underpass was inaugurated, concerned citizens and environmentalists
approached the Environmental Tribunal in Lahore with complaints that the development had been allowed to commence
without an EIA of the project, without public participation and without EPA approval. These were not senseless objections
to the underpass, but valid concerns about the environmental affects of development policy.

In its Order dated Feb. 20, 2006, in Complaint No. 76/2003 (Sumaira Awan v. Government of Pakistan), the tribunal found
that the proponents of the Mall Road underpass had violated the express and mandatory provisions of the law.

However, since the underpass had been completed in the time it took the tribunal to reach its decision (the slow turning
wheels of our courts and tribunals render one of the fundamental principles of access to justice – an efficacious remedy –
useless), its powers to remedy the complaints were limited. It did, however, issue warnings to all of the government
respondents, including the C&W Department, in their individual personal capacities, and ordered them to ensure that all
future transport plans would be carried out based on a 20-year master plan of the city (which itself, the tribunal noted,
would have to be subject to an EIA and a public hearing). Needless to say, no such plan has been made, let alone
subjected to an environmental assessment.

It was during the proceedings of the tribunal that the underpasses near FC College, Jinnah Hospital, Doctors‘ Hospital and
Dharampura were started and completed. In none of these did the C&W Department – which oversaw, and claimed credit
for, these developments – undertake a single EIA, hold a public hearing or obtain the approval of the EPA. As a result, it is
estimated that some 5,000 trees were felled for these underpasses without so much as a token examination of
environmentally friendly alternatives.

Urban deforestation has had adverse effects on Lahore‘s heat island effect and on the ecology of the city. For instance,
with old nesting places now no longer, large populations of birds have been forced to migrate to other areas in the city.
Now, if news reports are to be believed, the Governor can no longer have his tea in the leafy, palatial gardens of
Governor‘s House without fear of becoming the target of thousands of bird-droppings. EIA reports for these projects and
public hearing would have brought this matter to the attention of the EPA, which would then have been in the position to
pass orders to mitigate these affects.

Despite the clear warnings issued by the tribunal, the Government of Punjab was unaffected. Within a few weeks of being
given personal warnings by the tribunal, officers of the C&W Department were putting finishing touches to the proposal to
construct a massive overpass at the far end of the Canal at Thokar Niaz Beg. This involved the felling of all of the trees on
the Canal between the Canal View Society and Thokar Niaz Beg, as well as the destruction of Lalazar Park, a small
recreational garden complete with a mosque that provided nearby residents with some serenity and calm amidst the chaos
of the city. Again, no EIA of the project was conducted and none of the people who live in the area were given an
opportunity to comment on possible alternatives. On March 13, 2006, the construction and felling began.

In the week prior to the beginning of construction, I wrote to the EPA, informing them that, under the law, this overpass
project required an EIA and that it was being undertaken without following due legal procedure.

Given the EPA‘s natural propensity not to question the government, the notice, dated March 7, 2006, went unheeded and
unanswered and constrained an approach to the tribunal. Complaint No. 48/2006 was filed on April 22, 2006, and is still
pending final adjudication.

In the midst of all of this, in May last year, Lahoris awoke to find large red ―X‖ marks on the trees lining both sides of the
Canal from Dharampura all the way to Thokar Niaz Beg. It transpired that this was an attempt by the City District
Government of Lahore and TEPA to widen the Canal area to accommodate the increased volume of traffic (never mind the
fact that the Shahbaz Sharif development projects clearly show this is not the correct approach to managing traffic
congestion). Estimates vary, but it is accepted that such a proposal would have entailed the felling of an additional 8,000
trees. No EIA report had been prepared and no analysis of environmentally friendly alternatives discussed. The citizens of
Lahore were roused into action and formed the Lahore Bachao Tehreek. Due to their efforts, and to the publicity given to
the issue, in June last year the chief justice of Pakistan took suo motu notice of the proposed widening of the Canal. The
chief secretary of Punjab was summoned to the Supreme Court and he submitted that no action would be taken on the
Canal without under the provisions of the law and the PEPA.

Where does Lal Pul figure in all of this? The current construction work on the Canal at the site of the old Lal Pul is the most
recent of this government‘s acts of evading the provisions of the PEPA. This is ironic, because if the government‘s claims
are true, then these developments are being undertaken for the people. But what sort of commitment to the concerns of the
citizens is it when the government itself is loath to have the environmental consequences of these developments discussed
by the very public it says they are for?
In the next article, I shall examine Lal Pul and the motives at work in its destruction and reincarnation.
(By Ahmad Rafay Alam, The News-6, 17/09/2007)

                                     Mini bus, Malir wireless gate incidents:
                                   Same type of hand grenade links attacks
KARACHI: The ambush of a mini bus in which seven people were killed and the explosion at a tea hotel in Malir are related
to student group clashes as the same type of hand grenade was used, investigators have concluded.

On Thursday, Sept 13, seven people were killed, including four members of the Islami Jamiat Tulaba, the student wing of
the Jamaat-e-Islami, when nine unidentified men on three motorcycles ambushed a G7 mini bus on University Road,
sprayed it with bullets and threw a hand grenade inside. Just days earlier, on Thursday, Sept 6, 15 people were injured
when a hand grenade was thrown at a group of men sitting at Falaknaz Plaza Hotel near the Malir Wireless Gate. The
injured were activists of the Punjabi Students Association (PSA) and Punjabi Pukhtoon Ittehad (PPI).

According to a spokesman of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS), Sub-Inspector Mohammad Amir, the hand grenades used
in both cases were Russian made, take just four seconds to explode and if made by a company can be packed with pellets.
Such hand grenades have range of 20 to 25 feet.

Well-placed police sources told Daily Times that the police have traced the two incidents to the clashes that took place
between two student groups at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on August 15. Three young men died on the premises
in the violence in two separate incidents. They were members of the IJT and PSA.

While the police have recorded the statements of eyewitnesses in all cases, they appear confused and afraid. In the mini
bus case, for example, the bus driver Jan Wali, who is in police custody, recognized only three out of the nine armed men
who attacked his vehicle. Sketches have been prepared of them and the police are trying to arrest them. However, much of
the picture has yet to emerge as the bus conductor Waseem, who has disappeared, needs to be questioned as he was at
the back of the bus and could have seen the attackers as well. Raids have been conducted for his arrest. A PSA member is
also a suspect.
(By Faraz Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 17/09/2007)

                                          Two hurt as bogies hit trailer
KARACHI, Sept 17: A trailer‘s driver and cleaner were injured on Monday when their vehicle was hit by the bogies of a
goods train near Gul Bai, police and witnesses said.
They said the trailer with an empty container was crossing the track near the Honda Atlas company at around 9am when
seven bogies of the City station-bound goods train detached and rolled back on the tracks and hit the trailer.

The Site police said driver Asif and cleaner Arif of the trailer, which was going to Moach Goth from Maripur, were taken to
the Civil Hospital. They were later released from the hospital after treatment, they said.

Senior railway officials and the SHO of the City railway station police reached the spot.
ASI Mohammed Maqsood told Dawn that no FIR had been registered as the inquiry was under way to ascertain the cause
of the incident.
(Dawn-17, 18/09/2007)

                                MMA opposes ban on two-stroke rickshaws
KARACHI, Sept 18: Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal MNAs Mohammad Hussain Mehanti and Laeeq Khan have condemned the
city government‘s ban prohibiting two-stroke rickshaws from plying the main arteries of the city on the pretext of
environmental pollution.

Terming it a ―new tool of exploitation of poor workers engaged in the business,‖ they said it would further open the doors of
corruption as after some time, all such actions gave way to business as usual.
The sentiments expressed by the MMA parliamentarians are similar to the stand taken by Awami National Party Sindh
chapter President Shahi Syed and leaders of the National Transport Ittehad, who have also condemned the CDGK‘s

A few days ago City Nazim Mustafa Kamal had announced a ban on two-stroke rickshaws operating from Sohrab Goth to
Tower via Sharah-i-Pakistan and from Guru Mandir to Tower via M.A. Jinnah Road in order to avoid traffic jams and
remove one of the major causes of noise and environmental pollution.

The CDGK‘s decision was welcomed by the Pakistan Medical Association. The PMA pointed out that rickshaws generate
noise from 95db to 110 db, which is harmful to human hearing while adding that environmental pollution caused by
rickshaws is also extremely harmful to health.

No alternative arrangement
Opponents of the ban are of the view that without providing alternate avenues of employment, such a ban would further
add to the army of unemployed people whose miseries are being compounded by sky-rocketing prices of essential

According to Shahi Syed, over 54,000 rickshaws are operating in the city, with over 0.2 million families dependent on these
for their bread and butter.
He said a few months ago this matter was raised by the authorities, referring to the Sindh High Court suo motu notice to
ban noisy and smoke-emitting vehicles. A meeting was arranged with the governor and his attention was drawn towards
the anomaly that on the one hand the government intended to ban two-stroke rickshaws, while on the other the transport
department was issuing licences for operating these rickshaws, he added.

Shahi Syed said he was not against the implementation of the rules, provided they were enforced in their true spirit and
were not used as ―instruments of corruption.‖
He recalled that in India two-stroke rickshaws were banned only after the government had provided owners compensation -
- reportedly to the tune of 60 per cent -- which had greatly helped in meeting the price difference of switching over to CNG-
fuelled rickshaws.

Moreover, it was not an easy task to change two-stroke rickshaws in such a large quantity overnight and the governor had
agreed that all such rickshaws would be converted to four-stroke vehicles by 2010, he said.

Mr Syed claimed the governor had also agreed to take up the matter of providing compensation as the change from two-
stroke to four-stroke would cost about Rs30,000, and as most of the rickshaws were owned by their drivers, they could not
afford such a big amount.

The governor, he said, had promised to exempt engines from sales tax and other duties to facilitate them, but before such
measures could be initiated, the city government had announced the ban, causing inconvenience to the people and
hardships to the families of rickshaw drivers.
(Dawn-19, 19/09/2007)

                               CNG conversion centre in a precarious location
A CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) conversion kit centre, opened earlier this year under the Baloch Colony Flyover, also
known as the Shaheed-e-Millat flyover, could be a disaster waiting to happen.

Although experts claim that the installation of a CNG cylinder is an extremely safe procedure, the fact is that the extreme
heat and pressure or presence of an inflammable material nearby could result in an explosion jeopardising the lives of
passers-by and, consequently, the structural integrity of the bridge itself. In light of recent incident of the collapse of a
bridge on the Nothern Bypass, there is increased apprehension about the presence of this station.
The land below the bridge, which falls under the jurisdiction of Jamshed Town (UC-5), is encroached upon by vendors and
several other people who take shelter under the bridge at night That makes it all the more dangerous.

On inquiry, Union Council Nazim Imran Baghpati revealed that the entire bridge does not fall under the town jurisdiction and
the portion on which the CNG conversion centre is built actually fell under the jurisdiction of Cantonment Board Faisal

A foreman working at the centre told The News that this land was owned by the military who sold it to them and that the
area was ‗not encroached.‘ The head of the department present at the centre refused to speak on the issue adding that the
center was only used for ―servicing of cars.‖

Baghpati further informed that the area had been under dispute for a long time as the Karachi Development Authority (now
amalgamated into City District Government Karachi) was responsible for the construction of this bridge. ―The KDA officials
had promised provision of alternative land to the officials of the CBF before the construction of the Shaheed-e-Millat Flyover
nine years ago but did not fulfill their promise. As a result they sold this land to the owner of CNG station who has now
opened this conversion centre.‖

Abdul Ghaffar, a recognised expert in natural gas engineering, said that although the installation method is safe and posed
no such hazard, it was not appropriate to proceed with the installation method under a bridge. He also said that only
registered CNG gas stations had been accorded permission to open a kit conversion centre, further adding that 90 per cent
of the CNG gas conversion centers in the city are unregistered. This leaves one doubting the practice of kit conversions
that is taking place on a large scale across the city as it is a cheaper alternative than petrol.
(By Aroosa Masroor, The News-20, 19/09/2007)

                                   Northern Bypass bridge collapse:
                      FWO needs to ‘steel’ itself for Rs 18m loss as it had a ‘blast’
KARACHI: The Frontier Works Organization (FWO) is likely to be hit by a roughly estimated 18-million-rupee loss in terms
of the 480 tons of steel it salvaged from the Northern Bypass that collapsed two weeks ago.

The FWO has decided to auction the salvaged steel from the collapsed part of the bridge on Thursday, Sept 20, an official
told Daily Times on condition of anonymity. Two types of steel were salvaged: grades 60 and 270 (pre-stress). Daily Times
learnt that 380 metric tons of grade-60 steel were salvaged and 100 metric tons of the second type have been rescued.

According to a structural expert who owns a consultant company, the steel could have cost the FWO an estimated Rs 23.6
million to buy in the first place. ―In the market, the price of new grade-60 steel is Rs 45,000 per ton and pre-stress steel
grade 270 is Rs 65,000 per ton,‖ he said while speaking to Daily Times on condition of anonymity as he is working on
National Highway Authority projects.

―Mostly the scrap of both types of steel sell in the market at higher prices but as they blasted the site, the salvaged steel will
auction at a lower price.‖ Scrap grade-60 steel sells at Rs 25,000 per ton and pre-stress steel in good conditions at Rs
35,000, he added. But now the FWO is only looking at Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 for both types, respectively.

Thus, in the auction the FWO is likely to make only Rs 3.8 million from 380 tons of grade-60 steel and Rs 1.5 million from
the pre-stress steel. This comes to about Rs 5.3 million. ―They need about two billion rupees for the reconstruction of this
collapsed part,‖ he said. ―Who‘s gonna pay for that?‖

On Sept 7, a week after the collapse the mess of the bridge was cleared up with dynamite so that the large chunks of
cement and other material could be broken up into smaller pieces and removed. There was an estimated 5,000 tons of

The Karachi Northern Bypass Bridge, part of a 62.15-km long Rs 3.5 billion project, was initiated in 2001 and the first
section was inaugurated in 2004. The final phase was recently completed and inaugurated by President General Pervez
Musharraf on August 6. Just 25 days later, on September 1, it sat down.
(By Amar Guriro, DailyTimes-B1, 19/09/2007)

                                City govt parking plaza plan submitted in SHC
KARACHI, Sept 19: The city district government submitted in the Sindh High Court on Wednesday an ambitious plan for
the construction of a parking plaza on the site of Shahabuddin Market.
A copy of the design was to be furnished to the heritage department but it failed to send its representative in response to a
court notice.

Justices Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Ali Sain Dino Metlo, who constitute the bench seized of a petition moved by the
shopkeepers of Shahabuddin Market, ordered that the notice issued to the department be repeated for Thursday.
The bench had earlier passed an order against the forcible shifting of the petitioners to a makeshift site in the Lines Area
pending construction of the new plaza.

Advocate Manzoor Ahmed stated on behalf of the city government that the plaza design was in harmony with the adjacent
Empress Market, which has been declared a heritage site.

CNG stations
The bench also adjourned the hearing of a number of petitions questioning the installation of gas stations in residential

CDGK counsel Manzoor Ahmed maintained that like a petrol pump or a medical store, a CNG station was in the nature of a
facility meant for the residents of a street or neighborhood. It was not a purely commercial undertaking and served a vital
need of the residents.

The petitioners said gas stations were not only commercial but were also a health and environment hazard unlike other
commercial establishments. There were additional reasons for not allowing them in residential areas. Besides, once a
residential plot had been declared commercial, it could be put to any commercial use, including construction of a shopping

Notice to SHO
Another division bench consisting of Justices Mushir Alam and Abdul Rashid Kalwar issued notices to the station house
officer of Gulistan-i-Jauhar and other respondents for Sept 21 in a petition moved by Abdur Rashid Khan through Advocate
Ghulam Qadir Jatoi. The petitioner alleged that his son, Adnan Durrani, on remand in a murder case, was being forced to
make a self-incriminating statement and he too was being harassed. Directing the police to act in accordance with the law,
the bench asked the respondent officials to submit their comments on Sept 21.

Smuggling case
A division bench of the Sindh High Court, comprising Justices Muhammad Afzal Soomro and Mrs Qaiser Iqbal, on
Wednesday dismissed a state appeal against the acquittal of three businessmen in a narcotics smuggling case, adds PPI.

Accused Sajjad Muhammad, Rehan Akram and Ali Raza were acquitted by the Special Anti-Narcotics Court Karachi on Jan
18, 2006 observing that the evidence against them was not sufficient to convict them.
They were charged with smuggling 50kg narcotic substances through an export consignment of oil filters and other auto
parts on July 10, 2004. The consignment was seized at the Karachi port after sniffer dogs detected narcotics mixture in the
oil filters.

The state counsel stated that the trial court order was contrary to the facts and against principles.
It acquitted the accused despite the facts and HEJ Research Institute reports showing the existence of narcotic substance
in oil and the state counsel‘s appeal to convict the accused for the offence.

The counsel for the accused stated that the sample of oil allegedly containing narcotics was tested by a government
laboratory, which cleared the consignment. The HEJ research institute test report could not be relied upon as it was not a
notified laboratory and prayed to dismiss the state appeal. The division bench after hearing arguments of both counsel
dismissed the state appeal, observing that the government laboratory report was negative. It said the HEJ research institute
was not notified and according to the CNS Act 1997 its report could not be considered.
(Dawn-17, 20/09/2007)

                 CNG busses with left hand steering wheels dangerous for the city
By Eid-ul-Fitr the city of Karachi will have 125 new CNG buses; however they are nothing short of dangerous as they have
been installed with left handed steering wheels.
Now the new imports have been ordered to have their steering wheels on the right side.

Western countries usually drive on the right side of the road, while in Pakistan we drive on the left. Therefore our cars have
their driving seats on the right side.

No city government official was available for comment regarding the issue.
Informed sources told The News that due to this technical reason, the arrival of these buses has been delayed. They
further tell us that another cause of delay is that the buses have diesel engines and now CNG kits are being installed in
Dubai. The arrival of these buses has been postponed from Ramazan to a time later than Eid.

A technical expert said that by changing the original position of the buses from diesel to CNG, these vehicles will have
technical defects due to which they will visit workshops nearly every week.
The owner of the CNG buses, Mr Samiullah, when asked about this change, replied that there will be no problem and CNG
kits are being installed as many people are opposing the import of these buses besides the competition.

City government at all levels is facilitating the owner, even in Dubai so that these buses are imported in time, as there is
already a delay. CNG station facility is being made at all depots of the CDGK.
The CNG owners association has also demanded that government should evolve some flexible rules for establishment of
CNG stations.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-19, 20/09/2007)

                                      Foundation of road to Umerkot laid
KARACHI, Sept 20: Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim on Thursday laid the foundation stone near Memon Goth
of a new highway from Karachi to Umerkot. The highway, which will be 261 kilometres long and is due to be completed in
several phases, is expected to cost Rs5.2 billion.

In the first phase -- costing an estimated Rs1.2 billion -- a 100km stretch will be completed up to Jhirk. With the completion
of the Karachi-Umerkot highway, which will run via Tando Mohammad Khan, a distance of 62km would be reduced.
The chief minister said that the construction of the highway would contribute to the development of cities, towns, industrial
and residential areas along the way and would also benefit agro-farming, coal mining, mineral, gypsum, dairy farming,
poultry and other related industries.
He said it would be a straight highway passing near the Keenjhar Lake with a bridge on the Indus River near Mulakatyar.
―We are determined to lay a new network of roads for a prosperous future for Sindh and to provide facilities to people in
every field,‖ he added.

In response to media-men‘s questions he said he had started ―good works‖ and now the coming governments would be
bound to complete the ongoing development schemes.

The chief minister said that on the basis of development work initiated by the present government, he was hopeful that the
people of Sindh would elect them in the coming elections. He said President Musharraf‘s record was ―clean‖ and he would
be re-elected, adding that his decision to doff the uniform was a good one.
In reply to another question he said he was not aware whether Benazir Bhutto was indeed coming home or how many
cases were pending against her.

Secretary Works and Services Faisal Saud and the Gadap Town nazim also spoke.
(Dawn-18, 21/09/2007)

                               Heavy vehicles still plying busy thoroughfares
In spite of the complete ban on the movement of all types of heavy vehicles during 4 to 7 pm (evening peak hours) the
same are fearlessly plying in violation of the law. Moreover, two stroke rickshaws that were also banned to ply on busy
thoroughfares of the city seem to be least bothered about the enforcement of the law in spite of the fact that scores of them
have been impounded and heavy fines have been imposed.

Few days back a press notification from the Capital City Police Traffic stated that there would be a complete ban on the
movement of all types of heavy vehicles during evening peak hours in Ramazan. However, these heavy vehicles are still
plying in large number on busy thoroughfares of the city and causing traffic congestion. When asked if their vehicles have
been impounded, Ashiq Hussain Khan Niazi General Secretary of Karachi Goods Carriers Association said, ―No vehicles
from those registered with us have been impounded in this connection. However, I don‘t know about others if they were
fined for this violation.‖ He adds, ―We have been completely restricted in evening peak hours but the vehicles are still plying
on specific roads.

Similarly, the two stroke rickshaws were banned by the city government to ply on one of the busiest thoroughfares in the
city M A Jinnah Road but scores of them are still seen plying on the same road in spite of the fact that a good number of
them have been impounded and heavy fines imposed

Talking to this correspondent Hafizul Haq Hassan Zai said that the traffic police is not only imposing heavy fines but also
detaining their rickshaws. He further said that they were using inner streets to carry passengers to their destinations but
most of them are caught on the main road.

What can be questioned here is why these heavy vehicles are allowed to ply in the peak hours in spite of the restriction.
The action against two stroke rickshaws is in full swing on the contrary the same authorities are not taking any action
against the heavy vehicles which are a bigger threat to traffic congestion.
(The News-14, 21/09/2007)

                                                Baloch Colony bridge
Regular huge traffic jams and slow movement on the Baloch Colony bridge are quite hazardous. The bridge cannot sustain
the load of vehicles in a very slow movement. Some very urgent measures should be taken to protect this bridge.
The most interesting thing is that it is the only bridge which has traffic light signals, and even buses stop over this bridge.

Whereas bridges are constructed for fast passing of the vehicles.
The authorities concerned should take this matter very urgently while all vehicles should avoid using this bridge in rush
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 22/09/2007)

                             Work on I.I. Chundrigar Road has almost stopped
KARACHI: Work on a Rs 290 million project for the rehabilitation of I. I. Chundrigar Road has almost stopped in the middle
with carpeting, footpaths, new storm water drains and the installation of streetlights incomplete.

Sources in the works and services department confirmed that the pace of work had slowed down for the last one week.
―Most labourers are reluctant to work and fast amid the heavy flow of traffic due to short working hours in Ramadan,‖ he

Works and Services Executive Engineer Khalid Masroor refuted the claim but agreed that the pace of the work had slowed
down due to the short working hours during Ramadan. ―The pavement of footpaths and other related work has been
completed as we are also working at night,‖ he said.

Storm water drains have also been installed on both sides of the 2,300-metre long I.I. Chundrigar Road but the remaining
work of joining the manholes to the main line at some points will be carried out before Eid. ―After the pavement of footpaths,

the removal of gravel, heaps of leftover and other material will be carried out for the final carpeting and all these tasks will
be completed before Eid,‖ he added.

Most labourers will travel to different parts of the country to celebrate Eid with their families. ―Due to the shortage of staff in
the last weeks of Ramadan, the progress will further slow down but we are keeping the pace to complete the project before
and after Eid,‖ he said.

Work on I.I. Chundrigar Road started in the last week of March this year and officials including City Nazim Mustafa Kamal
vowed to complete the task within a four-month ‗record‘ period.
The task of completing the project in two phases was given to the works and services department. The first phase was from
Merewether Tower to Wallace Bridge (Habib Bank Plaza) and the second from Wallace Bridge to Shaheen Complex. It was
announced that the second phase would be opened for vehicular traffic on August 14 but it took two more weeks to
complete the first carpeting and make the road fit for driving.

Presently, there are around a dozen points on the entire road where motorists face difficulty as the unleveled surfaces of
manholes in the middle of the road have not only broken the flow of traffic but are also causing accidents especially at

However, work on roads joining I.I. Chundrigar Road have also been stopped as neither the city government nor the
Saddar Town Administration have showed any interest to complete these roads besides finishing I.I. Chundrigar Road.

The link roads including Hasrat Mohani Road adjacent to Habib Bank Plaza has been dug for cleaning the storm water
drain since July and New Challi Road to lay a sewerage drain. A sewerage pipeline has been laid at Muhammad Bin Qasim
Road near S.M. Law College but leveling the surface and carpeting have not started and the major parallel artery, Dr
Ziauddin Ahmed Road has to be fixed. Saddar Town Municipal Officer Mukhtar Hussain told Daily Times that the concrete
slabs to cover the City Railway storm drain passing through the New Challi Road and Habib Bank Plaza would be prepared
in the next couple of weeks. ―The concrete slabs will keep the main storm water drain permanently open to regularly carry
out cleanliness work in future. The road carpeting work will be carried out after the installation of concrete slabs on the
drain,‖ he said.
(DailyTimes-B1, 22/09/2007)

                                    15-year old vehicles will be removed: DIG
KARACHI: There are over 1.7 million vehicles in the city and most of them are over 15 years old, emit abnormal amounts of
smoke and need to be replaced, something that the Sindh transport department is working on, the DIG Traffic told Daily

―The court recently ordered us to immediately fine any smoke-emitting vehicle so that owners would start fixing them and
air pollution could be reduced,‖ he said. ―It is the transport department‘s duty to declare a policy outlining how to remove
these buses. The traffic department would enforce that policy,‖ DIG Wajid Ali Durrani said. ―Most of the 1.7 million vehicles
are 15 years old.‖

The transport department will conduct a survey to identify the 15-year old buses and then launch a campaign to get rid of
them. This will take time,‖ Durrani said.

Besides that, Karachi does not have a proper public transport system and its citizens are at the mercy of private
transporters who run depleted, old and smoke-emitting buses, vans, and minibuses. ―Most of the buses take more
passengers than they are allowed to, they over charge and most of the bus drivers put the commuters at risk with the way
they drive,‖ Mahboob, a passenger of bus W11, told Daily Times.
The city is already facing massive traffic jams because of ongoing construction work and the behaviour of public bus drivers
makes the problem worse for commuters, he added. ―Most of the drivers violate the traffic laws but no one is there to stop

These smoke-emitting speeding buses, with high-pressure horns, are all over the city and stop illegally. ―They even stop in
front of schools, hospitals, shopping plazas and other public places, causing problems in traffic and also for students,
patients and shopkeepers,‖ a female passenger of a Muslim bus told Daily Times.

The Environmental Act 1997 states that the EPA authorities are bound to register cases against environmental polluters
and fine them. Every vehicle, especially public buses, has to acquire a fitness certificate from the traffic department after
being inspected.

When Daily Times contacted Sindh EPA Director General Abdul Malik Guri, he declined to comment. ―I am strictly banned
from talking to the media so I can‘t say anything,‖ he told Daily Times.
(DailyTimes-B1, 23/09/2007)

                                              Revival of KCR demanded
KARACHI, Sept 23: The Railway Workers Federation on Sunday expressed its concern over the suspension of Karachi
Circular Railway (KCR) for the last eight years and demanded revival of the KCR project at the earliest.
Manzoor Razi, president of the Federation, told a meeting of the organisation that despite repeated promises by the railway
minister and the City District Government Karachi, the authorities failed to revive the KCR.
The meeting also expressed its concern over the accumulation of sewage water in the colonies and hospitals of the
Pakistan Railway, that had exposed many of the employees and their family members to various diseases.

The meeting demanded for a grant of bonus to the railway employees on the eve of Eidul Fitr as had been announced
recently by the Punjab government. The the meeting demanded restoration of the entertainment allowance to the
employees, pointing out that the same had been stopped by the management.
The meeting criticised the recent increase in the Railway High School Cantt‘s fees, and said the decision had overburdened
the railway workers.

Progress made so far
Revival of the KCR has been planned in 2002 but lack of political will apparently blocked a headway in implementing the
plan, PPI adds.

Operation of the KCR, a vital urban public transport project, was suspended by the Pakistan Railways in December 1999.
However, under mounting pressure from the general public, the Sindh government in 2002 put forth a master plan for its
revival in three phases.

In 2004, President Gen Pervez Musharraf ordered the revival of KCR within two years (i.e. by 2006). Intervention at the
highest level forced the stakeholders make some progress as feasibilities were prepared and planning was done. Even the
KCR was partially revived with the start of a local train service between Wazir Mension and Landhi in 2005. The Pakistan
Rialways and the CDGK orchestrated the launching of the service as a major step towards the complete revival of the KCR
but the quarters concerned argued that only some local trains were made operational on the already functional main
national rail route. The authorities had undertaken to launch the second phase — more services between Drigh Road to the
Gillani Railway Station (Gulshan-i-Iqbal) but ground work of the second phase never took off.

In 2005, the plan for a complete revival of the Karachi Circular Railway operation was shelved for at least two years after a
team of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) submitted a feasibility study for the introduction of an ―electric
railcar system‖ at an estimated cost of $830 million (Rs49.22 billion). It was said that after its approval, the Pakistan
government would seek a soft loan from the Japanese government after which work on the project would be initiated by the
end of 2007 or early 2008. Hence, this vital project was practically put on the back burner.
It is claimed that certain powerful lobbies are interested in obtaining huge loans from various sources for this project
though, according to experts, the Pakistan Railways is capable of reviving it at a much lower cost with local funding and
indigenous technology.

Sources in the Pakistan Railways believe that the CDGK is more interested in introducing ―monorail‖ and ―light-rail‖
technologies in partnership with foreign investors.

In a draft report prepared by the experts belonging to the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, the Higher
Education Commission and the National Assembly‘s Standing Committee on Scientific and Technical Cooperation has
strongly recommended revival of the KCR under the public-private partnership. The reported is titled ―Technology-based
Industrial Vision and Strategy for Pakistan‘s Socio-Economic Development.‖
(Dawn-14, 24/09/2007)

                                     Rules to build parking plazas relaxed
ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has relaxed its restrictions on building multi-storey
parking plazas in the city in view of the lukewarm response from the construction industry to the proposition.
A senior CDA official told Dawn on Sunday that fresh bids have been called for the construction of four such parking plazas
allowing the constructor one floor space for commercial purposes.

Previously the CDA wanted the plazas to be exclusively for car parking purposes.
―But now we have reinvited the firms offering them the option of constructing two basements, four storeys for car parking
and one for commercial purposes like offices, etc.,‖ he said. ―We have selected the sites and will shortly call bids from the
interesting firms, so that the project could be launched as soon as possible,‖ he said.
He said earlier the CDA had planned to build three parking plazas but now there would be four — three in Blue Area,
Jinnah Avenue and one at Aabpara.

The official said the parking plazas would be constructed on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. The eligible firms
would build the plazas on land provided by the CDA. Each plaza would have the capacity to accommodate 1,200 vehicles.

The plazas would be constructed on the existing three parking lots located in front of Sogo Restaurant, Savour Food, and
near Muslim Commercial Bank in Blue Area.
―After making some changes to our previous plan, we have asked interested parties to come up with their own plans which
would be presented before the CDA board for approval. If there is any deficiency in the plan or they are not in conformity
with the CDA policy, the board will suggest some amendments for ratification,‖ he said.

The problem of car parking in different commercial areas especially in Blue Area has intensified due to increasing number
of vehicles in the capital.

A source said CDA‘s plan to construct multi-storeyed parking plazas would minimise the problem in Blue Area. Almost all
multi-storeyed commercial plazas in the area were constructed without keeping in mind the future car parking problems.
None of the commercial plazas in Blue Area have their own parking facilities for those working in these buildings as well as
(By Syed Irfan Raza, Dawn-2, 24/09/2007)

                             Lack of political will main hurdle in KCR’s revival
Despite the passage of years since a formal announcement was made for the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway
(KCR), this vital urban public transport project is not making any headway because of a single factor: The lack of political

Thought its three major stakeholders - Pakistan Railways (PR), the Sindh government and the City District Government
Karachi (CDGK) - seem enthusiastic when it comes to rhetoric, they drag their feet when it comes to taking practical steps.
Providing efficient public transport facilities to urban commuters is considered the cornerstone of socio-economic policies in
the civilized world, but, by the looks of it, rulers here are least concerned with this vital issue. They have not only failed to
provide modern public transport facilities, such as an underground rail system to the country‘s largest city, Karachi, but they
also suspended its circular railway system in December 1999.

Later, in 2002, the Sindh government put forth a master plan envisaging KCR‘s revival in three phases. In 2004, President
Musharraf ordered the revival of KCR within two years (i.e. by 2006). Orders from the highest authority resulted in partial
progress on this project with the start of service from Landhi to Wazir Mansion in 2005. However, the first phase of KCR‘s
revival from Landhi to Wazir Mansion was, in a real sense, not a ―revival‖, as only some local trains were made operative
on already functional main national rail route. The real test of the revival was the second phase i.e. from Drigh Road to the
Gillani Railway Station in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. However, work on this second phase never took off.

In 2005, the plan for a complete revival of the Karachi Circular Railway operation was shelved for at least two years after a
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) team submitted a feasibility study for introducing an electric rail-car system at
an estimated cost of $830 million (Rs49.22 billion). It was said that after its approval, the Pakistan government would be
requesting for a soft loan from the Japanese government, following which work on the first phase of the project was to be
initiated by the end of 2007 or early 2008.

It is said that powerful lobbies are interested in obtaining a costly foreign loan for this project, though, according to experts,
the Pakistan Railways is fully capable of reviving it at a much lesser cost with local funding and indigenous technology.

Karachi is in dire need of a rail-based mass public transport system to cater to the needs of its millions of commuters. It is
said that, statistically, in Karachi 40 passengers vie for a single bus seat. With this in mind, it is intriguing why the
authorities are reluctant to revive the KCR. If a locally-run rail-based public transport system can work efficiently in mega
cities like Mumbai and Kolkata there is no reason why it would fail in Karachi. The Indian Railways is running, maintaining
and improving their local train system without any loans or other foreign expertise.

Karachiites are of the opinion that it is the matter of priority and political will. If the present government could fund billions of
rupees for costly mega projects of flyovers, underpasses and bridges, it could easily make the KCR up and running if it
really wanted to do so. Some inner sources in the Pakistan Railways allege that the CDGK has not yet made up its mind
whether or not to give a green signal for KCR‘s revival, as it is more interested in road-based transport and introducing
novel monorail and light-rail technologies in partnership with foreign investors.

It is true that the revival of the KCR by Pakistan Railways would not provide much ―political publicity‖ to the provincial and
city governments, as the credit would go to the Pakistan Railways, which is a federal ministry; however, it would help solve
problems of millions of Karachi commuters.

Karachiites are of the view that the revival of KCR should not be taken as a matter of political point-scoring, for it is a
sensitive socio-economic matter not only for Karachi but for the whole country as well.
(The News-20, 24/09/2007)

                                   Sub-standard fuel causes excessive smoke
Anjuman-e-Ettehad Bus Malikan, Karachi, has alleged that the companies selling sub-standard oil and officials of the Motor
Vehicle Inspection (MVI) department were also responsible for the excessive smoke emitted by their vehicles.
They requested the High Court of Sindh (SHC) to issue notices of legal actions against them. A press release on Sunday
stated that only transporters should not be singled out for running smoke-emitting vehicles that polluted the city, as those
who were selling sub-standard fuel and officials approving fitness of vehicles also share the responsibility for the existing

In their statement, the representatives of the aforesaid association alleged that adulterated fuel was being sold with the
connivance of police. While the officers in the concerned department do not issue fitness certificates without bribes, they

When contacted to inquire about the transporters‘ allegations of the motor vehicle inspection department accepting bribes,
the DIG traffic denied the claim saying that he did not receive a single letter of complaint by any transporter.
(The News-14, 24/09/2007)

                                                       Traffic warning
With the arteries leading to the Sindh High Court (SHC) cordoned off by security personnel on account of the hearing of
cases in connection with the May 12 carnage, commuters should expect the worst in terms of traffic in the vicinit and are
advised to take alternative routes on Monday. According to the details, the road from MPA hostel, Passport Office Road,
MR Kiyani Road from Data Corner and the road from Masjid Khizran would remain closed for vehicular traffic for security
reasons as they all lead to the SHC. The commuters, to avoid onconvenience, can use Aiwan-e-Saddar Road, Regal
Chowk, Burns Road and Electronic the Market intersection to get to their respective destinations.
(The News-13, 24/09/2007)

                       They have only 3 wheels but want to topple the government
KARACHI: Rickshaw owners are used to making a lot of noise. Their vehicles are one of the major sources of noise
pollution in Karachi city where an estimated 52,000 operate. This Ramadan, in a bid to clamp down on the pollution and
traffic jams, the city government banned the three-wheelers from certain main thoroughfares, eliciting protests.
―We have urged our people to perform Salaat-e-Nijaat so that Allah may topple the present government,‖ said Karachi Taxi
and Rickshaw Owners Association president Hafizul Haq Hasanzai. ―We strongly condemn the government‘s efforts to

create no-go zones for rickshaws from Sohrab Goth to Mereweather Tower.‖ The decision was taken on the first of
Ramadan that Hasanzai said is ironically meant to be a month of ―blessings‖ but instead, according to him four million
people are going to ―starve‖.

Aside from the rickshaw owners themselves, a large industry operates in support of the vehicles. They involve mechanics,
dent rectifiers, painters, hood fabricators, body manufacturers, oil changers, washers, spare-parts manufacturers, spare-
parts dealers, retailers and suppliers and shopkeepers.

Hasanzai argues that rickshaws are not the only sources of pollution in the city – and he is right. Buses, trucks, motorcycles
and cars, some over 15 years old and bent out of shape, fill the downtown areas with smog.

Just last week, in response to court orders, DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani pitched in by announcing that the transport
department had orders to take all 15-year and older vehicles off the roads. Prior to this, the Sindh governor had banned
two-stroke rickshaws from June 30 but little was done to implement the decision and in fact, the deadline was extended for
three years.

Rickshaw owners have been pushed to convert to the more environment friendly CNG and four-stroke engines but
Hassanzai argues that not all of them can afford it. ―We respect the judiciary and we are ready to replace them, but the
government is not cooperating with us,‖ he said. New four-stroke rickshaws cost about Rs 170,000 which is beyond most of
the transporters.

―The government should know that vehicles delivered under the self-employment scheme are good for nothing as they are
not durable and their lifespan is short,‖ claims Hasanzai. The rickshaw owners say they are still waiting for the government
to approve a four-stroke rickshaw they presented on July 10. They installed an Indian-made engine from a company, Bajaj,
that specializes in CNG, LPG and goods carrier rickshaws as well. ―The Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) apparently cleared
the vehicle of all tests and now the DIG has to sign off the file,‖ said Hasanzai, adding that if nothing happens they plan to
hold meetings at 45 units across Karachi after Eid.

Daily Times contacted DIG Durrani who said that he had sent the file to the Secretary of Transport Rasool Bux Phulpoto
who would decide when the four-stroke rickshaws would come on the roads.
(By Irfan Aligi, DailyTimes-B1, 24/09/2007)

                                                      Revival of KCR
ABOUT two years ago this time, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad issued directives asking officials to expedite work on the
Karachi Circular Railway. Flash forward to the present and things are more or less the same: the KCR is still being asked to
be revived, this time by the Railways Workers Federation. One would think that the KCR is simply jinxed, its revival
constantly put on the back-burner for some reason or the other, the most popular theory being that authorities would rather
spend money on a monorail or elevated train system. There has been no word on those ill-thought out plans either. The
city‘s worsening traffic caught the suo motu attention of the Supreme Court in August which should have served as yet
another reminder to the city administration to address issues of public transport that would ease the burden on the roads.
The KCR‘s revival is just one step in that direction, even if the first phase of the revival two years ago — the opening of the
route from City Railway Station to Landhi — proved to be a bit of a damp squib. Nonetheless the second phase of the
revival is due to start at the end of the year and this time and is due to be completed in 2010, by which time the traffic
chaos may truly be out of control. Its expediency is thus crucial as is the need to come up with alternative solutions to the
traffic problem.

All cities need a properly thought out mass transit system and not half-baked proposals that require huge foreign loans and
cause more disruptions than ease. There are scores of architects, contractors and town planners with local expertise that
city administrations can turn to for advice when drafting plans to address this issue. It is time to stop pontificating and take
(Dawn-7, 25/09/2007)

                                        Telling effects of traffic congestion
CITIZENS endure taxing anxiety almost every day due to rampant traffic jams in almost all big cities of the country. Fatal
incidents are on record when critically ailing patients had to breathe their last in the middle of the road as ambulances
carrying them were stuck in traffic jams. Whose responsibility is it to resolve problems that affect everyday public life so
gravely? The government is spending huge amounts from the national exchequer on various departments of public service
but the question is, what is it delivering?

The traffic congestion, accompanied with alarming rate of street crime, has hit hard by and large every individual; even the
towns are no more secure from this menace causing severe mental strain, the mother of all diseases. Effects are visible, for
instance, high blood pressure, ulcers, irritability, difficulty in making routine decisions, loss of appetite, accident proneness,
fidgeting, sleep disorders. These can be subsumed under three general categories: physiological, psychological and
behavioural symptoms.
Let‘s take a look at our neighbour India, how they are managing road traffic in mega cities.

Kolkata, provincial seat of West Bengal, at one time capital of British India. The Communist Party at wheel of the
administration claims that it is not Mumbai, not Delhi, it‘s Kolkata that manages traffic the best. The vehicular traffic is very
much in the fast lane despite the metropolis having the highest density of vehicles per kilometre among all metros. The city
has a density of 814.80 vehicles, the highest among per km road length as compared to 766.31 for Mumbai, followed by
616.58 Chennai and 170 Delhi.

The city has the minimum road length among all the metros with 1,404km, followed by 1,800km in Chennai, 1,900km in
Mumbai and 25,948km in Delhi. The Kolkata traffic police have been successful in attaining a travel speed of almost 19km
an hour, which is amazing under the circumstances.
This achievement is to be seen in the backdrop of the major constraints of a burgeoning population, growing number of
vehicles, hand-pulled rickshaws and handcarts operating under the Hackney Carriage Act, limited road space, regular
processions, demonstrations and road blockades by political groups.

The Mumbai Municipal Corporation is set to design, construct and commission a traffic infrastructure management system.
The project has been financed by the World Bank. It is expected to reduce travel time, cut down pollution levels and fuel
consumption: the Spanish IT firm Telvent has undertaken the project.

Now, real time intelligent traffic control for Mumbai is not far away. Telvent technology will constantly acquire data on road
status, including number of vehicles arriving at intersections by each access point. The data will be used to constantly
adjust traffic lights at each intersection in accordance with real-time demand and in coordination with neighbouring
intersections for optimal coordination between intersections and reduce traffic congestion.

Now if we talk about developed states, words of praise fall short for their traffic system. For instance, congestion charging,
introduced in London and Edinburgh, has produced positive results. The firms, experienced in the UK and internationally,
offer expertise on design, management, monitoring, tools, resources and expert knowledge to the customers.
An innovative technology called Metro Count Vehicle Classifier System is another device which combines state-of-the-art
traffic logging hardware easy-to-use software. The Metro Count provides a total solution to all traffic monitoring issues, from
routine statistics through to the most complex traffic management problems.

Granted, there is no dearth of honest and capable workers in our administration who can emulate and enforce successfully
the workable systems here, provided they are given due encouragement and the fawning flatterers are kept at bay.
Sikandar Ali Shah, Karachi
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 25/09/2007)

                                            Three die in road accidents
KARACHI, Sept 24: Three persons died in separate road accidents in different parts of the city on Monday.
Police said two persons, including a young boy, died on Mauripur Road while a woman was knocked to death in a hit-and-
run accident in the Baloch Colony area.

The station house officer of the Kalri police station said that eight-year-old Mohsin was crushed to death by a pickup truck
on Mauripur Road and 18-year-old Zubair was crushed by a fast-moving trailer (LSC 181) on the opposite track of the road.
―We have impounded the lorry but its driver has escaped, while the other accident was a hit-and-run accident,‖ the SHO

Both accidents happened in a short span of time, he added. The bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital Karachi for legal

In another accident, an unidentified woman died in a hit-and-run accident in Baloch Colony on Monday evening.
Police said the unknown woman was knocked down by a speeding vehicle in the Karachi Administrative Society.
The victim was taken to the Jinnah Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Following the legal formalities, the body
was sent to the Edhi morgue for identification, the police added.
(Dawn-17, 25/09/2007)

                              Inter-city transporters capitalise on Holy Month
Like last year, transporters, this year, too, are resorting to the pre-Eid hike in the fares of air-conditioned and non-air-
conditioned bus services. To add insult to injury, concerned officials in the Sindh Transport Department, the Regional
Transport Authority, and other concerned bodies seem least concerned about this unauthorised, illegal, and arbitrary rise in
inter-city bus fares.

As the prices of almost all items skyrocket, inter-city transporters, especially on The Karachi-Hyderabad route, have also
started overcharging commuters in the first phase of their pre-Eid fare hike.

According to information available, the air-conditioned coach on this route is set at Rs120 by the transport authorities;
However, in actual practice, the fare on this route is inflated and fluctuates on a day-to-day basis.

In the holy month of Ramzan, commuters are forced to pay anywhere between Rs150 to Rs180 per seat, especially in the
early morning and afternoon rush hours, when thousands of employees and small traders and other daily commuters return
their homes.

The worst situation is witnessed on Saturday evening in Karachi and Sunday night to Monday noon at Hyderabad, as a
very large number of passengers on these days travel between the two cities to enjoy their weekend at home. The
transporters charge even more than Rs200 per seat on these days.

It is observed that the fare of these coaches climbs to Rs300 per seat on Eid and other special occasions. Commuters fear
that by Eid the transporters would raise their fares with impunity.

It is worth noting that a Korean Group, Sammi Daewoo, has also launched its luxury bus-service on the Karachi-Hyderabad
route since September 10 but it has failed to attract many commuters, as they charge a fare of Rs200 per seat.

Another reason for the lukewarm response by commuters is that the Company has established its Karachi bus-terminal at
Scheme 33 on the Superhighway, about 10 minutes drive from Sohrab Goth. Although the company is providing pick-and-
drop facilities to commuters by operating a shuttle service from Taj Complex, Saddar, it has not mustered the anticipated

The company is also plying a limited number of buses, which could not cater to the huge number of passengers on this
route. It is operating just 12 time-bound buses in a day from Hyderabad to Karachi and vice versa, which usually run after a
break of an hour.
(The News-14, 26/09/2007)

                                       CNG buses: commuters still waiting
The transport problem of the city remains unresolved as some influential groups in transport business are using pressure
tactics on foreign firms with regard to the shipment of buses.
These groups have caused the banks to incur huge losses by showing fake documents to show that they were financially
sound. However, it was later discovered that these transporters do not have any standing. The City District Government
Karachi (CDGK) has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with another firm to solve the transport problem.

Reliable sources in the CDGK said one of the transporters brought 15 Indian buses by getting grants but now those buses
are stuck at the port. They said these buses will eventually be of no use as Indian goods are not allowed to arrive in the
country under the federal law.

These influential groups in the city continue to approach firms in Holland and provide them with information which makes
these companies reluctant to export the buses in question. This has resulted in the delay of buses.

Due to these problems, sources said chances that these buses will be imported in the near future are bleak. Thus,
Karachi‘s transport situation will continue to deteriorate. Karachi will not get the 125 promised CNG buses on Eid or even
after that. However, these buses, if they come at all, will have technical flaws endangering the life of the citizens. One of the
reasons for this is that the in the first phase, the buses being imported are being converted into right-hand drive from left-
hand, because in most countries, vehicles have the steering wheel on the left side while in Pakistan, the wheel is on the

These buses have diesel engines which are not viable for Karachi when it comes to the cost. In fact, now even the price of
CNG has increased. The CDGK should provide incentives to transporters in order for them to import buses without the duty
levied on them.

A technical expert said that due to changing the location of the steering wheel in these buses, they will constantly have one
technical fault or the other. This means that these buses will spend more time in workshops rather than on the streets.

One transporter, who has imported these buses — when asked about this change — said there will be no problems. He
added that CNG kits are also being installed in them, because many people are opposed to the idea of these buses plying
the streets, besides the competition of course. He has entered into an agreement with the CDGK under the public-private
partnership system. The cost of these 125 buses is between Rs60-70 million and that investment has been made, but
delays in the banking procedure has aggravated the situation.

On the other hand, the CDGK is doing its best to make sure that these buses are imported soon. Also, CNG filling stations
are being established at all depots of the CDGK. In this regard, the CNG owners association has demanded that the
government should establish flexible rules for the setting up of CNG stations.

Private transporters said that currently, there are 3,500 big buses in Karachi while the required number is 10,000. These
obsolete buses are emitting smoke which is a health hazard as well as a threat to the environment. In fact, all over the
world, lead-free petrol is used in public transport vehicles and diesel is rarely used.

On the other hand, in Islamabad there are several CNG stations which are desperately needed in Karachi, as every day
700 vehicles are being registered, according to the motor vehicle registration department. In this regard, the CDGK has
asked the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to provide CNG to these buses. The CDGK has, at its disposal, more than six depots in
Karachi and the City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal, has claimed that CNG stations can easily be set up here.
The city nazim has also asked the government to get these depots vacated from the Rangers. The delay in the arrival of
CNG buses will also cause a delay in vacating these depots. Also, two depots have been handed over to the said private
firm to establish CNG stations but this has yet to be done as the process takes about six months.

Tenders have also been invited from the private firms to establish CNG stations and 33 firms have sent their bids. These
bids are yet to be finalised. A city government official said that so far, no decision has been taken in this regard.

The District Coordination Officer (DCO), Karachi, also held a meeting with private transporters to identify the routes for
these buses, but the delay in the arrival has put everything on hold. The DCO, Karachi, is of the view that these buses are
providing transport to the people and since they are dealing with inhuman conditions, they should be given leeway.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-20, 27/09/2007)

                            Pedestrians involved in over 40pc of road accidents
Pedestrians are involved in more than 40 per cent of the eleven hundred road accidents that take place every year in the
city while in 30 per cent of these accidents the pedestrians are reported to be killed. In order to stop these accidents, the
city government would finish 23 pedestrian black spots currently present in the city with the help of traffic police.

According to a media release on Thursday, this was decided in a meeting held in connection with preparations to control
traffic jams, as per the orders of the honourable Supreme Court. DCO Karachi, Javed Hanif Khan, addressed the meeting
and said that there is an immediate need to ensure preparations for traffic engineering and reinforcement. He said that in
order to overcome this issue, the city government and traffic police would conduct a survey and, keeping in view the
standards of traffic engineering, reinforcement and solutions would be sought. He directed to immediately make
preparations to finish these 23 pedestrians‘ black spots.

It was also decided in the meeting that the places from where encroachments have been removed should be monitored
continuously in order to make sure that they do not re-emerge. The DCO showed his satisfaction over the performance of
traffic police and the volunteers for regulating traffic efficiently and said that at certain traffic signals the flow of traffic is very
high therefore the signalisation should be moderated accordingly so that this pressure can be reduced. DIG traffic, EDO
transport, EDO works and services, Director General mass transit and others were also present in the meeting.
(The News-14, 28/09/2007)

                                      What’s going on with Chundrigar Road?
Despite receiving prompt payments, the contractor of the I.I. Chundrigar Road project is using delay tactics, which has
affected the completion of the work on the city‘s main artery which is also its financial hub.
The city government officials concerned and the State Bank of Pakistan‘s steering committee have expressed their
resentment over the delay. According to sources, the contractor had promised to dedicate seven to eight machineries for
the project and to carry on the work day and night.

However, the contractor — Shamsher Khan and Company — has brought only one machine while most of the work was
being done manually. Now the CDGK and SBP steering committee are repenting having chosen the contractor, despite the
fact that he had offered the lowest bid, because he remained unable to complete the project on time.

To a query, SBP steering committee sources told The News that awarding the job to the contractor offering the lowest bid
was now proving too costly. The works being delayed include the cleaning of I.I. Chundrigar Road on both ends and
removing the work-related debris, which was causing serious traffic-related problems during the peak hours.
The project also involves erecting 60 streetlights along the City Station side, as the KESC did not have high tension lines
on the opposite side. The dug-up trenches are yet to be filled following which the final carpeting of the road is supposed to
be carried out.

It is worth mentioning here that a proper financial street was planned on I.I. Chundrigar Road, however, no activity was yet
visible in this regard. The city nazim had dreamt of remaking the main business artery into modern road along international
standards, however, I.I. Chundrigar Road has conversely been wearing an ugly look since the project was executed. There
seems to be no authority interested in getting the unfinished works completed and giving a proper shape to this vital road
which has been lying ruined for quite a while now.
(The News-14, 28/09/2007)

                                    CDGK to remove 23 pedestrian black spots
KARACHI: The City District Government Karachi (CDGK), in collaboration with the traffic police, has decided to remove 23
pedestrian black spots in Karachi to control the increasing number of road and traffic accidents (RTAs) occurring in the city.
The decision was taken Thursday in a meeting convened following the Supreme Court‘s directives to improve Karachi‘s
traffic situation. DCO Javed Hanif presided over the meeting.

The DCO said that around 1,100 traffic accidents annually occurred in the city and pedestrians were involved in 40 percent
of these accidents. Thirty percent of these pedestrians lost their lives.
The participants decided that the CDGK‘s transport department and the traffic police would jointly examine pedestrian black
spots with a scientific perspective and find solutions based on engineering and enforcement. The DCO stressed for
comprehensive planning to complete the project as soon as possible.
The participants also decided that encroachments must be removed from the city‘s roads and it should be ensured that
they do not resurface. They also decided that the traffic signal system must be modified at points where signals were under
heavy pressure.

DIG Traffic Wajid Durrani, EDO Revenue Saleh Ahmed Farooqui, EDO Transport Muhammad Athar, EDO Works and
Services Nisar Sario, Director General Mass Transit Malik Zaheerul Islam, representatives of cantonment boards, Karachi
Port Trust, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, officials of the traffic police and representatives of transport organizations
attended the meeting.
(By Jamil Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 28/09/2007)

                                                    Lahore’s traffic mess
LAHORE‘S roads and traffic problems may not be as bad as Karachi‘s. But they are enough to give one a headache.
Trying to do with a mere 370 kilometres of roads, the Punjab capital hardly finds the network large enough for its 1.4 million
vehicles. Moreover, many of the roads have been dug up for the last many months either for repairs and remodelling or for
the laying of new sewerage and drainage lines. Around The Mall alone 14 roads are in such bad shape due to the lack of
maintenance, or because of it, that the whole area remains a vehicular mess for most of the day — rush hour or not. The
situation in other areas is hardly any better.

The signs are that all this will become even worse in the coming days before it takes a turn for the better in some distant
future. The government is planning to remodel Multan Road, one of the main city arteries, and digging for a mass transit
system will start after Eid. Of course, in a city where the number of cars alone rose by 64,485 in the last financial year,
these projects, and many more like them, are badly needed. With the number of other vehicles also rising, albeit not as
fast, Lahore‘s transport system certainly requires a big overhaul.

But the reports of more roads becoming off-limits or at best offering a very rough ride as a result of this overhaul are
annoying if not maddening. Lahore needs bigger, better roads if it wants to have a future as a big city. A whole generation
looks set to be lost to dust and gruelling gridlocks before a shiny, smooth and fast future emerges — if it emerges at all.
Until then, keep Lahore moving — partly with good traffic management — if it is to run tomorrow.
(Dawn-7, 30/09/2007)

                                       On an uncertain road to development
                                 The I.I.Chundrigar Road Beautification Project
Clouds of dust rising from broken roads conceal the beauty of the I.I Chundrigar Road (I.I
CR), and thick black smoke from frantically honking vehicles seems to shroud the
atmosphere. Nevertheless, with centuries old, as well as modern architecture flanking
the road, the I.I. Chundrigar swings proudly between the ages.

The I.I CR distinguishes itself from other major roads in the city because of the range of
architecture it boasts of; with buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries standing as a
narration of the rise of the mercantile aristocracy. The beautiful Roman arches made of
fine Gizri stone, the carved stone balusters on the walls and the Chhatar (pink sand
stone found in Jodhpur, India) make up structures built mostly by the "merchant princes,"
(as architect and historian Yasmin Lari calls them) are reminiscent of times when
Victorian carts, not automobiles, plied on the road, merchants trading in the financial
sector of the British.

 Named after a former Pakistani prime minister, noisy rickshaws and air-conditioned
Corollas now replace the carts and bullock carriages that once crowded the former
McLeod Road. The road, once a hub of financial activities for the British, now stands as
an emblem of the melting-pot-character Karachi is famous for.

 From the banker in a snazzy suit to the kachori wala in yesterday's rags selling kachoris by the road, from jeans to hijab,
from chai-paratha at a pathan's khokha to Subway, from media organizations
to shipping companies; the road is home to varying cultures which collectively
make up the distinctive culture of Pakistan's Wall Street, which generates 70
per cent of the country's revenue.

 Despite the historical significance and attribution of being the 'Golden Mile,'
the I.I CR has failed to attract authorities' attention to its development,
resulting in the road always being jam-packed, people being looted outside
ATMs and stagnant sewage water after rains. Centuries old architectural
heritage falls victim to the passage of time, and the authorities' negligence
bangs the last nail in this coffin.

Of plans and promises…
 Champs-Elysées and Wall Street were termed as the driving force behind the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and CDGK
proposed development project for I.I CR in 2003.
 The project with the goal to replicate international streets aimed at making I.I Chundrigar a traffic-free-zone with multi-
storey parking plazas built at either ends of the road. Extravagant shuttles were promised to commuters between Shaheen
Complex and Tower. Pavements were to be widened and shaded for passengers waiting for the shuttle and furnished with
refreshment kiosks, umbrellas and chairs to promote street culture.

To provide those frequenting I.I CR with a variety of gastronomic opportunities,
the Railway Stadium was proposed to be converted into a public park with
restaurants provided with a setting of umbrellas and chairs. Utilities too were
supposed to be shifted from the center to the sides of the road. The project
proposed modern lamp posts and greenery by the road along with the promise
of installing I.T based cameras by City Nazim Mustafa Kamal for security and
traffic control. Given the historical significance of the colonial-era buildings, the
beautification plan proposed a self-help-basis facelift of the buildings to
conserve heritage.

The main idea behind the project was to "develop the neighborhood we live
in," Dr. Ishrat Hussain, former Governor State Bank tells Kolachi. Therefore, all the occupants of the road were invited to
voluntarily contribute to the project resulting in the collection of 160 million rupees by the stakeholders, out of the 220
million rupee budget for the project approved by the CDGK.

Started in late March 2007, the project was to be carried out in three phases where excavation and laying down of sewage
and storm drainage pipe lines has been accomplished in the first two phases. The third phase is said to involve the
beautification of the road, and while the CDGK promises to complete the project by October 2007, a lot of debris from the
first two phases can be seen lying on the taken apart side streets and pavements at over half of I.I CR.

If only fairy tales were true!
 As the government claims finishing the project, the public doubts that the promises
made about the parking plaza, pavement development and public park will be kept as
they seem too impractical.
 "We do see such things in the west but they are practically impossible in Karachi,"
Anjum Shiraz, a banker at I.I CR smirks at the idea of a public park with refreshment
kiosks at the road saying that given the commitment of authorities, such things are
beyond practicality "even if it happens," she adds, "it will take them decades to actually
make it, by which time the condition of the road will have worsened," she predicts,
referring to the construction waste left on the undone side streets.

Anjum's prediction is seconded by Amina, another regular on the road, "it sounds a bit
ambitious," she says of the project, "as far as development in Karachi is concerned, I
don't see it happening!"
 Such doubts are strengthened when CDGK and SBP authorities shy away from
discussing the project.

 The Naib City Nazim, though, vows to make I.I.C.R a "model road at par with other financial districts in the world," but is at
a loss for words when asked how? "I don't know much about the project," she admits to her ignorance on account of the
fact that she is not a part of the committee or the project. City Nazim Mustafa Kamal and steering committee president
Shaukat Tareen, two key authorities of the project, however are unavailable for their side of the story despite several efforts
by Kolachi.

On the other hand, Project Director Saleem Bukhari is not only available for comment but has a lot to reveal.
"It all depends on how much funds we are left with," Saleem says that the project is in its last phase and once they are
done with the leveling of the sidewalks and installation of cat eyes and white lines on the roads, then considering the
leftover funds, they will decide upon the implementation of the rest of the key components of the beautification project.
"We had asked for a lot of money," he says, commenting on the stakeholders, "but did not get all of it, as people are not
that generous," he says that it is not as though the project is running out of funds, but that the committee so far hasn't
estimated the possible expenses of the project. He adds that even if they are left with enough funds they would first install
the shuttle service and then anything else.

"Besides funds," he says, "we have to consider if it is practical or not," Saleem fears that the placement of kiosks and chairs
on the sidewalks isn't feasible as given the narrowness of the road, the pavements couldn't be widened too much.
About the I.T cameras, parking plaza and public park he says that it is all being considered by the CDGK, but, "nothing
concrete has been planned so far,"

Chundrigar reacts…
These revelations are enough to make Saad Javed furious "I don't know what plans were laid out for the beautification
process, but if this is beautification then it's really disappointing and not worth the entire ordeal," he says, while pointing to
the traffic jam and debris on the sides of the road facing the insurance company he works with. Saad feels let down
because he feels that though the road has been reconstructed, little or no difference has been made to its condition, in fact
it seems to have worsened. "The road was far more beautiful before this beautification project," says Saad sarcastically he
says pointing out a broken pavement in front of Saema Towers near his office.

Broken pavements are a cause of disappointment for Hashim Shamim as well whose insurance company NJI was one of
the stakeholders in the project.
"We had contributed to make the road beautiful but so far it hasn't proved to be worth it," Hashim complains that the stretch
of the road near NJI has not been carpeted fully and some of the pavements have been left undone, however he is hopeful
that once it is completed the project will prove fruitful.

Apart from all of that, the facelift of historical buildings is another promise that remains undelivered so far. "The Chundrigar
Road is of great historical importance which has been, sadly, not considered in this project," laments Yasmin Lari
commenting that cleaning buildings is so simple that even small children could do it easily. Yasmin refers to the cleaning of
Wallace Bridge by school children a few years back.

The 19th century Wallace Bridge represents the arrival of the railways that facilitated transportation of grain from Punjab to
Karachi making Karachi famous for being the largest wheat exporter in the entire British Empire. The historical land mark
was neglected by the authorities and the Karavan Pakistan team therefore took initiative of cleaning it.

During the activity, various school children removed the dust layered on the bridge with the help of water and detergent
followed by scrubbing the surface to remove dirt, soil, and paint till the natural sandstone was exposed. Bandookwala
Building, one of the largest buildings on the road was cleaned too afterwards.

Saleem Bukhari admits that the cleaning of buildings is not very difficult and they had planned on cleaning buildings but,
"during a meeting with the stakeholders it was demanded that the activity be held as dust during the development project
would make them dirty again."

Developing the I.I. Chundrigar Road to be at par with other financial districts in the world, is truly what the area that churns
out revenue worth millions of rupees for the country deserves. Besides, unlike Lahore and Agra in India, Karachi is not rich
in Mughal and colonial architecture dating centuries back. Whatever precious few architectural treasures the city is
bestowed with should not be left to brave time and the elements on their own.

"As it is said to be the wall street of Karachi, so it must reflect and preserve what it originally was, centuries back, otherwise
it will lose its distinctive features and will start resembling the other common streets in the city," declares Yasmin Lari,
echoing the sentiments of everyone involved with the I.I Chundrigar Road.
(By Sabeen Jamil, The News-41 Kolachi, 30/09/2007)

                                     Transportation cost of petrol increased
ISLAMABAD, Sept 30: In a major reshuffle in rates of taxes and other charges, the government on Sunday increased
transportation cost of petrol by 34-40 per cent and slashed petroleum development levy by 21-27 per cent to keep
petroleum prices unchanged despite price hike in the international market.

The rates were changed despite the fact that ex-refinery prices or import parity prices of kerosene have dropped by 6.6 per
cent or about Rs2 per litre and that of diesel by 0.72 per litre (about 3 per cent). The ex-factory price of motor spirit (petrol)
and HOBC has, however, increased by Rs1.60 per litre or about 5 per cent.

Already under criticism for uncontrolled hike in wheat and flour prices and some other kitchen items in an election season,
the prime minister rejected on political considerations a summary moved by the secretary for petroleum and natural
resources which sought an increase in diesel prices by about Rs2.50 per litre, to pass on to consumers the impact of price
hike in the international market, informed sources told Dawn.

As a result, the government revenue in the form of petroleum development surcharge will reduce by move than Rs3 billion
when compared with the previous fortnight but this will partly salvage declining profits of oil marketing companies to the
extent of about Rs700 million in the same period. The sources said the cap on diesel and kerosene prices had forced the
government to provide about Rs9 per litre subsidy which it recovered through petroleum development surcharge on petrol
and higher IFEM on petroleum products. However, the government revenue on these two items in the form of GST
remained unaffected at Rs4.60 and Rs4.25 per litre.

Not only OMC‘s take in the form of inland freight equalisation margin (IFEM) has been upped by 34-40 per cent, but their
profit margin has also improved by 5.69 per cent on petrol and 8.3 per cent on HOBC. Sources in the Oil and Gas
Regulatory Authority which notified the revised prices said it was yet unclear how the IFEM rates had been increased
significantly in just 15 days and would need to be investigated and examined on the basis of actual accounts. Dealers
would also get about 6.4 per cent and 7.95 per cent increase in their commission due to rise in international oil prices.

The government would, however, continue earning Rs6.63 per litre and Rs12.50 per litre on petrol and HOBC (high octane
blending component) in addition to 15 per cent general sales tax on petroleum products at the rate of Rs7, Rs8.46, Rs4.60
and Rs4.25 per litre on motor spirit, HOBC, kerosene oil and diesel, respectively. Last year, the sources said, the
government earned over 64 billion in GST collection on petroleum products in addition to over Rs27 billion in PDL.

They sources said the secretary for petroleum and natural resources had asked the Ministry of Finance about a fortnight
ago to release about Rs9 billion to oil marketing companies and refineries on account of price differential claims but the
request was not entertained. As a result, OMCs‘ outstanding price differential claims have gone up to about Rs25 billion.

According to a notification issued by Ogra, the sale prices of petroleum products would remain unchanged for the next
fortnight. The petroleum prices are fixed on the basis of average Arab-Gulf prices for the previous fortnight for Naphtha,
diesel, kerosene and furnace oil to which IMEM is added, reflecting estimated transportation cost of products to 29
designated depots across the country. Besides, government taxes like excise duty, petroleum development levy and sales
tax are added to arrive at the notified sale prices.
(By Khaleeq Kiani, Dawn-3, 01/10/2007)

                         Public buses carry 3 times the sanctioned weight: MVD
KARACHI: Passengers traveling via public transport may be putting
their lives in danger: A total of 2,080 kilograms of passenger weight
is allowed in a minibus but most minibus carries an extra 4,160 kg,
making the total load 6,240 kg.

A bus has a capacity for 3,200 kg in passenger weight but there is
usually an extra 4,000 kg making the total 7,200 kg.

Extra load causes early deterioration and the bodies become thin
and fragile. The shock absorbers become weak and the vehicles tilt
more than they should. The seats and floors are rusted and torn. But
despite these realities, an extra 50 passengers are put in the buses.
Daily Times acquired this information from the traffic police
department‘s motor vehicle examiners.

There are 12,000 buses and minibuses on the city‘s roads. More
than half operate with extra load and without physical fitness
certificates and many more get a physical fitness certificate after
temporary maintenance.

A motor vehicle department (MVD) deputy told Daily Times that the
MVD examines about 7,000 buses and minibuses a year for physical
fitness. A minibus seat that is five inches wide and five inches high allows for an 80kg load.

A total of 26 seats are allowed for a minibus by law and 40 seats for a bus in addition to 10 standing passengers. The
vehicle‘s ignition, body condition, seats, sound pollution and smoke release are examined during a fitness exam.

―The buses in Karachi are models from between 1977 and 1986. Traveling on top of these minibuses can lead to an
accident. We have removed the ladders from behind the minibuses but passengers are too used to climbing on top of
them,‖ vice president of the Karachi Bus Owners Association, Jamshed, and join secretary Muhammad Ilyas told Daily

The traffic police allow unfit vehicles to roam the streets because of the bribe system we have here, they said.

They said that in order to improve the transport system, tariffs have to be increased. ―The Governor of Sindh has assured
us twice that this would happen.‖ Transporters cannot maintain their vehicles because there is too much financial pressure,
they maintained.

On the decrease of buses in the city, they said that banks that have leased the vehicles are withdrawing them and
auctioning them of in the Punjab because of failure to pay the monthly installments.
(DailyTimes-B1, 01/10/2007)

                                                   KCR train service
IT was only recently that I sent a fax message to the Sindh governor complaining about the late arrival and departure of the
train using the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), and made some suggestions regarding improvement in the service of the
local train running from the Karachi City Station to the Landhi Station.

Later I heard that the said train had stopped doing its round on the plea of non-profitability because fewer people would
travel by this train. It‘s all wrong. I always found the train crowded whenever I boarded it at the Cantt Station, so much so
that I would never get a seat.

It appears that the authorities concerned have mismanaged the whole thing or some one does not want people to use the
KCR and instead travel by buses/coaches on the same route.
It looks the station administration used different methods to fail the service, such as they caused delays in the train timings
through various manoeuvrings so that when people are frustrated, they would opt for other means of transport such as
coach or bus service.
I once again appeal to the governor to look into the matter.
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 03/10/2007)

                              Govt blamed for mismanaged transport system

The failure on the part of the government for making a policy with reference to proper regulation, monitoring and
enforcement of transport laws is one of the core reasons behind the despicable public transport system in the metropolis.
This has been stated in a report titled ―Private/public partnership-based and environment-friendly public transport system
for Karachi,‖ prepared by Thai consultant for the Mass Transit Department of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK).

The report mentions that only 143 Urban Transport Systems (UTS) busses are operating in the city while 221 UTS busses
have failed to continue just after the first three years of its operation.
The report also contains the view point of the UTS bus operators who say that CDGK is responsible for its collapse.
The main issues raised by them included unexpected and high fuel costs, a fare structure that can‘t be compared to private
operators, improper route apportions and dilapidated condition of roads. They also regretted the non-provision of sufficient
subsidies and bus depots by the CDGK.

On the flip side, UTS operators were held responsible for their inability to maintain buses besides inducting inexperienced
drivers. The District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA) - the route permit issuing authority - which is governed by the
EDO of the CDGK and the Provincial Transport Authority, was also alleged to have been responsible for not inspecting and
monitoring the system.

The report revealed that the KPTS was undermined by all quarters, resulting in its deterioration.
It adds that Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) did not provide sufficient support to run the
KPTS smoothly when its role was to facilitate investment and strengthen the business. It is still bound to operate on 54
defunct routes.
(The News-19, 03/05/2007)

                                               Road sense saves lives

Statistics collected through different sources revealed that more than 590 people lost their lives in 530 road accidents
reported across the metropolis in 2006. The validity of the data has been acknowledged by the departments concerned. A
questionnaire revealed that a majority of the people hold the poorly managed traffic system solely responsible for the
increasing number of accidents. On the other hand, the traffic department blames commuters for not cooperating with their
staff and violating traffic laws.

A list of precautions has been prepared with the help of think-tanks of the departments concerned and traffic experts, in a
bid to increase road sense and traffic awareness among masses and to minimise the accidents and casualties.

Safety measures while on the road:
Avoid over-speeding. It was observed that most of the drivers involved in accidents were found to be in an unnecessary

Follow traffic signals every time; what may seem insignificant violations, may prove murderous, as history has shown time
and again.

Keep your vehicles in the proper lanes and overtake only from the right-hand side to avoid traffic jams, particularly during
peak-hours where even a minor mistake can block you and others for hours.
Motorbikes and animal-drawn carts should also stay in their lanes and avoid shortcuts at all costs.
Pedestrians should cross roads only at zebra crossings rather than when traffic is in motion.

Suggestions for traffic managements and governmental officials:
Since the lack of road sense is a major reason for accidents and traffic congestions, serious campaigns should be launched
at regular intervals to educate the masses about basic traffic rules.
A special lane should be marked and designated on every road for ambulances and fire engines so as to avoid blockage in
traffic jams.

As is commonly known, unfit public transport, dumpers, trucks, water tankers and other heavy vehicles are responsible for
many accidents and traffic jams. These heavy vehicles should be checked before they go on roads and they should be
allowed during specific hours only. If these vehicles are found on roads without prior permission, they should be confiscated

and the licence of the driver should be cancelled immediately. Next, the owner of these vehicles should be booked and only
courts should deal with such matters.

Traffic experts have also pointed out that the negligence of traffic police adds to mishaps. This could very well be because
traffic police officials are not trained properly and there are no policies to hold them accountable for any mistakes. They
further suggested that campaigns against encroachments should continue throughout the year.
The absence of traffic signs and lane markings are also among the major causes of road accidents and authorities should
pay serious attention to the matter.

It has been observed at various thoroughfares that traffic signals have been inactive and that a few constables were left to
handle the continuous flow of traffic manually.
Also, absence of traffic police staff has been reported during duty hours. This provides another opportunity to the violators
to abuse traffic laws.
Narrow service roads are used to park vehicles especially near food outlets and general stores, adding to traffic congestion.
(By M Zeeshan Azmat, The News-20, 03/05/2007)

                                   Portion of Jam Sadiq Bridge breaks again
KARACHI: One track of the Jam Sadiq Bridge closed down Wednesday after a three-by-three feet portion broke off, making
this the fourth time in the last two years.

The concrete fell around noon amid heavy traffic, and caused a massive traffic jam lasting a couple of hours from Korangi
Industrial Area to the rest of the city via the Expressway and Korangi Road.
The works and services department has started repair work and said that it would be fixed within the next 24 hours. ―The
track going to the Korangi Industrial Area will be opened Thursday evening,‖ the city government‘s spokesman said. ―The
entire bridge has been labeled ‗risky‘ but the departments concerned are not taking it seriously,‖ said a citizen.
(DailyTimes-B1, 04/10/2007)

                                    Military estate, CDGK or cantt board
                                SHC wants to know who controls FTC flyover
KARACHI: All petitions in the FTC flyover case were clubbed together by a division bench of the Sindh High Court Friday
that will decide who has control or jurisdiction over the structure. The hearing was put off till Tuesday.

The petition was filed by an advertising company that is challenging the demand for an advertisement fee by the Karachi
Cantonment Board as they have already paid the money to the City District Government Karachi (CDGK).

During the course of arguments, CDGK EDO Law Manzoor Ahmed claimed the ownership of the flyover and said that the
entire stretch of Shahrah-e-Faisal was constructed and improved by the CDGK without assistance from any quarter,
agency or board.

He pointed out to the court that all the land from Cantt Station Karachi up to the Jinnah hospital turning was military estate.

The counsel for the petitioner, seconding the CDGK, said that while the CDGK and other authorities adhered to some laws,
the ―Station Commander works under no law‖.
He read out a letter annexed with the petition, announcing the takeover of the FTC flyover.

The court grilled the CDGK lawyer on broken roads and bad sanitation. ‗You make bridges which fell apart,‘ the bench
observed. The EDO Law promptly replied that fallen bridges were not built by the city government or civic authorities but by
the National Highway Authority.

The bench also asked what was done with all the money collected by the cantonment authorities.

How can the Station Commander take charge of these matters when his primary responsibility is to care for the rations of
the units, observed the bench? It then later put off the hearing till Oct 9 but not before calling for a record of constitutional
petition 969/2004.
(DailyTimes-B1, 06/10/2007)

                                        Harassment by VVIP police escort
WE are sometimes made to think that the word police stand for ‗polite, obedient, lenient, intelligent, courteous and efficient‘,
but these words don‘t even come near what our police stand for.

Last week I had a bitter experience with our police while driving alone on Sharea Faisal. I was coming from the Shah Faisal
Colony overpass and after crossing the Natha Khan Bridge on Sharea Faisal, I took a U-turn for going back towards Malir

I was in the rightmost lane adjacent to the island when suddenly like a storm the police escort of some VVIP motorcade
descended on me. As I completed the U-turn and while my car was still picking up the speed, the passing police escorts
started shouting and using abusive language seeing that they can easily harass a young woman, driving alone in the car.

They also brought their vehicles very close to my car in a dangerously threatening manner. The policemen sitting in the
vehicles perched out and started banging on my car‘s windows and rooftop and shouting at me to clear the way. They
wanted me to immediately swerve my car to the extreme left lane from the extreme right lane where I was after having
taken the U-turn.

Their rude behaviour shocked and disturbed me. It also distracted my attention from the road ahead of me. This could
easily have made my car to bump the island on my right or a passing vehicle on my left. Interestingly, there were no traffic
policemen posted on the cut who could have stopped the vehicles from taking the U-turn during the VIP movement.

I wonder when our police will learn to behave with common citizens. Is there no law for the high and mighty? Why do we,
the taxpayers, have to suffer the impudence and lawlessness of these ‗law-enforcement‘ agencies? Is there a light at the
end of the tunnel?

(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 07/10/2007)

                              Development projects causing traffic nightmares
The newly commenced construction work along with under-progress projects are one of the major obstacles in the
movement of vehicular traffic, lamented citizens. The situation becomes worse when a project is commenced without
proper coordination between the stakeholders. On the contrary, both the traffic police and the city government say that they
are working together.

It has been observed that the under-construction projects have been causing traffic congestion and at some points, both
the main roads as well as service lanes were dug up, causing inconvenience to the commuters. Moreover, the projects
started just before and in the middle of Ramazan and irked commuters, who wondered why they were not postponed till
Eid. Observers say that there is poor coordination between the traffic police and the City District Government Karachi
(CDGK), and work is being carried out haphazardly.

According to the traffic police bulletin, four major roads are under construction in traffic zone four, six in zone one, 10 in
zone three and 16 in zone two. As per statistics given by the traffic police, a total of 36 roads were under construction until
the last week of September. Initially, the DIG traffic pointed out 55 major roads where construction work was being carried
out. The CDGK had completed some of them just before Ramazan along with carrying out patchwork and carpeting on
several other roads which were flooded and provided relief to the commuters. However, a few of the major arteries of the
city are still incomplete and closed for traffic while the alternate routes are highly congested. Moreover, the projects that
started just before and during Ramazan have added to the woes of commuters.

The CDGK has dug up one side of the Gulshan Chowrangi signal. As a result, a big trench has reduced the space for traffic
flow from 13-D towards Gulshan while it has also disturbed the traffic flow from other directions. The commuters moving
from Nipa towards Fazal Mill suffer the most due to the heavy flow of traffic on this route, which is blocked by the traffic
coming from 13-D.

Another project that started recently includes the construction of a flyover at Nagan Chowrangi. The traffic situation here is
said to be the worst just before Iftar. Being one of the busiest intersections, it remains congested throughout the day. The
four lanes at the intersection have been reduced to two as a result of which frequent traffic gridlocks occur. Moreover, a
massive construction that is already in progress at the Labour Camp Chowrangi on Rashid Minhas Road is causing
extreme difficulty to the commuters. The parking space of a mall in front of the roundabout is inadequate to accommodate
all vehicles so customers park their cars along the road, which result in traffic jams and then a gridlock.

Furthermore, another project that has long been under construction is the repair of a portion of University road from Nazim
Ala turn, Hassan Square, up to Jail Chowrangi, New Town. Here, as two-way traffic is moving on one track, it is causing
traffic jams due to frequent lane-changing on part of the commuters. One track of the Business Recorder Road that was
dug up just before Ramazan for development work is also one of the biggest source of traffic congestion in the city. Heavy
traffic on Lasbela Chowk frequently turns into traffic snarl-ups. Traffic from Nazimabad causes severe congestion at the
Garden signal, on Nishtar road, at Gurumandir and on M.A. Jinnah Road. However, regarding M.A. Jinnah Road, the DIG
traffic said that it was built for one-way traffic but the restriction on public transport to operate on I.I. Chundrigar Road has
over-burdened this thoroughfare and resulted in the movement of both-way traffic on an important portion of the same.

When the Executive District Officer (EDO) Works and Services (W&S), CDGK, Nisar Sario and the DIG traffic, Wajid Ali
Khan Durrani, were contacted they denied that there is no coordination. Durrani said that the CDGK is cooperating with the
traffic police and before commencing any new construction project, they first provide alternatives (service lanes) in order to
ensure smooth traffic movement. Sario also confirmed that they were working in coordination with the traffic police. He
admitted that the construction work is causing some problems to vehicular traffic but added that it was necessary to
commence these projects. When asked to justify the importance of work, he said that they get funds after every three
months and are compelled to use them as soon as possible or wait for another three months.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-19, 07/10/2007)

                                        Bus owners ask govt for CNG kits
KARACHI, Oct 7: The transporters operating buses in the city have urged the provincial government to provide them with
the CNG kits to convert their vehicles into gas-operated ones.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Karachi Transporters Action Committee and the Anjuman Ittehad-i-Bus Malikan said
that if the Sindh government wanted to fight environmental pollution in the city through banning the non-CNG buses, it
should provide the transporters with the CNG kits.

The associations condemned the government‘s moves towards banning the non-CNG buses, saying that the policy was a
conspiracy against the transporters operating buses in the city. They also criticised the government for not paying due
attention to the transporters‘ grievances.

They expressed the view that the government was wasting public money on the imports of expensive CNG buses instead
of assisting the transporters in upgrading their buses by providing them with CNG kits.
(Dawn-14, 08/10/2007)

                                          Bus owners demand CNG kits
The Karachi Transport Action Committee and Anjuman-e-Ettehad Bus Malikan Karachi have demanded of the Sindh
government to provide CNG kits to private bus owners so as to switch their buses on CNG to fight environmental pollution
in the city. In a statement issued on Sunday, office-bearers of the two transporter associations condemned the government
policies to remove old buses from city roads terming it a conspiracy against bus owners. They said that private buses were
catering to public transport needs of the citizens but the government was not paying attention to problems being faced by
them. They said that the government was wasting money on importing costly CNG buses instead of upgrading old buses,
by providing CNG kit to them.
(The News-14, 08/10/2007)

                                Official fares for inter-city bus travel notified
KARACHI, Oct 8: Taking notice of overcharging by transport operators in the inter-city fares ahead of Eidul Fitr, the Sindh
government has directed DCO and DIG Traffic to constitute joint teams of the city government and traffic police to carry out
raids and check the violation. The officials to be inducted in the teams would have powers of a special magistrate.
The directive has been issued to DCO Javed Hanif and DIG Wajid Ali Khan on the directives of the provincial Minister for
Transport Adil Siddiqui.

The minister has also issued necessary directives to the officials concerned of the transport department in this regard.
The city government has been told to conduct raids on inter-city bus termini to check overcharging in transport fares.

According to the plan, the registration number of the vehicles involved and the name of the transport company operating
these vehicles would be submitted to the transport department, which would take an appropriate action. The action may
include cancellation of route permit under Section 62 of the Motor Vehicle Ordinance-1965.

Meanwhile, the department has issued the fare list for the airconditioned and non-airconditioned buses being operated on
the inter-city routes.

The fare of airconditioned bus from Karachi: Hyderabad Rs120, Mirpurkhas Rs160, Nawabshah 180,
Sukkur/Larkana/Shikarpur Rs250, Jacobabad Rs280, Dera Murad Jamali/Osta Mohammad/Sadiqabad Rs400, Dera Ghazi
Khan/Alipur Rs450, Lahore Rs850, Rawalpindi/Mansehra Rs900 and Muzaffarabad Rs950.
The fare of non airconditioned bus from Karachi: Hyderabad Rs80, Sukkur/Larkana/ Shikarpur Rs160, Lahore Rs550 and
Rawalpindi Rs600.

Travelers have been asked not to pay more than the fixed fare and inform the traffic police/DCO/secretary PTA or any
police station if anyone insisted on higher fare.
(Dawn-19, 09/10/2007)

                        Inter-city bus operators to be penalised for overcharging
The provincial government has authorised the city government and traffic police to conduct raids on inter-city bus operators
for excess charging. They also issued a list of bus fares for inter-provincial transport and said that the offenders‘ route
permits would be cancelled.

A press release said on Monday that taking notice of the excessive charging by inter-city bus transporters on the eve of
Eid, the Sindh government issued letters to the District Coordination Officer (DCO), Karachi, and his counterpart in
Hyderabad as well as the Deputy-Inspector-General of Police, Traffic, Karachi. As per directions of the Sindh Minister for
Labour, Transport, Industries, Commerce, and Cooperation Adil Siddiqi, the DCO and DIG have been asked to carry out
snap checks on inter-city bus terminals with the help of the CDGK‘s officers vested with magisterial powers.

It further said that those found charging excess fares would be punished as per Section 62 of the Motor Vehicle Ordinance
(MVO) of 1965 and their route permits would be cancelled.

The Sindh government, for the convenience of passengers travelling to other parts of Sindh, also issued the list of
prescribed fares and asked the passengers not to pay over and above these. According to the list of Sindh Government the
fares for Air-Conditioned buses from Karachi to Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur,
Jacobabad, Dera Murad Jamali, Austa Muhammad, Sadiqabad, Dera Ghazi Khan, Alipur, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Mansehra,
Muzzafarabad and Peshawar are Rs120, Rs160, Rs180, Rs250, Rs250, Rs250, Rs280, Rs400, Rs400, Rs400, Rs450,
Rs450, Rs850, Rs900, Rs900, Rs950 and Rs900 respectively.

While according to same list the bus fares for a non air conditioned bus from Karachi to Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana,
Shikarpur, Lahore and Rawalpindi are Rs80, Rs160, Rs160, Rs160, Rs550 and Rs600 respectively.
The government asked passengers to register their complaints including the number of bus and name of Transport
Company to city government, traffic police or the nearest police station in case of excessive charging so that action can be
taken against them.
(The News-14, 09/10/2007)

                                Multi-million-rupee flyover replete with flaws
The Pakistan Steel (PS) flyover that was built with a cost of Rs220 million is not only suffering from early damages but also
has flaws in it, say observers. The bridge was not leveled at one of its joints which serve almost as a speed breaker while
the tarmac laid by authorities has worn thin due to the heavy movement of vehicular traffic.

The PS flyover was built at the Quaidabad intersection on National Highway to avoid frequent traffic jams which occurred at
this intersection round the clock. Those passing through this intersection praised the authorities, as no traffic jams have
been reported there since the completion of this mega project, opened on trial basis by the PS. However, much to the
dismay of commuters, especially motorcyclists, the newly constructed flyover has a huge flaw in one of its joints. Moreover,
the tracks suffered damages, hours after the opening of the flyover and despite being carpeted twice, they are not in a
condition to facilitate vehicular traffic with rapid movement on the flyover. The commuters have to reduce their speed to five
to 10 km/h to pass over the joints that otherwise cause passing vehicles to jerk. Motorcyclists passing for the first time over
this bridge are at high risk, as they do not expect a newly-built flyover to be in such a condition.

―I sustained severe back injury that lasted a week after I passed over the same flyover without reducing the speed,‖ said
Raheel Khan. ―The purpose of the flyover was to provide rapid movement to traffic. If one has to slow down on a flyover,
then what good are these projects,‖ he questioned. ―The joints are not leveled and I am afraid if it could result into some
disaster one day,‖ he feared. Like Khan, many other commuters also complained that the tarmac of the flyover has worn
thin and slows down the traffic. Besides, the tracks of the flyover also caved in from several points recently, which raise
questions regarding the quality of construction and the material used therein.

When contacted, a PS official told The News that the bridge was opened on a trial basis and the authorities have taken
notice of the initial damages as well as the improperly connected joints. He said that the same would be repaired after Eid
as they didn‘t want to disturb the flow of traffic by closing the bridge during Ramazan. Regarding the roads under and
adjacent the bridge, he said they are supposed to be completed by the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) and not
the PS.

It is worth mentioning here that the Works and Services Department (WSD) of the City District Government Karachi
(CDGK) was ordered to prepare a comprehensive report on the city‘s bridges, directives for which were issued to the city
nazim by the Sindh governor just after the collapse of Northern Bypass bridge. The planning and designing section of the
WSD was supposed to submit the report within 10 days. The WSD Executive District Officer (EDO) Nisar Sario claimed that
the entire report will be complete within the next two to three weeks. Based on the same report, the repair and maintenance
of these bridges will be commenced. However, an official of the city government told The News that this flyover is mainly
the concern of the PS, not of the CDGK; therefore any flaws in it should be repaired by Pakistan Steel.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-20, 09/10/2007)

                                         $5bn refinery approved for Hub
ISLAMABAD, Oct 10: The government approved on Wednesday construction of the Coastal Refinery Project costing $5
billion at Khalifa Point in Hub area of Balochistan.

It also decided to advise the Oil and Gas Development Corporation to allocate and dedicate at least 80 per cent of the
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) produced from Chanda filed for distribution in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas

These decisions were taken at a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet held here on
Wednesday with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in the chair.

Briefing newsmen, Adviser to the Finance Ministry Dr. Ashfaq Hassan Khan said the refinery would be established as a
joint venture by the Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Pak-Arab Refinery
Company (Parco) with equity participation of 74 and 26 per cent, respectively. The project would be completed and
commissioned by the first quarter of 2011.The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources had been allowed to sign the
implementation agreement with IPIC within a month, he added.

Mr Khan said that the project with a refining capacity of 200,000 to 300,000 barrels per day would cost $4-5 billion and the
preliminary work had already been started.
He said that various concessions, including a 20-year tax holiday, exemption from five per cent workers‘ profit participation
and exemption from 0.5 per cent services charges under the export processing zones rules, had been announced for the
project. ―These initiatives would be applicable for all the refineries and petrochemical projects to be installed along the
coastal belt of Balochistan, particularly Gwadar,‖ he added.

Answering a question, the adviser said that the products manufactured by the refinery would be exported as well as sold in
the local market.

The ECC also approved reduction of duty on the import of bitumen from 15 per cent to 5 per cent, he said.

Mr Khan said that a summary for the provision of LPG to Fata had also been approved. He said that the Oil and Gas
Regulatory Authority would ensure that the LPG dedicated from Chanda field was marketed in these areas.
The finance ministry adviser said that the meeting reviewed flour prices and expressed satisfaction over its availability in
the market. He ruled out any increase in flour prices the days ahead. He said as of October 7 the wheat stock stood at 3.79
million tonnes. He said that the foreign exchange reserves reached the highest ever $16.34 billion.

Mr Khan said that the sales of utility stores recorded a three-time increase during Ramazan as compared to the previous
month. He said that the number of utility stores outlets would reach 6,000 by the end of 2007.
(Dawn-1, 11/10/2007)

                                                   Motorcyclist dies
KARACHI, Oct 10: A motorcyclist was killed and his brother injured when their bike was hit by a dumper near Salim Centre
in New Karachi. People caught the driver and handed him over to police. The angry mob also set the dumper on fire.

The dead and injured brothers were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where they were identified as Abubakr and
Shahid, respectively.
(Dawn-17, 11/10/2007)

                                           No sign of CNG buses till Eid
Despite the promises made by the City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal, to bring in the CNG buses to Karachi as soon as
possible, there are no chances of the buses arriving even on Eid. This is because of technical and bureaucratic hurdles.
Sources in the city government told The News that until the federal government makes its policies flexible, these buses
cannot arrive in Karachi. Some of these buses are stuck in Dubai while some are at the Karachi Port. The two private
companies manufacturing these buses are the main hurdle in the delay as they are highly influential and are creating
various obstacles.

Sources said that an agreement with the present company has been rolled back and negotiations with another company
are in process which will be finalised after Eid. One of the businessmen bought 15 Indian buses by getting a grant but then
he cheated the local banks here and now those buses are standing at the port. These buses will have to undergo technical
examination as Indian goods are not allowed in the country under the federal law.

Meanwhile, influential groups in the city continue to approach firms in Holland and provide them information related to the
bus companies. Thus, they are reluctant to export these buses causing delay in the arrival of the buses. Due to these
hurdles chances of importing these buses are bleak. Moreover, the evaluation to establish five CNG stations for these
buses has also been sent in abeyance just because the arrival of these buses is in the dark.

The buses currently operating in the city have become hazardous for the environment and human health. However, these
bus owners have asked the city government to provide a CNG kit so that they may help in reducing environmental pollution.
Also, the CNG owners association in Karachi is demanding that they should be given a chance to import buses along with
the establishment of CNG stations.
(The News-19, 11/10/2007)

                                     One track of Tipu Sultan Road opened
A portion of the under-construction Tipu Sultan Road, Union Council 1, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, has been opened for traffic.
The construction work of the two-kilometre road at a cost of Rs40 million is underway.

Gulshan-e-Iqbal: Muhammad Wasay Jalil, the town nazim, along with the Naib Town Nazim, Shoaib Akhtar visited the
roads and inspected the construction work in the town. Talking to the people, Jalil said that one track of the road has been
opened before Eid as promised, while the construction of other tracks will be completed by the end of November.
He directed the water board officer to immediately solve leakage problems, besides maintaining quality in construction

Site: The municipal administration of the town has established a service centre in order to facilitate the people of the area
on the occasion of Eid. Citizens can visit the service centre or lodge their complaints with it on 8351681.

Malir town: Fumigation drives have been carried out in all the seven union councils (UC) of the town on Thursday. Naib
Nazim Malir Town, Sharafat Ali, monitored the campaign. He directed the director trade organisation, sanitation, to carry
out fumigation around mosques, schools, hospitals, markets, rainwater drains and other important places.

The City District Government Karachi (CDGK) has provided 32 spray vehicles to the town for fumigation and four vehicles
were allocated to each UC for this purpose.
(The News-19, 12/10/2007)

                                Railways seats being sold several times over
Lapses on the part of Pakistan Railways (PR) management and reservation officers have caused extreme hardship to
hundreds of up-country train passengers. The duplicate reservation of seats coupled with unavailability of spare coaches
compelled several passengers to board the trains without any seat(s) while other passengers were seen busy quarreling
with the PR staff at Cantonment Railway Station on Thursday.

During a visit to the Central Railway Station, this correspondent found scores of passengers shouting at the reservation
officers and many of whom were demanding for the refund of their tickets since there were no seats available for them
despite having booked tickets as early as two weeks.

Some of the passengers were seen requesting the booking officers that seat adjustments (arrangements) be made for
them in other trains.
This correspondent was told by some of the passengers that a large number of passengers had to board the Faisalabad-
bound Millat Express without any seats because it had short of bogies.

While those who didn‘t travel standing all the way to Faisalabad demanded the refund of tickets but the booking staff first
sent them to guards for seats adjustment but the latter sent them back to the reservation office for the refund of tickets that
created confusion among the passengers and some of them were found quarrelling with the PR staff.
―We have to travel to our destination without a seat despite having bought a ticket of Rs2000,‖ lamented a passenger of
Millat Express.

―The China made coaches were to be attached to this express but the authorities have attached local coaches which has
created this situation,‖ he added.

It was seen that the Millat Express had bogies attached to it from Tezgam and Buraq but still some four to six bogies were
less than the original length according to which the bookings were made, thus there was a huge shortage of seats. One of
the railway workers told this correspondent that the actual Millat Express was converted into Buraq and already departed
for its destination and this Millat Express was a makeshift express.

The misery of the passengers of Allama Iqbal Express was even worse as scores of passengers were fighting for a single
seat despite having had valid tickets. The train was seen leaving for its destination while the passengers were still trying to
find a bit of space on the foothold. It is worth mentioning here that the PR is not refunding tickets till October 19 as a
measure to discourage black marketing of tickets.

The passengers had to bear the brunt partly due to the culpability of the PR booking staff who issued more number of
tickets against the available seats and partly on the part of the PR management who failed to make arrangements of more

Meanwhile, president of railway workers federation Manzoor Razi has demanded that refunds should be made to those
who could not find a seat despite having had reserved tickets.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-14, 12/10/2007)

                                       Delays list bridge collapse inquiry
KARACHI, Oct 12: Federal minister for Communication Shamim Siddiqui has acknowledged that the inquiry report
pertaining to the Sept 1 collapse of the Shershah bridge, a section of the Northern Bypass, could not be finalised as yet
although he had promised to ensure this before the upcoming Eid. He maintained that the delay was caused by the private
engagements of some members of the inquiry committee.
―But if we manage to finalise the report by the end of this month, still it would not be too late,‖ Mr Siddiqui remarked.

The minister‘s views came on the occasion of the distribution of compensation cheques on Friday among the heirs of the
five people who were killed in the incident.

When asked that what was more important for the inquiry committee members than the task they had been assigned, the
minister argued that neither the committee members nor the others in the ministry or the National Highway Authority
engaged for the purpose were being paid charges for the service and, therefore, they could not be forced to finalise the
report within a deadline.

Mr Siddiqui said he had no idea how much time it would take to complete the inquiry but he realised now that the deadline
set by him was not realistic. He said those responsible would be made to pay the cost of re-building the bridge, adding that
the structure would be restored by August next.
(Dawn-18, 13/10/2007)

                                       Dispute over bylaws on hoardings
KARACHI, Oct 12: While bylaws concerning hoardings have been revised in the wake of the summer storm during which
giant billboards collapsed across the city, the city government has parted ways with the uniform bylaws framed by a
committee headed by the Karachi station commander and is following its own, revised rules, Dawn has learnt.

After the June windstorm during which over a hundred billboards fell in areas controlled by different authorities, a number of
hoardings were removed from all over the city. The lucrative business is now gathering momentum again with advertisers
installing hoardings on the basis of uniform bylaws framed by a committee headed by Brigadier Bashir Gondal of the
Station Headquarters with members representing each land controlling body and the city government.

However, the city government is following its own bylaws, passed by the City Council. Sources in the city government told
Dawn that the body is not bound to follow the bylaws prepared by Brig Gondal‘s committee since the city government‘s
bylaws are more people-friendly and were prepared in view of public safety concerns.

Which bylaws are more people-friendly?
According to Brig Gondal, the installation of billboards on rooftops is not permitted under the new bylaws but the city
government was allowing advertisers to erect signboards on rooftops.

―The city government said merely that hoardings on rooftop should be discouraged but we say that none should be
allowed,‖ he told Dawn. ―Our bylaws are more people-friendly,‖ he maintained. ―We have reduced the maximum hoarding
size to 60x20 feet from the previously allowed 30x90 feet. Earlier, there were no controls on the height of billboards but
under the new bylaws, the maximum height allowed is 35 to 40 feet.‖

Brig Gondal said that there would be no double-storey sites for billboards and other than a few exceptions, a minimum
distance of 50 metres would have to be maintained between two hoardings. No signboard would overhang a footpath or
road and engineers would be required to certify the hoardings‘ ability to withstand wind pressures of 80 nautical miles. He
added that all the members of the committee, including representatives of the city government, had agreed upon the
document and had signed the new bylaws.

‘The committee was misused’
Conversely, city government sources claimed that the committee, formed under the directive of Corps 5, was assigned the
task of resolving disputes of land and jurisdiction but instead prepared new bylaws concerning the installation of hoardings.
―We have our own bylaws so why should we follow new rules?‖ asked a source. ―They misused the committee and we have
communicated our reservations.‖

The city government had wanted a uniform policy regarding the installation of billboards in each area of the city, and had
proposed that the city government collect the advertisement tax while the land controlling authorities concerned should
receive the land tax. However, no progress was made in this regard.

Brig Gondal admitted that the proposal regarding uniform control was still being discussed but many stakeholders have
expressed reservations. Asked about the plan to make all of Sharea Faisal hoarding-free, he said that it had been shelved
because of resistance by several committee members. He added that an implementation board was being constituted to

ensure the proper implementation of the new bylaws and maintained that the Cantonment Board and all other land
controlling authorities are following the new bylaws.

The district officer local taxes, Rehan Khan, told Dawn that he believed that the city government was implementing its
bylaws in an improved form. ―I have formed a six-member committee comprised of representatives of advertising
associations and two officials of the department which will visit and check the stability of billboards installed in the city
government‘s jurisdiction,‖ he stated. He further said that an advertiser must obtain a stability certificate from engineers
registered with the Pakistan Engineering Council and the Karachi Building Control Authority both before and after the
installation of a billboard. ―The city government issues permission to only those hoardings which can withstand wind
pressure of 120 nautical miles,‖ said Mr Khan.

The district office claimed that before the June windstorm, the city government had revised its bylaws under which the
maximum hoarding size allowed was 60x20 feet. ―Very few of our billboards fell during the storm, as compared to those that
collapsed in the jurisdiction of the Cantonment Board, Pakistan Railways and other authorities,‖ he maintained.
(By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque, Dawn-17, 13/10/2007)

                                       Action taken against overcharging
A joint team comprising the Provincial Transport Authority (PTA), Sindh, and Traffic Police, Karachi, officials on Saturday
raided 54 inter-city buses near the Toll Plaza on Super Highway on complaints of over-charging and got the extra money
charged refunded to the passengers.

However, no action other than issuance of challans for violating various traffic laws was taken by the team as it lacks power
to take any effective action against those over-charging from passengers prior to Eid-ul-Fitr.

Secretary PTA, Sindh, Khalid Khan, told The News that on directives from Sindh Transport Minister Adil Siddiqui, a team
comprising PTA and Traffic Police officials checked inter-city buses near Toll Plaza on Super Highway on complaints of
over-charging from the commuters.
He said that out of 54 buses intercepted by the joint team, 47 of seven companies were found guilty of over-charging and
they were forced to refund the extra money to the passengers on the spot.

In addition to that, the traffic police booked those violating traffic rules as no other action could be initiated against them
owing to lack of powers given to the PTA, he said.
He said that around Rs90,000 were refunded to as many as 1,100 passengers who were forced to pay over and above the
fares notified by authorities to the inter-city transport operators.
The companies whose buses were found guilty of overcharging were Makkah, Karachi, Royal City, Sharjah Shalimar,
Shandar, New Shaheen and Blue Lines coaches.
(The News-14, 14/10/2007)

                                         Chundrigar road project delayed
The final asphalt carpeting on I.I.Chundrigar road will be carried out after Eid as most of the workers and labourers have
gone upcountry for the holidays.
So far, the asphalt carpeting has been done just till the Pakistan Telecommunication office, close to daily Jang office. The
carpeting from Jang to Shaheen complex will be done after Eid.

Official sources have told The News that the plan was to finish the job before Eid but the carpeting had to be delayed by the
contractor as some earth-moving vehicles went out of order. Furthermore, sources add that debris on both sides of the road
will be lifted after Eid. Forty-one street lights along the road have been installed while 10 more will be installed after Eid.
These include 400 watt lights, sources said.

A few weeks after the carpeting, cat eyes will be installed on the road.

I.I. Chundrigar road will have a tidal flow of traffic managed by the traffic police during peak hours. The city government
sources said is also considering pitching the cat eyes in the middle lane of the road, so that proper centre division of the
road can be ensured for drivers.
It can be recalled that about six months ago, the State Bank governor of the time had announced a project called the
Beautification of I.I. Chundrigar road. However, only the road was excavated and then Mustafa Kamal, the city nazim, came
in and announced that the project will be finished in four months with storm water drains added to the project.

Kamal pointed out that this road is always inundated during rains only because there was no proper drainage system. Now,
the nazim claims that there will be no water on I.I.Chundrigar road as new storm water drains have been constructed and
old ones streamlined.

The beautification plan was given to a private consultant and it is reported that they have been paid the consultancy money,
but citizens are hoping to see the road match international standards. Kamal announced that different food franchise chains
of the world will be invited to open their chains at the corners of the road.

Sources in State Bank of Pakistan allege that collections have been made by private Banks due to which beautification plan
of this road has been rolled back. One civic expert can‘t help but wonder why such a huge amount was spent on a road
which was already in working condition. Also, public transport is not allowed on the street. Many women working in offices
on this road have made several complaints that public transport should be allowed again but all requests have fallen on
deaf ears.

The present State Bank governor has also announced that a finance district will be established here.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-18, 14/10/2007)

                                                  Uncertainty prevails
Most of Karachiites, including office workers and parents of school-going children, are highly concerned about the city
situation especially about traffic arrangements on Thursday owing to the arrival of Pakistan People‘s Party (PPP)
Chairperson Benazir Bhutto, as thousands of people are expected to gather on Sharea Faisal to welcome her at the airport.

People called newspaper and TV channel offices to inquire as to whether or not there was any holiday declared in the city
amid fears that major city arteries, particularly Sharea Faisal and Shahrah-e-Quaideen, would be closed for traffic on the
morning of October 18.

General Manager of a private firm told that their workers who come from distant areas, such as Malir, Korangi, New Karachi
and Gulistan-e-Jauhar have expressed their inability to reach the office on the morning of October 18 fearing closure of
roads, adding that they have demanded for making stay arrangements near the office on Wednesday night.

People belonging to essential services, especially doctors, are also worried about the situation on the roads. However, they
expressed determination to reach hospitals as there would be more pressure on health facilities on Thursday owing to
apprehended accidents and untoward incidents.

Dr Shahid, who works at Aga Khan University Hospital and lives in Defence, said that he usually takes the route of Sharea
Faisal to reach the hospital but on Thursday morning he would certainly face difficulty in reaching at the health facility.
―But let‘s see what happens on Thursday. The situation will become clear by tomorrow (Wednesday), otherwise I‘ll have to
stay at the hospital in order to be able to report to duty on Thursday morning,‖ he said.

Till the filing of this report, no alternate traffic arrangements or contingency plan had been notified by the city traffic police
and the people were unclear which roads of the city would be closed on Thursday.
It is worth mentioning here that thousands of people, mostly PPP workers and sympathisers, are expected to turn up on
Sharea Faisal on Thursday morning from all parts of Pakistan to greet their leader, who is returning to the country after
eight years of self-imposed exile.
(The News-13, 17/10/2007)

                                        Police told to continue drive
                              SHC says no fitness papers for polluting vehicles
KARACHI, Oct 17: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the traffic police to continue their drive against smoke-
emitting and noise-creating vehicles and ensure no vehicle ran on city roads without fitness certificates.
The SHC division bench comprising Justice Musheer Alam and Justice Mohammad Afzal Soomro was hearing a petition
filed by Advocate Islamuddin against smoke-emitting and noise-creating vehicles as well as against illegal bus terminals in
the city.

It directed the traffic police not to issue or renew fitness certificates of vehicles harming humans and the atmosphere
through smoke and noise pollution.

Traffic DIG Wajid Ali Durrani appearing on court notice stated that action against polluting vehicles on court direction had
been initiated by the traffic police. He submitted details of the action taken by traffic police against polluting vehicles from
Jan 1 to Oct 16 and after the court order dated Sept 20.
He stated that since the vehicles were too many, a visible difference could not be noticed. Traffic police would continue
action against vehicles for further three months after which, he said, the difference would be noticeable.

According to a report, some 1,394 vehicles, including 434 rickshaws, 290 buses, 113 mini-buses, 34 coaches, 201 mini-
trucks, 176 oil tankers, 53 water tankers, 23 taxis, 49 pickups, 11 cars and three motorcycles, were detained for three days
for emitting excess smoke from Sept 22 to Oct 16. Rs279,000 fine was also imposed on the operators of those vehicles.
It said fitness certificates of some 675 different vehicles were suspended in the said period during road checking while 963
vehicles were rejected at the inspection ground at time of issuance, renewal of fitness certificates.

Traffic police challaned some 18,330 vehicles and imposed Rs2,702,500 fine from Jan 1 to Oct 16. It also detained some
2,315 vehicles and suspended fitness certificates of 3,466 others during road checking and rejected some 8,655 vehicles at
the inspection ground.

Ayaz Siddiqui, a transport department official, submitted that the Sindh government was also working on a policy of
weeding out all old public service vehicles in phases, taking into consideration various factors.
He requested for the extension of the date up to June 30, 2010, after which the two-stroke vehicles would not be allowed to
ply in the province. However, the government could immediately stop plying of such vehicles if the SHC did not allow any

The SHC division bench, after the perusal of the record, ordered the release of vehicles which kept standard of smoke
emitting and noise pollution and fulfilled the requirements to save lives and the atmosphere.
(Dawn-19, 18/10/2007)

                       No vehicle shall ply without fitness certificate, directs SHC
The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the traffic police to ensure that no vehicle without a fitness certificate shall ply on
the city roads. The direction came on a petition moved by a lawyer Islamuddin against smoke-emitting and noise-creating
vehicles and illegal bus terminals in the city.

The court observed that in case any vehicle that creates problems on account of smoke emission and noise pollution and
posing danger not only to atmosphere but also to human health, its fitness certificate shall not be issued or renewed.

The court ordered that fitness certificates may be issued only to such vehicles which meet the standard of smoke emission
and noise pollution and fulfill the requirement to save the lives of citizens and atmosphere of Karachi.

Following the SHC direction, DIG Traffic Wajid Khan submitted a detailed report regarding the action taken against smoke-
emitting and noise-creating vehicles. On previous hearing the SHC had prescribed procedure for implementation of court
orders regarding smoke-emitting vehicles.

According to the report, as many as 1,394 smoke-emitting vehicles including buses, mini-buses, coaches, trucks and
trailers were detained for three days from September 22 to October 16, 2007, and aggregated Rs.2,79,000 challans were
imposed on drivers and operators.

Fitness certificates of as many as 675 vehicles were suspended during road checking while as many as 938 vehicles were
rejected during inspection at the time of issuance or renewal of fitness certificates due to excessive smoke-emission.

With regard to action being taken against smoke-emitting vehicles since January 1, 2007, the DIG submitted that as many
as 2315 vehicles were detained, fitness certificates of 3466 vehicles were suspended, while 8655 vehicles were rejected
during inspection at the time of issuance of fitness certificates.

The report further stated that 18,330 vehicles were challaned and aggregated Rs. 27,02,500 fine was imposed on drivers
and operators.

The DIG said that the number of smoke-emitting vehicles is sizable in the city, therefore, visible differences could not be
noticed. However, he said that if such exercise is continued for further three months it will be noticed properly.

City District Government Karachi informed the court that following Supreme Court‘s suo moto notice over traffic jams, the
city government has imposed ban on the operation of two-stroke rickshaws on Shahrah-e-Pakistan from Sohrab Goth to

Section Officer of Transport Department Ayaz A Siddiqui requested that cutoff date for removal of two-stroke rickshaws be
extended up to June 30, 2010 after which they will not be allowed to ply in the province. He said the government could
immediately stop the plying of two-stroke rickshaws but people belonging to low income group may suffer due to such

SHC‘s division bench comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Mohammad Afzal Soomro observed that it is expected
from traffic police that court‘s direction will continue to be followed and directed DIG Traffic to submit report on the next date
of hearing.

November 21 has been fixed as the next date of hearing.

On April 26, 2006, the court had ordered DIG Traffic to ensure that no smoke-emitting and noise-creating vehicles should
ply in the city after three months and DIG was accorded full authority to impound any such vehicles after the three-month

On September 20 this year, SHC prescribed procedure for implementation of court orders regarding smoke-emitting

According to the procedure, adopted by consent by the counsel of provincial and city governments, rickshaw owners and
the petitioner, the court ordered that all vehicles (not limited to motor rickshaws) found emitting smoke more than the level
prescribed by the Environmental Protection Agency shall on the first occasion be challaned but even after the payment of
challan fees they will be detained and released only after a period of three days; if the same vehicle commits the same
offence its detention period shall be extended to seven days; and on third such offence its detention period be extended
to15 days.

The court ordered that if the same vehicle commits the offence for the fourth time the same should be permanently
removed from the road and should not be granted any further licence or road permit to operate in the city. The petition is
pending in SHC since February 2004.
(By Jamal Khurshid, The News, 18/10/2007)

                            What’s the city without its two main thoroughfares?
The entire city is very likely to be hit by massive traffic jams as the two main thoroughfares of the city, as well as most key
arteries, would be closed to all kind of traffic as part of the security arrangements for the arrival of PPP Chairperson Benazir
Bhutto here on Thursday (today).
Those going to and coming from the Quid-e-Azam International Airport would likely be the worst sufferers owing to very
tight security and traffic diversions.

Vehicular traffic would not be allowed on major parts of Sharea Faisal (the route of the welcome rally) and M.A. Jinnah
Road and the PPP rally would make its way from terminal one to Mazar-e-Quid via Sharea Faisal. Consequently, owing to
the considerably hightened volume of vehicles, alternative roads are likely to witness traffic congestion.

Furthermore, a massive public meeting is to be addressed by Benazir at the Mazar-e-Quid, therefore all the arteries linking
with it would remain closed to vehicular traffic. According to traffic plan, no one would be allowed to use Sharea Faisal to
get to the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport.

Moreover, the road from Pehelwan Goth leading to the airport would also remain closed since Bhutto is arriving at terminal
one (old airport) which is located on this road.

Consequently, those using Sharea Faisal and terminal one road would have to take University Road all the way to Malir
Cantt to get to the airport through Cantonment Area and Model Colony.

Those living in Defence and Clifton may use either Korangi Road or Mill Area Road to get to Quaidabad intersection and
then to the National Highway to get to the airport.

Under the traffic plan, people from Malir, Landhi, Korangi and Bin Qasim towns would not be affected as they can use the
National Highway to get to the airport.
―Only terminal one has been closed to traffic as Benazir is arriving at this terminal,‖ said DIG traffic Wajid Ali Khan Durrani.

When asked that the general public is not allowed to enter Malir Cantonment Area without a valid pass, he said that they
have coordinated with them (authorities concerned) and there would be no problem for public entering the Cantonment
(The News, 18/10/2007)

                                    Steps for traffic improvement reviewed
KARACHI, Oct 20: The City Government of Karachi has completed planning for eliminating all the 45 pedestrian ‗black
spots‘ in the city. In this regard, Karachi DCO Javed Hanif on Saturday held a meeting to review the steps taken in the light
of the Supreme Court directive to overcome the traffic pressure in Karachi.

The CDGK‘s transport department presented its suggestions for eliminating the pedestrian black spots.

The EDO for transport told the meeting that according to the decision taken at the Sept 27 meeting of the DCO, work on
survey of such black spots had been started jointly by the transport department and traffic police.
This survey had been completed in Traffic Zone-IV and the meeting was briefed on traffic problems and proposals for their
solution at 15 such locations.
It was decided that implementing the transport department‘s proposals would begin on Monday.

The DCO asked the transport department to make coordinated efforts for controlling traffic pressure and traffic accidents
through road engineering measures and enforcement of traffic laws.
The need was stressed to do away with the illegal parking of trucks, illegal openings in the median of roads on Mauripur,
Hawkesbay and Gulbai roads, ICI Chowrangi, Habib Bank Chowk and Shahrah-i-Orangi in Traffic Zone-IV.
(Dawn-19, 21/10/2007)

                    Bridge collapse: Inquiry Committee still grappling for answers
Nearly six weeks after the collapse of a bridge on the Northern Bypass, questions are being raised over the manner in
which the inquiry committee appointed to probe the incident is handling the matter.

The NHA claims that all is going according to plan and that those who are responsible would be identified. But architectural
experts are raising several questions over the methods being used to investigate the collapse of the Northern Bypass
bridge. They say that a cover up job is in progress.
The bridge of the Northern Bypass collapsed on September 1. Many people were also injured in the incident. It may be
mentioned that the state owned National Highway Authority had awarded the contract of constructing Northern Bypass to
the army-run National Logistic Cell (NLC).

The construction of the bridge was a part of the larger Northern Bypass contract. NLC had also appointed Engineering
Consultants International (Pvt) Limited (ECIL), as consultants to the project.

ECIL is a Karachi based company which was established in 1959. ECIL is one of the largest private sector consulting
companies in Pakistan, operating for the past 44 years in various fields of Engineering. It specializes in Geographical
Information Science (GIS) and Remote Sensing Applications. There are many who say that ECIL may have not seen the
collapse owing to its lack of experience in the area of bridge construction.
It may be recalled that at the time of the collapse of the bridge, it was decided that the investigation report in this regard
would be made public on completion. Till filing of the story nothing has been finalized by the inquiry committee despite the
passage of more than six weeks.

Experts who asked not to be named said that the majority of the members of the inquiry committee have no experience
regarding designing of bridges. It is also a standard practice that in such mega projects, a a vetting consultant is also
appointed. According to the experts, the NHA had not appointed any such vetting consultant in the Northern Bypass
project. This has caused many eyebrows to be raised.

There is more than meets the eye, they add. For example, some say that the wreckage of the bridge was actually evidence
which was hurriedly removed by the FWO before experts could examine it.

When this incident occurred there were reports that design of the bridge was made in such a manner so as to save the
private property of some influential persons. Experts said during the construction of Lyari Expressway, some villages were
demolished to ensure that the road angle was not compromised.

The demolition of Hasan Olya, a century old village, is an example of how hurdles were removed in the way of some project
by strictly applying the law. So were the graves of Morairo, a the historical founders of the city. A CM appointed inquiry, like
most such inquiries, has simply disappeared into oblivion. But the power to tear down private property if it interferes with a
public project remains with the government.

The Land Acquisition Act empowers the authorities concerned to acquire land that is creating hurdles in materialization of
some project. Land could also be acquired at Sher Shah as well while constructing the bridge which might have avoided
the design fault which led to the eventual collapse.

According to a source in NHA, the NLC informed NHA about the fault of design on number of occasions which was okayed
by NHA. Social activist Muhammad Nauman who teaches at NED University confirmed that NHA did not appoint any
vetting consultant for this complex bridge of big magnitude.
He said during 2006, the problem related to the placing of girders was highlighted and work was stopped. ―Why did the
NHA not seek advice from an independent consultant instead of accepting a foreigner consultant of dubious credentials
nominated by ECIL? Why did NHA select ECIL which does not have experts in designing a bridge with serpentine
contours?‖ queries Nauman.

He further said that conduct of NHA in managing such projects is highly objectionable. ―An ndependent judicial committee
should be appointed because the government appointed committee will never punish the culprits,‖ he said.
When contacted, however, the Chairman, NHA, Major General Imtiaz Ahmed denied that inquiry committee constituted for
investigating the incident lacked expertise regarding bridges. ―The committee has members who have diverse experience
of probing the incident,‖ he claimed. While replying to another query he said that wreckage of the bridge was only removed
from the site when required evidences were collected accordingly.

―We seeked permission in writing from the contractor, inquiry committee and from the designer to remove the debris. But
before this step, we gathered photographic evidences and collected simples of the bridge and then the wreckage was
removed,‖ Major General Imtiaz Ahmed said.

To another query that when the NLC had earlier informed NHA about the fault of the bridge, why did the HA not stop
construction he accepted: ―Due consideration should have been given to this view point also. Such things could not be

He said this is the basic purpose of the formation of inquiry committee to establish who is accountable regarding the
incident but added that the NHA had vetted the project by the international consultant. He did not comment on the
credentials of this consultant.

There are too many questions that remain unanswered. The most pressing is whether the inquiry committee will give its
verdict and whether it will be fair and professional. One can only hope at this stage.
(By Qadeer Tanoli, The News-20, 21/10/2007)

                        Commuters stuck in traffic jams after prolonged holiday
After prolonged break, commuters in Karachi were out and about on Monday, only to get stuck in traffic jams. These
gridlocks occurred on University Road, Rashid Minhas Road and Lasbella Chowk. The faulty vehicles and under-
construction roads caused this, said traffic police.

It was Eid coupled with the post-Eid violence that kept most vehicular traffic off the road. The office-bound commuters,
students and other people faced problems in reaching their destinations as unfit vehicles caused a massive gridlock on
University Road. Sources from traffic police told The News that a dumper broke down on University Road leading to Nipa
near Bait-ul-Mukkaram Masjid. Moreover, a public bus also developed a fault on the same road towards old Sabzi Mandi
early in the morning. Consequently, vehicular traffic on both tracks came to a halt due to a massive gridlock.

Along with this, another vehicle broke down at Gulshan Chowrangi that has already been reduced due to the on-going
construction, resulting in a prolonged traffic jam on Rashid Minhas Road. The traffic started moving at a normal pace only
when these vehicles were removed, said sources. A passenger of Niaz Coach told The News that she got stuck in a
bumper-to-bumper traffic jam at Golimar due to a gridlock at Lasbella Chowk. The closure of the Business Recorder Road
has been causing frequent traffic jams at this intersection and, at times, vehicular traffic from Golimar Bridge (that passes
over the Lyari River ) up to Lasbella Chowk remains highly congested.

One track of the Business Recorder Road has been dug up and two-way traffic is using the other track, one of the main
reasons for the jam at Lasbella Chowk. Commuters who pass by this point said no development work is being carried out
but the road remains dug up. A resident of New Town Thana complained that for the past eight months, he has not
witnessed any labourer working here. Furthermore, he said that if he stands outside his house for five minutes he has to
change his clothes due to dust caused by the debris of the dug-up road.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-19, 23/10/2007)

                                  CDGK wants permanent traffic volunteers
KARACHI, Oct 23: Although the Sindh government has asked the city government to continue with its traffic volunteer
system in the metropolis, the latter is unwilling to do so on a temporary basis and without regulatory powers.

During Ramazan, the city government and certain towns had engaged volunteers to assist traffic police in ensuring a
smooth flow of traffic on busy thoroughfares in the morning and evening peak hours.
The services of over 1,500 volunteers were hired only for one month and at present the city‘s traffic is being regulated by
traffic police only. But a shortage of manpower makes it almost impossible for traffic police to effectively regulate the
uncontrolled traffic of the city.

Sources in the city government told Dawn that the Sindh governor, the inspector-general of police and the chief secretary
wanted the volunteer system to be in place on a permanent basis in order to improve the worsening traffic situation of the

However, the sources said City Nazim Mustafa Kamal repeated his demand that the provincial government place traffic
police under the administrative control of the city government and delegate powers to volunteers so that they could
effectively regulate traffic and take action against violators.

Mr Kamal told Dawn that the city government was ready to hire the services of volunteers on a contract basis provided the
Sindh government delegated the regulatory authority to it. ―I have approached the Sindh government to seek the authority
to regulate traffic as we cannot work without having powers to book smoke-emitting vehicles or other traffic violators.―We
have already proved that traffic regulation is basically the responsibility of the local government and we can also help solve

the traffic problem on a permanent basis if the Sindh government places traffic police under the city government‘s
administrative control,‖ he said.

The sources said the Sindh government was considering delegating authority to the city government‘s volunteers but it was
reluctant to place traffic police under its control owing to the fact that the force was being assigned VVIP duties.

―The Sindh government‘s response is very positive and if they delegate authority to us, we will be able to introduce the
traffic warden system within a fortnight after making necessary recruitment,‖ Mr Kamal added.
However, he did not agree to the notion that the traffic volunteers or warden would also indulge in corrupt practices as did
most of the traffic police officials. ―Our 18 town nazims and 178 union council nazims will put a strict check on the traffic
wardens. Besides, people can also lodge their complaints on citizens‘ complaint and information management system or on
‗1339‘ and we will maintain zero tolerance for those found guilty of misconduct.‖

About the hiring process, he said that the whole process would be transparent and would not be tainted by allegations of
favouritism. He said some 6,000 volunteers were needed to regulate traffic in the metropolis. However, in the first phase
2,000 volunteers would be enough to work with the existing strength of traffic police, he added.

Meanwhile, keeping in view the ongoing development work to build flyovers, Gulshan-i-Iqbal Town is going to resume its
traffic volunteer system next week.

Gulshan Town nazim Wasey Jalil told Dawn that some 50 to 60 volunteers would be assisting traffic police at four busy
points of the town from Monday. ―I have proposed to the city nazim to allow the resumption of this system on a permanent
basis all over the city.‖
(By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque, Dawn-19, 24/10/2007)

                                     Orders to use media for traffic updates
KARACHI, Oct 23: Sindh Chief Secretary Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi has directed the provincial secretary transport and deputy
inspector-general of traffic police to urge electronic media to inform motorists about alternative routes in order to avoid
traffic jams.

Presiding over a meeting at his office on Tuesday, he said an effective strategy be adopted to keep commuters updated
about traffic congestions so that they could opt for alternative routes.

Mr Qureshi said motorists could get the latest information regarding traffic situation on phone by dialing 915.
He asked traffic department to ensure dispensation of traffic information through radio and TV channels.
The meeting was held to review traffic system and ways to avoid traffic gridlock on various arteries during peak hours in the
backdrop of press reports regarding traffic jams on important arteries causing inconvenience to commuters.
(Dawn-18, 24/10/2007)

                                                   Traffic engineering
ASK any commuter about his/her greatest fear on Karachi roads today and the most frequent reply will probably be: ‗A
massive traffic jam‘ — not an accident as it used to be a decade ago.

No doubt, the Traffic Engineering (TE) Bureau and the city government have both worked hard to improve the road traffic,
condition of roads and the city traffic jams but a lot more is required to be done in this regard.
I am not a student of TE but the traffic mess compounding every year compels us to think aloud.
To cite just our case of room for improvements, let us take the example of a one km road starting from the City School, PAF
chapter, to the end of the Baloch Colony flyover.

This flyover is not designed to match the flow of traffic. There is maximum traffic (coming from Korangi and Defence) going
over the flyover, then turning right (towards Karsaz) and then moving in all directions (Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Nazimabad-
Liaqatabad signal-free corridor to the left, straight onwards to Drigh Road, Malir, Landhi and National Highway). There
should have been an independent ‗double-tier two-traffic lane‘, which is not there.

The same applies for the two up and down traffic lanes from Sharea-i-Faisal to this bridge for the traffic turning to their right
(from Nursery towards Korangi and from Karsaz towards Bahadurabad).
It is a complex crossroads situation no doubt, but that is where TEB is required to come in and play its part in designing
flyovers to ease the flow of traffic.

What a pity that instead of independent lanes turning right, a traffic signal is installed on the bridge, thus compelling all
kinds of vehicles, including HTV, stalled on the bridge and its ramp, waiting for their turn at the signal in order to turn right
or cross the bridge.

Flyovers are certainly not designed to withstand long queues of stalled traffic on them frequently, endangering their

Especially ours with less than 50 per cent of project cost actually going towards construction (including labour material and
all) and the rest as ‗bounty‘.

To make things worse, the road island at the signal for traffic (turning right to Karsaaz) has been so poorly designed that
only one vehicle can safely pass at a time. Therefore, most vehicles go the wrong way over this island. The signal is also
not set correctly, thus blocking two lanes intended for the traffic going straight to Bahadurabad, putting extra load on the

Next, coming down from this bridge towards the City School, huge traffic jams occur on every school day caused by
vehicles dropping and picking up the students.
Though there is enough space, for a wide service lane or multiple pick and drop lanes, on both sides of the main road, it is
now occupied by some grass and a few plants.

The TEB is requested to carefully study the flow of traffic pattern on the Baloch Colony flyover for improvements to avoid
traffic jams and overloading of this bridge before its collapse like the Shershah flyover.
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 24/10/2007)

                                              KEE project put on hold
The biggest project in the city, the Karachi Elevated Expressway (KEE), which was to stretch from the Jinnah Bridge all the
way to Quaidabad, has been held in abeyance at the moment and could further be delayed, well placed sources told The
News here in an exclusive interview.

Sources said that the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) had sent a summary to the federal government along with
a proposal which suggests that the Expressway, instead of being constructed directly over Sharea Faisal, should be
errected along the railway tracks parallel to the city‘s main thoroughfare.

By this, the city government believes that the cost of the project would be reduced by 40 per cent. Moreover, the railway
land in question, which at present has lot of encroachments, could be cleared when this project is launched.
The city government sources said that Pakistan Railways (PR) has already agreed to such a proposal. The
recommendation in this regard has been sent to the secretary, railways, and very soon a meeting between officials of the
city government and PR will be held.

When the city government had initiated this project the PR had refused to give their land for this purpose and demanded
billions of rupees for it. Due to this, the city government signed an agreement to construct the KEE above Sharea Faisal.
So far, Phase-I of the agreement has been completed which includes feasibility of the project, designing and drawing and,
finally, soil testing as per the agreement.
The estimated cost of the KEE is $350 million and it is 24.5 kilometres in length.

Phase-I of the agreement was signed on March 2006 and the KEE was inaugurated by President Musharraf on February 9.
Despite the passage of eight months, the Phase—II of the agreement between the IJM Corporation, the firm contracted to
build the project, and the city government has yet to be signed.

Informed sources said that securities, guarantees and assurances have been demanded by both the parties. If the
securities are not delivered, Phase-II of the agreement could never materialise.

The sources said this was also one of the causes of the delay and that, without Phase-II, groundwork could never begin.
On the other hand, the city government is waiting for a green signal from PR.
The city government has said that in light of this deal they would make provisions for fast tracks and circular railway tracks
to the PR.

The 24 kilometre elevated expressway was proposed for Karachi, already with a population of 14 million and spread over
an area of 1800 square kilometres, keeping in mind the city‘s growing population and subsequent daily growth in the
number of vehicles.

The KEE has been opposed by various civic and environmental experts in the city but President Musharraf, in his inaugural
address, had urged the environmental experts to let the project materialise and said that nothing will affect the environment.
The sources said the IJM Corporation officials appear to be worried about the changes in the project as these changes
have not been officially conveyed to them by the city government.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-13, 24/10/2007)

               Cabinet okays sale of SRTC assets to district govts : Debt retirement
KARACHI, Oct 24: The Sindh government has decided to hand over all properties, including land, workshop and depots,
belonging to the defunct Sindh Road Transport Corporation to the district governments after its valuation by the approved
assignee of the State Bank of Pakistan.

Briefing journalists about the decisions taken by the cabinet at its meeting here on Wednesday, Chief Minister Dr Arbab
Ghulam Rahim said that a committee comprising secretaries of the local government, finance and law departments would
supervise the entire process of valuation. The amount of the assessed value would be recovered from the district
governments and the collected funds would be utilised in the repayment of the loans obtained from the World Bank and
spent on the disbursement of the dues to the SRTC employees under the ―golden handshake‖ scheme.

The chief minister, who was accompanied by his adviser Maj (r) Hamid Abdi, and Information Secretary Fasihuddin Khan,
said that the cabinet also gave approval to the setting up of the proposed ―Garment City‖ and ―Textile City‖ which would be
spread over an area of 300 acres and 1,250 acres, respectively. The land would be transferred to the Port Qasim Authority
(PQA) at a nominal rate of Rs1 million per acre. The lands would later be allotted to the interested entrepreneurs.
However, it was made clear that the allotted land would not be allowed to be used for any purposes other than the specified

The cabinet deferred a decision on the bids received in connection with the privatisation of Thatta Sugar Mills and Dadu
Sugar Mills, citing that the offers fell below the reserved valuation.
The cabinet decided to transfer the land reserved for a sports complex on M.A. Jinnah Road to the sports department on a
99-year lease for the construction of the proposed facility. The sports department would build it on a private-public
partnership basis. Sixty per cent of the project site area would be used for the construction of the sports complex and the
rest for commercial purposes, it noted.

In reply to a question, the chief minister said that his government would remain in power till Dec 11, 2007. He, however,
added that the date was extendable depending on the situation and developments.
(Dawn-19, 25/10/2007)

                                                       Road caves in
KARACHI, Oct 24: A wide-crater developed in the middle of the PIDC House section of Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road on
Wednesday when a 72-inch diameter sewer caved in, causing overflowing of sewage all around.
The incident also led to a traffic mess at the PIDC intersection and the link roads, including those housing the Governor‘s
House and the CM‘s House.

The major sewerage line sank 20 feet deep down and the KWSB‘s zonal chief engineer, Najam-e-Alam Siddiqui, stated
that the repair work would take at least two days to complete. During the repair work, he added, various localities of the old
city areas like Kharadar, Mithadar, Haqqani Chowk, Pakistan Chowk, Ramswami, Ranchor Line, Saddar, Burnes Road etc
would experience sewerage problems.
(Dawn-19, 25/10/2007)

                                Two hurt as portion of Ziauddin Road caves in
Two riders on a motorcycle fell into a hole as the road caved in on main Ziauddin Ahmed Road near the PIDC branch of the
National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Wednesday evening.

Eyewitnesses said that the road caved in as the motorcycle passed over it, leaving a gaping hole at least 30 feet deep.
A constable in the area from the Artillery Maidan Police Station said that the road had caved in even though it had just been
built, and there was a sewage line underneath. The police stationed in the area cordoned off the area as the road
surrounding the hole was also suspected to be too frail to hold much weight.
The injured men who had fallen inside were brought out with the help of ropes, but the motorcycle was not removed

The police and Rangers reached the scene later.
The cordoned-off area resulted in a massive traffic jam in the surrounding areas, as two-way traffic was made to run on one
side of the road.

According to the Nazim of Saddar Town, Dilawar, the water and sewerage line that was passing below the section of the
road dropped a few feet because of which the road also caved in.

However the Vice-Chairman of the Water Board, Imamuddin Shahzad, rebutted this, saying that although they had fixed
the pipeline, they had cordoned off the area and even put a board warning that the road was not yet ready for use.
However, he said, the board was removed twice, and the road was still in use.
―After fixing the pipeline, we leave the road for some time without being used so that we can assess whether or not it is in a
workable condition,‖ he said.
(By Xari Jalil, The News-13, 25/10/2007)

                                              Solution to the traffic chaos
THE DIG (traffic), when he gave Sami Mustafa (Oct 22) clichéd reasons for the traffic mess in Karachi, was doing what the
bureaucrats in Pakistan have always done: blame everything on congenital causes that defy resolution of problems.
This attitude breeds defeatism. It turns challenges into insurmountable hurdles and leaders into fatalists. It is this attitude
which Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore‘s founding father and prime minister, identified as Pakistan‘s major problem when he
visited here some years ago. Significantly, he did not say the problem was insurmountable.

The DIG may be right when he blames the traffic mess on lack of public transport, insufficient flyovers and underpasses,
shortage of ‗nafree‘ (policemen), money and equipment. He did the right thing to invite Mr Mustafa to suggest ways to
improve the situation and Sami made the right suggestions.

But then fatalism took over. The police stance was : ‗People are inherently undisciplined‘, ‗enforcement of traffic laws
causes people to protest‘, etc.

However, all this has to change, and change through the leadership of the country who must first change their level of
national consciousness before changing that of the people at large. If people are ‗undisciplined‘, so are the leaders. If
drivers of bus, tankers and others break traffic laws, so do bureaucrats, generals and politicians.
The first thing the police chief should consider, if he is serious about bringing some order to the traffic chaos in the city, is to
find a way to get his own officers to respect these.

No car with the Sindh police number plate and no police mobile should be seen jumping the traffic light etc.
Next, the police chief should crack down hard on all government vehicles. Armed forces vehicles whether flag cars or
trucks should not be above traffic laws. They must adhere to these and be booked for violations.

Now if the police chief stops being fatalistic he can do much to make all above happen. If he can get his own force to
respect, what the force is supposed to enforce, he would have made a strong statement. He can then strategise to get the
Sindh government to agree for him to go for official cars and vehicles which violate traffic laws.

His strategy may involve discreet winning of media support and public backing for this. If the media and the public can see
the change of disciplined movement of police vehicles, the police chief will find both his useful and voluble allies for similar
change in the movement of official vehicles.

With the cars and vehicles of the police force and of Sindh government in the bag, the armed forces will be hard put not to
fall in line.

If official cars and vehicles are seen to be subjected to traffic laws, it would create a new respect for these laws, and for the
traffic police, in the public mind.
This is the message the police chief has to get across to his own force, to the Sindh government and to the armed forces.
An admittedly ‗easier said than done‘ type task, but not fatalistic.

The main hurdle will be the feeling of ‗loss of status‘ by bureaucrats, generals and politicians for whom waiting at a red light,
or not being able to park in ‗no parking‘ zones, would amount to loss of face.
The police chief can safely tell the Sindh government that so long as official vehicles, whose numbers are not
inconsequential, remain above the law, there is no way he can get the others to respect and follow the law.

Conversely, if the official vehicles abide by the law, that would be better than half the battle won. He can cope with, tackle,
and win the other half.

As long as there are distinct groups in the country that are clearly seen to be above the law, there will remain the traffic
chaos on the streets and disorder in the country.
(Dawn-6, Letter to the Editor, 26/10/2007)

                                             Gridlocks at Ziauddin Road
Following the caving in of a portion of Ziauddin Ahmed Road, the surrounding artries are undergoing severe traffic strain
and blockage. An integral part of the city, this is one of the busier roads in Karachi, and the lack of traffic free-flow has been
causing a problem to the rest of the peripheral routes.
To solve the problem temporarily, there has been more traffic police deployed in the area, according to Sub-Inspector
Liaquat Ali.

―There are three men deployed right in front of the Chief Minister‘s House, and we have changed the mini-bus routes and
made them diverge in the lane opposite the CM House. We have had a very hectic day since yesterday because of the
road caving in.‖

Constable Zulfikar Iqbal, also present on the road says that the road had caved in not only because of the pipeline that had
sunk in but also because underneath the pipeline there was a void, which made the whole area too weak to take the weight
of so many vehicles, and it finally collapsed after the motorcycle passed over it.
―The pipeline is six feet under the road, but below that there was a hole of at least 20 to 22 feet. When the bike passed over
the road, it suddenly caved in. We called the authorities and told them to fix the patch because it has been causing a lot of
traffic problems.‖

According to the traffic police officials, it is the CDGK (Saddar Town) which is constructing the road. Various attempts were
made in order to contact the Saddar Town Nazim for comments regarding the incident and the problem being faced by the
commuters in the area, but there was no reply.

Passengers also complained of the busy road. ―We try to get home early after a tough day at work, and want to relax, but
the only thing we go through on the road while retuning home is stress,‖ says one.
―It is indeed something strange that all the road problems only seem to happen in Karachi and that too continuously,‖ says
another man sarcastically. ―I have been to other cities in the country, but all these problems seem to be concentrated in this
city. When is the government going to stop being reckless not only with the condition of the civic services, but also with
public safety?‖

There is a controversy regarding the responsibility of this incident. When spoken to earlier, the Saddar Town Nazim had
said that it was the Water Board‘s responsibility who had left the hole hollow to such an extent that it was not filled in

On the other hand, the Vice-Chairman of the Water Board refused to accept the blame and said that this was incorrect, and
that even though the road had been fixed, it should not have been used till it was declared fit for use by the authorities.

The traffic police say that according to the information they have received word the construction on the road will begin by
Thursday night and is expected to complete by morning.
(By Xari Jalil, The News-14, 26/10/2007)

                        KTI chief admits paying millions in bribes to traffic police
KARACHI, Oct 27: The performance of Karachi‘s traffic police came under fire at a seminar held here on Saturday where a
transporters‘ representative conceded giving millions of rupees in bribes to the police on a monthly basis so that they could
turn a blind eye towards violations.

The disclosure was made by the President of the Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI), Irshad Hussain Bukhari, in the presence
of DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani and other senior government officials at the seminar titled ‗Managing cities: The transport
dilemma‘ organised by Shehri, a non-governmental organisation.

Mr Bukhari went on to say that monthly bribes were also being paid to senior police officers. He agreed when a participant
said that transporters were violating the law but added that ―we violate the law as others also do. Everyone in this country is
violating the law.‖

DIG Durrani admitted to the existence of bribery within the system and promised to eliminate it but clarified that ―this would
be abolished gradually as nothing can be changed overnight.‖
He asked Mr Bukhari why the transporters were bribing the police, to which the KTI chief innocently replied that they had no
other option as the police would impound their vehicles. He did not promise to help the DIG traffic when he asked him to
come up with cases so that he could take action against the responsible persons.
The participants stressed the need for revamping the traffic police along modern lines and their proper training as part of a
sustainable solution.

Earlier, the KTI president reacted strongly when it was suggested that hefty fines be imposed on smoke-emitting public
vehicles. He said that police mobiles and vehicles of the city government were also emitting smoke and action should also
be taken against them instead of targeting the transporters alone.
He threatened to go on strike if the traffic police tried to fine violators as is done in Lahore.
He lashed out at traffic volunteers, who were posted on various thoroughfares during Ramazan by the towns and city
government, and termed them workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
―We do not accept MQM workers as traffic volunteers. If they have sticks in their hands then we will arm our drivers with
sticks,‖ he threatened.

‘Motorcyclists to blame’
DIG Durrani, however, held motorcyclists responsible for the traffic mess in the city instead of public transporters. He said
that about 1,000 motorcyclists were being fined on a daily basis.
―Earlier, due to political reasons we were directed not to fine motorcyclists. I overruled this directive because they are
creating a mess,‖ he added. He was of the view that roads should be repaired and encroachments should be removed for
improving the traffic situation in the city.

According to the DIG, the reason behind ineffective traffic policing was the lack of resources and the shortage of strength.
―On Sharea Faisal, where 32 of our officers are working in one shift, we are enforcing the law very effectively. We need to
enforce the law in all of Karachi, but I don‘t have the resources,‖ he claimed.

Mr Durrani said that the traffic police have some 1,100 officials but they were not mobile. ―We have 400 motorcycles and
the situation would be improved further if we get 200 more bikes,‖ he added.
Mr Durrani said that there were some 976 intersections in the city and some 7,000 officers were needed to regulate the
traffic on these intersections in three shifts.

Provincial Secretary for Transport Rasool Bux Phulphoto said that the government could not impose an immediate ban on
old buses. ―We are formulating a process to phase out old buses gradually. But it can not be done in the absence of an
alternative. We are waiting for the city government‘s CNG buses,‖ he said.
He claimed that 15 to 18-year-old vehicles would not be allowed in the city.
He appreciated the police and the city government for ―doing a great job for bringing about improvement in the traffic
system.‖ He urged the transporters to bring new buses into the city in order to give a good transport system to the people of
Karachi. He said that the government would provide all possible assistance to the transporters in this regard.

Manfred Richter, former lord mayor of Bremerhaven, Germany, Jameel Hussain, Zaheer-ul-Islam and others also
participated in the discussion.
(By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque, Dawn-17, 28/10/2007)

                                       Saddar roads can cave in anytime
Although the Aiwan-e-Saddar Road has been relatively cleared of the gushing sewage water which had covered the entire
road till Friday night, the threat of road safety in Saddar Town, in general, lingers.

Prior to the sewage overflow, Ziauddin Ahmed Road had caved in quite suddenly revealing a huge gaping hole, with a
depth of up to 30 feet. Besides this, there are several other roads within Saddar Town which have incessant sewage
overflow, and are in such a dilapidated condition that the traffic flow is badly obstructed and there are blockades.

Now an underlying threat has been revealed by the Saddar Town Nazim, Muhammad Dilawar, namely that the pipelines
which has been in function since the 1960s, are now in no condition to be continued for use of sewage flow, and there is no
guarantee that any of the roads will not break down or cave in suddenly.

Saddar Town has been divided into two sectors in regards to its sewage system. There are two pumping stations that cater
to Saddar Town: Clifton Pumping Station and Jamila Pumping Station. Ziauddin Ahmed Road falls under the Clifton
pumping station and the sewage flow is carried off to Mehmoodabad for dumping, while the other pipelines carry their
sewage flow ending up in the Lyari River.

The sewage line, as Dilawar explains, has not only become worn out, it is now also gradually sinking and it takes with it the
soil from the ground in the places where it has been broken open. With this, more and more soil ends up being taken along
with the sewage in the line, leaving behind a void, which gradually becomes deeper and deeper.

In the case of the Ziauddin Ahmed Road, there was a hole as deep as 30 feet because of the decrepit line being worn out
so badly and being ignored by the authorities to such an extent that eventually it could not even take the weight of a

The Nazim admits to the fact that these lines need to be replaced as soon as possible, and the CDGK had already
forwarded the requests to the federal government from which the final approval is awaited.
―The project has to be undertaken but it costs at least Rs450 million (45 crores), and for a sum as big as that the federal
government has to be approached. That request has been delayed for a year-and-a-half, and the federal government has
only just decided for this plan to set off.‖

According to information, the plan is divided into four phases, with the first phase being the repairs and/or replacement of
lines that are extremely damaged and need to be attended to as soon as possible. The second phase will be at a more
relaxed pace and the pipelines near Shaheen Complex will be included in this phase.
(By Xari Jalil, The News-13, 28/10/2007)

                                     A citizen’s guide to roads caving in...
KARACHI: One minute it was there, and the next there was a three-foot wide and 15 feet deep hole for anyone who wanted
to make it to Shaheen Complex. A patch of Dr Ziauddin Ahmed road the size of King Kong‘s birthday cake just fell through.

This is not the first time such civic engineering disasters have taken
place on the city‘s roads. But why do they happen is the real question.
According to a Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KW&SB) engineer,
a vacuum develops as the sewage pipe sinks underneath the surface
of the road. This happens for several reasons.

A KWSB engineer, requesting anonymity, explained that there is a
heavy flow of sewerage water but not enough space for it to exit into
the sea. The outlets at the sea are either clogged or the nullahs are
encroached upon. Thus the water backs up in the pipelines and
pressure builds, causing cracks.

―The diameters of the sewerage lines in the old city areas are between
24 and 84 inches,‖ said the engineer. ―But, because of the increased
volume of sewerage water, even these huge pipelines have become
insufficient.‖ Also, these pipelines have rusted and water is seeping
from them, causing a gap to appear between the road and the pipeline.
According to this engineer, this was the case with the pipeline from Shaheen Complex to the pumping station near Chief
Minister House where the road caved in as deep as 15 feet.

The engineer said that presently the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) was concentrating on installing trunk lines
for the water supply but not on repairing decade-old faulty lines.

Sewerage lines, some as old as 40 years, are still functioning in a number of old areas of the city. ―There are many
localities in Lyari, SITE, North Nazimabad, Liaquatabad, Saddar, Jamshed, Gulshan and Keamari towns where sewerage
pipelines were laid a long time back and have now become risky with the mushroom growth of massive multi-story
buildings and other structures,‖ KWSB sources said. But it is difficult to tell which areas at high risk because there is no
proper maintenance system

KWSB officials have claimed that they will repair the 72-inch diameter sewerage line within 24 hours. ―So far, we have only
partially connected the pipeline to the pumping station located near CM House to release the sewerage water that had
inundated the surrounding areas,‖ Chief Engineer Najam Alam told Daily Times. Alam, who is responsible for water and
sewerage problems in Lyari, Saddar and Keamari towns, confirmed that seepage was the reason why the road caved in.
―This main line links a number of major portions of the city through different diameter pipelines and will be replaced with
new lines soon.‖

Perveen Rehman, director, Orangi Pilot Project, said these incidents were a threat to lives. ―An extraordinary amount of
sewerage water is flowing into these pipelines. But the problem lies with the clogged end points and unless they are
cleaned, sewerage trunk lines will remain filled with sewerage water and the seepage would continue, causing damage to
the pipes.‖ Rehman stressed.
(By Jamil Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 28/10/2007)

                    Traffic police is not incompetent, just ill-equipped: DIG Traffic
KARACHI: DIG Traffic Wajid Durrani has said that the traffic
department is ill-equipped and understaffed, and lacks the resources
to efficiently enforce traffic laws in the city.

He was speaking at a seminar organized Saturday by NGO Shehri-
CBE in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation at a
local hotel. The seminar was titled ―Managing cities: The traffic
dilemma‖ and was attended by civil society representatives,
transporters and stakeholders of a possible mass transit system.

―The heavy traffic in this city requires seven to eight thousand
officials while we have only 3,500. Of these, 3,000 officials are
responsible for traffic laws‘ enforcement, which means that the
department has only 1,500 people per shift,‖ said Durrani.

He said that there were 976 intersections in the city that needed full deployment, and if they meet the requirements of these
intersections, then the rest of the city suffers because there are no policemen to be deputed in other areas.

Durrani said that the department also faced a shortage of police vehicles and had only 400 motorbikes. ―No policeman can
enforce traffic laws if he is on foot and doesn‘t have a vehicle or motorbike.‖ He said they had made Shahrah-e-Faisal a
model road where they had deployed a large number of policemen and would announced 11 more intersections as model

Ahmed Tasneem Siddiqi, former DG Sindh Katchi Abadis Authority (SKAA) who now runs an NGO, contradicted Durrani‘s
claims and said that the straffic department had all the required resources. ―In the early nineties, the traffic department
charged just Rs 15 as fine, which they have now increased by 4,000 percent, and the number of vehicles and officials has
also increased. They only need to enforce the rules practically,‖ he argued.

Renowned architect Arif Hasan insisted on the inclusion of stakeholders in improvement of the traffic system. ―The master
plan of the city is nothing more than a strategic document and we have to address the real issues to solve this problem. We
do not need foreign experts and designers but have to include local stakeholders for the improvement of the system. We
must ask their problems and concerns and incorporate their suggestions.‖

Hasan said a mass transit system, such as circular railways, were not the complete solution to the traffic problem in the
city. ―The government must give subsidies for an alternate system otherwise the private sector would control the mass
transit system like it happened in Iran and Indonesia and charge fares according to their own wishes,‖ he said.
Most participants felt that private buses were responsible for the general violation of traffic laws.

―Yes, most drivers are not educated and violate laws but the traffic police actually encourages them to do so for a little
bribe,‖ said Syed Irshad Bokhari, president Karachi Transport Ittehad. ―Go and see on the motorway. These same drivers
follow the traffic laws because motorway police has all the facilities, efficiently enforces laws and does not accept bribes.‖

Naib Nazim Karachi Nasreen Jalil, Ronald DeSouza of Shehri-CBE, Manfred Richter of Friedrich Naumann, transporters
Haji Nawab Khan, Amer Khan and others also addressed the seminar.
(DailyTimes-B1, 28/10/2007)

                                Bus operators seek action against inspectors
KARACHI, Oct 28: The Karachi Transport Action Committee (KTAC) and the Anjuman Ittehad-i-Bus Malikan, Karachi, have
urged the government to take action against corrupt motor-vehicle inspectors who are demanding bribe for the issuance of
the vehicle fitness certificate.

In a joint statement issued here on Sunday, they alleged that the unscrupulous inspectors were minting money by
blackmailing transporters by threatening to declare a sound vehicle as ―unfit‖ or ―smoke-emitting‖.

Representatives of the transporters Mohammad Ashraf Banglori, Chaudhry Mazhar Hussain, Tanzeem Khan and Lala
Sultan also expressed concern over the practice of detaining a vehicle already issued a fitness certificate valid for six
months. They said that the inspectors were detaining the vehicles again to mint more money and harassing the vehicle-
owner by threatening to cancel the fitness certificates. They appealed to the government to take notice of the inspectors‘
corrupt practices so that transporters could continue with their business smoothly and with peace of mind.
(Dawn-14, 29/10/2007)

                                        Another section of road collapses
A portion of another key thoroughfare of the city caved in at the Hotel Metropole intersection near the Village Restaurant.
Fortunately, this time nobody fell into the dangerous aperture as traffic on the road was thin with it being a Sunday. Sources
link this mishap to the fault along Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, saying that it may be safe to guess that similar faults may
appear at anytime on other linking arteries in the area.

Given that the affected portion is used by VVIPs, including the Sindh governor, the chief minister, as well as the diplomatic
staff of the surrounding consulates in the area, the incident could result in a severe mishap of extreme political proportions.
Moreover, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz, who is also in town, had also used the intersection, but luckily the
road did not give way to the weight of his motorcade.

This intersection is a link of the same arterial chain that saw a portion of Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road collapse near the PIDC
intersection, which left two people injured on Wednesday.

The sources told The News that a portion of Fatima Jinnah Road (the road from Avari Tower to Cantt Traffic section) caved
near the Village Restaurant sometime after 12 noon on Sunday. The Cantonment Traffic Section, situated a few yards from
there, immediately closed the road for vehicular traffic to avoid any mishap.

According to sources, there is an old Nullah that runs under the same road and, due to some fault, its ceiling (that holds up
part of the road) caved in leaving behind a some 25-foot deep hole that could have easily expanded and caused real
damage if it hadn‘t been immediately closed. The city government engineers reached the spot and, after inspection, linked
this fault to the same sewerage line that developed a similar fault on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road. They maintained that they
would repair it overnight.

However, if they are unable to do so, it would be safe to say that there will be a huge traffic mess due to the closure of this
key intersection on a Monday morning. Furthermore, there is also the danger of another portion of this road caving in on
Monday morning (today) given the extreme weight of the high volume of vehicles on this road come Monday compounded
with the fact that the decades-old Nullah under the road has starting to give way from many areas.

The Town Nazim Saddar says that the entire sewerage line needs to be repaired. However, it would be a big challenge for
the civic authorities to embark on a project of this size on what are some of the busiest arteries of the metropolis without
causing a chaotic disturbance in the flow of traffic.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-13, 29/10/2007)

                                                    CNG rickshaws
The introduction of CNG-fitted four-stroke auto rickshaws in Karachi should be welcomed. These smoke-free rickshaws will
help reduce not only smog but also noise pollution in the city. Nowadays, it is commonplace to see pedestrians and drivers
on the roads of the metropolis wearing masks worn by medical personnel to protect themselves against the toxic smoke,
most of which is emitted by rickshaws, motorcycles and buses. In this regard it is also worthwhile to remember that next
door in India, there was great success in at least one major city — New Delhi — after India‘s Supreme Court ordered in
1998 that all public transport switch from using diesel to CNG. The result was a dramatic improvement in the air quality of
the Indian capital, till then considered to be among the world‘s most polluted cities.

However, it is depressing to note that in the case of Pakistan, provincial authorities in Sindh have so far failed to implement
many decisions that they themselves took in 2005. This was to replace all two-stroke rickshaws with those run on CNG —
and hence smoke free – in five major cities by the end of this year. The government needs to execute this project
expeditiously besides expanding it to other cities and rural areas of the country to ensure a pollution-free environment for
our coming generations. CNG or compressed natural gas is far more environment-friendly than either petrol or diesel. It is
also likely that because of the fact that CNG is cheaper than petrol, using such rickshaws may in fact turn to be cheaper
than the ones in use currently since these run on petrol. Given the sad state of our municipal transport structures, using
rickshaws is often the primary means of transportation in urban areas. The government should capitalise on this opportunity
by encouraging banks and other financial institutions to extend loan facilities to people interested in this business. It is our
collective responsibility to protect our environment in a way that people engaged in the rickshaw business do not lose their
(The News-7, 29/10/2007)

                                                  Lahore’s traffic mess
Lahore‘s traffic police have suggested that 12 major roundabouts in Lahore be abolished. This has not gone down well with
the Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA), the agency responsible for the traffic engineering and planning of
Lahore, which didn‘t agree with the suggestion. Short-circuiting the TEPA, the traffic police have approached the DCO
Lahore with the same request. Battle lines have been drawn. Consider the following excerpt from a news report published
in this newspaper last Saturday:

―The CCPO said the decision was taken after bringing the issue in the knowledge of all the authorities concerned including
the Punjab Inspector General of Police, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Lahore District Nazim, the CDGL
authorities, Punjab Traffic Police DIG and the Lahore Chief Traffic Officer.
―‗Keeping in view the gravity of the issue, no excuse of TEPA or any other agency will be accepted,‘ claimed the CCPO.
The sources said the City Traffic Police have involved the DCO to avoid any delaying tactics in the name of technical and
professional surveys. As TEPA could refuse to accept the proposal, the police high-ups had taken the DCO into confidence
for immediate action.‖

How did it get this way? What has made it necessary to resort to such brutal tactics? Aren‘t the traffic managers of our city
on the same page, so to speak? Aren‘t they fighting the same fight?

In April of this year, I had the opportunity to comment upon the induction of the new Traffic Warden system introduced in
Lahore by the Government of the Punjab. This new force was then the latest attempt to bring traffic congestion under some
form of management and control. The new wardens were to be better educated and better paid, and were touted as the
solution to commuter‘s problems.
Anyone who drives in Lahore can testify that this isn‘t the case.

In April, I had predicted that the new warden system wouldn‘t work. My opinion was based on the fact that the new warden
system still follows the pre-existing traffic management pattern set by previous administrations. Under this system, traffic
engineering and planning is the responsibility of TEPA, a subsidiary agency of the LDA whereas traffic enforcement is the
sole domain of the police. The problem with this set-up is twofold. First, there is no interface between the TEPA and the
police. As a result, problems apprehended by TEPA in their surveys are not relayed to traffic police officials and first-hand
observations about road usage do not make themselves from the traffic police to the TEPA. One hand has no idea what the
other is doing.

To make matters more complicated, the Punjab Local Government Ordinance has devolved the responsibility for ―traffic
planning, engineering and management including traffic signaling systems, signs on roads, street marking, parking places,
transport stations, stops, stands and terminals‖ onto the shoulders of the Town Municipal Administrations. Of course, with
the traffic police collecting fines for traffic violations and the TEPA picking up construction contracts for the remodeling of
roads, neither organization has made way for Town Administrations to contribute to traffic management strategies. This is
unusual because one would imagine that it‘s the responsibility of locally elected Nazims to monitor and control traffic rather
than the provincially controlled LDA and police force.

The current standoff regarding 12 major roundabouts stems from the confusion and overlapping jurisdiction of several
government agencies doing the same thing. The TEPA is reluctant to do away with these roundabouts because, in the
roads of Chief Engineer Khushal Khan, the ―widening of city roads [is] not a solution to the traffic mess.‖ True, but then
again it‘s the traffic warden on the street who is the best instrument to gauge traffic patterns and road use. The major
concern here is the prospect that the removal of these 12 roundabouts will have an adverse affect on the environment and
the beauty of the city.

Environmental concerns stem from two separate areas. The first is that smoother traffic will reduce vehicular emissions. If
the new proposals fail to make a difference, vehicular pollution will only increase in these already congested and polluted
places. Second, the methods of construction used in road remodeling will involve the scattering of dust, construction
materials and other environmental hazards. If construction methods are not improved or made more environmentally safe,
the benefits from smoother traffic will be offset by the environmental damage caused by the remodeling.
In this light, the police‘s gung-ho attitude and its attempt to force the removal of the roundabout without proper surveys and
the legally mandatory environment impact assessment is of grave concern. Without such surveys and assessment, the
construction of traffic junctions in place of the roundabouts might just be one of the many stop-gap arrangements made to
the city‘s traffic infrastructure that have brought us to the current point of congestion. The city is in need of a comprehensive
master plan that will account for the growth of traffic in the city. Without such a plan, all attempts at improving the traffic are,
at best, roulette.

In order to have a plan, our City Father‘s must have a vision of the city and its future. They must have a plan for where they
will house the millions that streaming into our cities every year. They must have a plan for their employment. And they must
have a plan for getting them from one place in the city to another. It‘s obvious that traffic management is fundamentally
linked to the growth of the city. And unless these factors are taken into account when proposing new traffic solutions, one
can do nothing but pray they are successful.
(By Ahmad Rafay Alam, The News-6, 29/10/2007)

                                          Another major sewer caves in
KARACHI, Oct 29: A few days after collapse of a 72-inch-dia pipeline near the PIDC House, a 54-inch-dia sewerage line
caved in the same vicinity, near Metropole Hotel, on Sunday, creating a wide crater and causing hindrance in the flow of
vehicular traffic on all the roads leading to the city‘s prime thoroughfare, Sharea Faisal.

The 72-inch-dia sewer had sunk on Wednesday creating a similar situation on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, causing traffic
mess on many roads in the area and inundating several of them, including different sections of M. A. Jinnah Road,
Shahrah-i-Iraq, Shahrah-i-Liaquat and Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, besides Aiwan-i-Sadr Road where the Governor‘s House
is located. Sewage had also flooded the arteries leading to the CM‘s Houses.

An official of the KWSB said that the 72-inch-dia sewerage line had been repaired on Sunday. About the fresh incident, he
said work on the repair of the 54-inch-dia sewer had been started, adding that it would be completed within 24 hours.

Asked about the reasons for the collapse of the major sewerage lines in a quick succession, the KWSB zonal chief
engineer, Najam-e-Alam Siddiqui, said that as a matter of fact both the sewers had already out-lived their life. He pointed
out that the lines had been laid some 50 years back and their replacement with a new one had become due.

Contrary to the claims by KWSB officials about the restoration of the 72-inch-dia line, residents of the old city, the most-
affected area, complained of manholes still oozing sewage and flooding different localities.

Residents of Ramswami, Kharadar and Mithadar made calls to the newspaper office to complain that the stagnant filthy
water had been drained out from major roads but remained unattended in the link roads and streets.
They said that unhygienic conditions and stinking atmosphere still prevailed in their neighbourhoods.

Owing to the stagnant water, flow of traffic on various roads had been affected and traffic jams were occurring, they said,
adding that neither the KWSB staff nor the traffic police personnel had been paying attention to the dual problem.
They appealed to the authorities concerned to take urgent measures for the removal of filthy water and mud from the
streets to restore a hygienic atmosphere and prevent a possible outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases.
(Dawn-18, 30/10/2007)

                                              KPT flyover inaugurated
KARACHI, Oct 29: The Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping,
Senator Babar Khan Ghauri, on Monday inaugurated the KPT
flyover. Terming the completion of the project timely, the minister
appreciated the efforts of the KPT Chairman, Vice-Admiral Ahmad
Hayat, the KPT team and the contractors.

The minister was informed that the KPT flyover project had been
completed within the stipulated timeframe at a cost of Rs73 million.

During the briefing the contractors informed the minister that the
total length of the flyover is 360 meters with two lanes moving in the
same direction. With the opening of the flyover, the vehicular traffic
plying on M.T.Khan Road from PIDC Bridge to Jinnah Bridge would
be facilitated, it was added.

The minister was apprised that the designated life of the structure
was 50 years and the flyover was built as per the standards of the
American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials

He was further informed that the flyover was part of the rehabilitation of M.T. Khan Road which was awarded to the KPT
under the Tameer-i-Karachi programme and completed in three phases.
(Dawn-19, 30/10/2007)

                                        MT Khan flyover opened to traffic
The MT Khan Road flyover built at a cost of Rs73 million by the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) was inaugurated on Monday. The
flyover has a life span of 50 years.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Senator Babur Khan Ghauri, said the flyover would help
ease the flow of traffic on MT Khan Road from PIDC Bridge to Jinnah Bridge.

The flyover is a dual carriage and provides only one-way passage. The construction of the flyover is a part of the
rehabilitation of MT Khan Road which was awarded to the KPT under the Tameer-e-Karachi Programme and was
completed in three phases.
It has been built on the standards of American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

Answering a question as to why foreign consultants would be invited to examine the KPT flyover now, the KPT Chairman,
Admiral Ahmed Hayat, said that the foreign consultants would actually come to supervise the construction of the KPT

―Although there is no need of this, we‘ll ask them to examine the eight projects of the KPT for the sake of citizens‘
contentment,‖ the chairman said. The MT Khan flyover was completed with a delay of two months and the contract was
awarded to Usmani Associates with a target of completing it on 31st August, 2007.
(The News-14, 30/10/2007)

                                       Third class work, first class funds
Despite the heavy investment made by the city government and the stakeholders on I.I. Chundrigar Road, primarily the
banks on the road, the quality of work here has been third class, according to many. The passage of several months has
made no difference, the pavements are dug up. At places the roads remain dug up so there is no level walking space.

The tiles that are supposed to be fitted on the pavements are lying scattered. People are stealing them. No one seems to
care. Nothing has been done to give it a tidy look. Its a mess but at taxpayer‘s cost.

Motorcycles have taken over parts of the pavement and are using it as a parking space. Traffic police is not bothered.
People have to walk over uneven pavement stones. The quality of work is so poor that it is embarassing. The waste in this
project is collossal. It seems no one cares. Debris is strewn all over, The pavement is dug up at parts. The work is messy.
Who is responsible for this waste and neglect? Despite the tall claims made, the people who come and work here are
saying: Third class work despite first class funds. We were promised a futuristic boulevard with walkways lined with greenry
and cafes. Instead we get dirty khokas and pan stained paveents. Is the Nazim taking any note?
(The News-20, 30/10/2007)

                                 Faults develop on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road
Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, a road frequently used for VIP movement, is in dire need of renovation. The road has partly
caved in on both sides along the green belt, in addition to the countless traffic violations on the street.

Already a huge fault developed on the road two motorcyclists were severely injured after a part of the road caved in last
week. Now a large portion of the same has caved in — about half to one foot — posing a serious threat to the commuters.
The Sindh Chief Minister House, Pearl Continental, Sheraton and Karachi Club are located on the same road. Besides that,
it is also used for going to the Sindh Governor House, the Marriott and American Consulate.

Moreover, despite being one of the VIP arteries of the metropolis, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road is home to traffic violations.
One can see a large number of motorcyclists and even cars driving into the lane of oncoming traffic due to the unavailability
of proper pavements that can separate two-way traffic. There is also confusion regarding one of the signals at the PIDC
intersection, as there are no guides for traffic from Shaheen Complex towards PC when turning left around the boundary of
PC hotel.

The I.I. Chundrigar Road has recently been carpeted and a couple of days ago, it was marked with proper lanes that gave
the road a proper look. Similarly, a couple of months back, a large number of reflectors were installed at all key
intersections of Sharae Faisal: from Airport to Hotel Metropole.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-19, 31/10/2007)

                                   Nazim inaugurates two big road projects
City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of two big road projects in two different towns with a
total estimated cost of Rs1 billion.

A three-kilometre road from Yasinabad Bridge (Azizabad) to Landikotal Bridge (North Nazimabad) will be completed by the
city government in nine months at an estimated cost of Rs130 million while a corridor from Super Highway to Lyari River up
to Manghopir Road near Gulshan-e-Maymar will be constructed at a cost of Rs870 million.

After the construction of this road, commuters will have a direct route from Manghopir to Super Highway and from Super
Highway to Madinat-ul-Hikmat at Northern Bypass without going to Sohrab Goth and Nagan Chowrangi. Earlier, the
commuters heading to North Karachi, Surjani and Hub from the Super Highway had to pass through Nagan Chowrangi or
to take inner city routes from Sohrab Goth. However, after the construction of this huge corridor, traffic coming to Super
Highway from Manghopir will have direct access to the Super Highway without entering into the city. Almost 50 per cent of
the work on this road has been completed.
(The News-14, 31/10/2007)

                                  Plan to induct 8,000 CNG buses in 5 years
ISLAMABAD: The government and the private sector have planned to invest over Rs 35 billion for purchasing 5,000 large
and 3,000 medium size CNG buses in the next five years in order to provide better transportation services to common man.
According to the Infrastructure Project Development Facility (IPDF), under the scheme 5,000 large and 3,000 medium sized
CNG dedicated buses are expected to be introduced by the private sector over the next five years, while the government
would provide interest subsidy in addition to providing enabling environment to the private sector. In the first phase, the
project would be launched in Karachi, for which Rs 2.5 billion have been allocated by the government, while the remaining
funds would be available for similar projects in Lahore, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, Quetta, Hyderabad,
Peshawar and Gujranwala.

It is expected that Rs30 billion would be invested by the private sector over the next five years in the project, resulting in
better and cleaner public transport services in the major cities of Pakistan.

The project support by the federal government of Rs 5 billion over five years caters to part of the interest to make the
scheme attractive for the private sector.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has accorded approval to the scheme cleared earlier by ECNEC for providing interest subsidy
to the project to be implemented in Karachi and other major cities of Pakistan under the public-private partnership (PPP)

It is the first time wherein all the tiers of the government – federal, provincial and city governments – have joined up for the
development of a project wherein the private sector is involved. The project would be implemented by an independent
project implementation and monitoring unit (PIMU), in collaboration with the City District Government of Karachi,
government of Sindh, the Planning Commission and Infrastructure Project Development Facility (IPDF).

Improvement in public transport both in terms of quality of services and availability of environment-friendly buses is an
important public policy objective. The first phase of the project in Karachi envisages implementation of a sustainable
mechanism under a well thought-out institutional framework evolved through an interactive consultative process involving
all stakeholders, including the Sindh government, the City District Government of Karachi, bus operators and the
commercial banks.
(By Mehtab Haider, The News-3, 01/11/2007)

                                           New traffic model introduced
The Traffic Police, with a view to strictly enforce traffic laws on roads, has introduced a traffic model for better enforcement
of traffic laws, especially on Sharea Faisal. For the improvement in the traffic system, four more roads have been inducted
into a model. A ceremony in this regard was held at Jackson Police Post, Mai Kolachi Road, on Thursday.
The traffic police would deploy special patrolling force on them.

The DIG Traffic, Wajid Durrani, said that there would be 22 patrolling officers from Mai Kolachi Road to Mirza Adam Khan
Cut up to Gulbai, 18 officials from Fountain Chowk to Park Tower, 16 from Sunset Boulevard to Boat Basin and 22
patrolling officers would be deployed from Nazimabad No 2 Petrol Pump to Karsaz. He added that these officers would
ensure the smooth flow of traffic through better enforcement of traffic laws and check violations.

He said that with increased resources and manpower, more roads would be selected as a model. He further added that all
patrolling officers have been provided motorcycles equipped with a wireless communication system.
(The News-20, 02/11/2007)

                                 Rs200m road infrastructure for Lyari: Kamal
City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal, has announced a package of Rs200 million for road infrastructure in Lyari while
inaugurating a 33-inch diameter water pipeline that will provide an additional six million gallons (MGD) of water to Lyari on a
daily basis.

Kamal said that if Lyari needed some more funds they would be provided, adding that, after this additional six MGD , Lyari‘s
water quota now has been enhanced to 20 MGD.

This was stated by him while addressing thousands of Lyariites on during the inauguration of the water pipeline on
Thursday. The project extends from Askari Park to Mera Naka via Sindh Hotel Bridge Nakra Piri along the Lyari

He said that the unique thing of the water pipeline was that no one would be able to steal water, while in other parts of
Karachi water was unfortunately being stolen. For anyone to try to steal water, they would have to go all the way up the
Lyari Expressway which was an uphill task, he maintained.

Town Nazim, Malik Fayaz, speaking on the occasion, said that he was thankful to the city Nazim for providing water to Lyari
and that a long-awaited demand of Lyariites had been resolved.

Fayaz said that when he had gone to the office of the city Nazim, the latter accepted his demand immediately without any
hesitation, adding that today the Nazim had fulfilled his promise.

When Kamal went to Lyari to inaugurate the water pipeline, he was welcomed and garlanded by the residents of Lyari. He
said that the city government‘s initiation of development works worth billions of rupees had nothing to do with votes or
elections. He said the Haq Parast leadership was serving the city without any discrimination and had addressed those
problems which remained unresolved for the last 60 years.
Kamal said that he listened to the problems of the people and tried to resolve them in a concrete manner, stressing that if
further projects were needed in Lyari, they would be delivered.

While referring to the Lyari Town Nazim, Kamal said whenever ‗Malik Sahib‘ came to his office with problems of the people,
he had made his utmost effort to provide relief.

Replying to a question, Kamal said that they had controlled the equal distribution of water to the city and more improvement
was needed in this sector for which efforts were underway.
He said he had issued necessary instructions to the officials of KWSB in this regard.

City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal, talking to The News, said encroachments in the city are no doubt a hurdle in
development, but there would be no compromise on any obstacles in the projects of the city government.
He further announced that, from now onwards, there would be no Bazaars of the main roads of the city, as it caused
serious problems in the flow of traffic.
(By Fasahat Mohiuddin, The News-13, 02/11/2007)
                                             Karachi’s traffic nightmare
THE Supreme Court has very timely taken suo motu notice of the traffic nightmare, before it acquires a much bigger
dimension, compared to the prolonged shutdown of the city, as happened in 1985, after the Bushra Zaidi tragedy which,
according to economists, cost the nation Rs1,500 million for each day the city was paralysed.

This is apart from the loss of human lives, now almost three to four each day, scores maimed for life, millions of dollars of
fuel wastage and valuable working time of the city adversely affecting the national economy. If all these factors are
realistically calculated, the total economic and financial loss to the nation in one year could be far more than the cost of
providing a network of elevated or underground rail network in this largest city of Pakistan of 15 million souls, offering most
of its revenue and economic productivity.

Surely the main, two-pronged spine of the 1974 Master Plan, refined by RTS Cell, from Tower to Sohrab Goth and
Liaquatabad to N. Karachi, as approved for review by the Council of Common Interests in 1975, headed by the then prime
minister Z A Bhutto, deserves to be taken up for implementation, after updating it on top priority. This is most likely to
considerably ease the present chaos, as rightly desired by the Supreme Court, offering a permanent solution.

No doubt ensuring traffic discipline can be of some help, as suggested by Sami Mustafa and Dr Irshad Sethi (Oct 22), but
cannot offer a lasting solution, as required by the apex court. It is hoped that the authorities concerned, especially the
Planning Commission of Pakistan, will take urgent action to implement a lasting viable solution for this traffic nightmare,
before it takes the worst turn as happened in 1985.
S.M.H. RIZVI, Karachi
(Dawn-6, 03/11/2007)

                                    CNG buses still a dream for Karachiites
Despite the approval from Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, the arrival of CNG buses seems uncertain.
When a city government official was contacted by The News in this regard, he expressed ignorance, which shows that the
transport crisis and the arrival of CNG buses still remains a dream for Karachiites. Furthermore, the Sindh chief secretary,
in a meeting held recently, directed the concerned authorities to chalk out a system for subsidising the transport fares for
Karachiiites. However, it was surprising that neither the chief secretary nor the district coordination officer (DCO) discussed
the fate of obsolete buses operating in Karachi. None of the environmental experts were invited in the meeting to give their
input. In this regard, neither the DCO Karachi nor the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) mentioned in the meeting
the health hazards that these vehicles pose to the citizens. Doctors complain that the thick, black smoke emitted by these
buses can cause asthma and cancer, while the noise pollution has already affected the sense of sound of many citizens.

Furthermore, the DIG traffic police completely overruled the claim that the traffic police stand in a corner and watch when a
traffic mess is created.

One of the NGO members told The News that these top officials never call public members to attend such meetings.

On the other hand, the chief secretary has asked for an explanation from the Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA)
chief for his absence from such an important meeting, which is a vital issue for the city.
During the meeting, the problem of encroachments, which is the biggest hurdle in the smooth flow of traffic, was also
raised. The DIG traffic police said that there is a lot that needs to be done to resolve this issue and out of the 61 identified
sites of traffic congestion, 40 have been cleared and the remaining will be cleared soon.
However, he complained of the limited power related to fine and prosecution available to the police department and traffic
(The News-20, 03/11/2007)

                                     Sewage on roads causing traffic jams
Accumulation of sewage, illegal cuts and intersections on busy roads, emergence of heavy traffic during most busy hours
immediately after sunset as well as construction activities in addition to double parking on the main road is resulting in
heavy traffic jams on most of the city roads these days.

Sewage accumulation on at least five major roads in the city is causing vehicular traffic jams while there are more or less
six prominent thoroughfares in the city where development activity and construction work is causing chaos, traffic police
officials admitted.

According to officials, vehicular traffic was moving at a snail‘s pace at five roads owing to a faulty sewerage system and
accumulation of sewage at Deen Muhammad Wafai Road crossing at Muhammad Bin Qasim Road and Saleh Muhammad
Road from the junction of M.A Jinnah Road up to I.I Chundrigar Road.

Similarly, vehicular traffic on the Mumtaz Hassan Road is also problematic and moves at an extremely slow pace owing to
the sewage accumulated on the road. Traffic jams are also witnessed on Eduljee Dinshaw Road in front of the Custom
House given the faulty sewerage system in the area.

Traffic police officials said that sewage had emerged at the KRS Captain Road opposite old P.S. Arambagh up to Pakistan
Chowk via Haqqani Chowk, causing traffic jams and difficulties for motorists.
On the other hand, at least six roads were completely or partially closed in the city for repairs, construction works or
development projects, causing traffic jams on adjoining roads and alternate routes identified by the city traffic authorities.

One such road is Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road whose one track from Cantt Station (Hoshang Chowk) towards the PIDC traffic
signal is closed as repairs are being carried out on a sewerage line there. It is worth mentioning here that the said portion of
the road caved in a few days back, resulting in sewage accumulation in the entire area.

It was further learnt that one track of the Mubarak Shaheed Road from Jacob Lines Chowrangi towards PS Saddar is
closed owing to development work, and two-way traffic is going on one track at a snail‘s pace.

The Business Recorder Road from Lasbella Chowk up to Guru Mandir is closed due to rehabilitation and improvement
work and traffic is being diverted from Lasbella Chowk towards the Garden and Teen Hatti crossing on Nishtar Road.

The Rashid Minhas Road and Allama Shabir Usmani Road has also been affected due to the construction of a flyover at
Gulshan-e-Iqbal Chowrangi and traffic coming from Mochi Mor to Gulshan Chowrangi is being diverted towards Fazal Mill
while that from Disco Bakery to Gulshan Chowrangi is being diverted towards Nipa.

The Rafiquee Shaheed Road (from the school junction) up to the Mazar Bukhari has also been affected badly and vehicular
traffic is plying on the residential portion of the road very slowly due to pits on one side.

Owing to the collapse of Shershah Paracha Chowk Bridge, vehicular traffic from Estate Avenue to Hub River Road and vice
versa is closed causing pressure on alternate routes.

On the other hand, temporary cuts and intersections created by the traffic police in days of traffic emergencies have also
been also resulting in traffic jams on various roads.

One such example is Sharae Shah Waliullah connecting the Sohrab Goth flyover to Nagan Chowrangi where the green belt
in front of the Edhi Centre has been dissected to use the other lane, causing a traffic jam on the road off and on.

Similarly, another illegal cut on the Super Highway immediately after the Sohrab Goth flyover before the Lyari River Bridge
also causes prolonged traffic jams as heavy vehicles including dumpers and inter-city buses remain stuck on the road for

The failure of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) in constructing Sharae Pakistan — from Aisha Manzil to the
Water Pump Chowrangi — as well as eliminating double parking in front of marriage halls also causes daily traffic jams,
especially after sunset as people remain stuck on that portion for hours.
Another problem causing daily traffic jams and also fatal accidents is the use of busy thoroughfares at peak hours before
11.00 p.m. as heavy trawlers, dumpers and trucks cause extreme traffic mess on arteries like Sharae Pakistan, Rashid
Minhas Road, University Road and Sharae Shah Waliullah soon after sunset.
(By M. Waqar Bhatti, The News-19, 03/11/2007)

                             Do you have an illegal billboard on your property?
KARACHI: The city government‘s local tax department has been showing extraordinary leniency in implementing the new
Advertisement and Signage Bye-laws, which has resulted in millions of rupees of annual losses. Dozens of billboards of
various sizes have been installed illegally in different parts of the city with help from officials, Daily Times learnt Saturday.

The new bye-laws were approved by the City Council on December 24, 2006. They allowed for a 100 to 200 percent
billboard and land fee increase. It also promised that the haphazardly installed billboards would be cleared from the city.
Prior to its approval, the local tax department, on directives from City Nazim Mustafa Kamal, removed over 1,600 billboards
in the city during a 10-month long operation. But, it also left many standing after some of the owners approached the courts
and obtained stay orders.

During the operation, the city nazim had said that, under the new policy, all the billboards in the city government‘s limits will
display a computer-generated code for the advertisement company it belongs to, and sizes would be reduced.
Despite these instructions, the local tax department has started regularizing dozens of illegal sites which were blacklisted
last year during the operation.

Sources in the local tax department said that the CDGK has divided Karachi into four zones of varied billboard (and other
forms of advertisement) fee structures. All the towns have been divided into three categories for the collection of tax from
shops and offices. Saddar, Jamshed, Gulshan and North Nazimabad are in Grade I, Liaquatabad, Gulberg, Shah Faisal,
Korangi and Landhi are Grade II and Malir, Gadap, Bin Qasim, Lyari, Baldia, Site, Orangi, Keamari and New Karachi are
Grade III.

There are still dozens of illegal billboards on rooftops and private properties, especially in different blocks of Gulshan-e-
Iqbal, Liaquatabad, North Nazimabad, Site, Jamshed, Saddar and Lyari.

Officials in the local tax department, on the condition of anonymity, said that higher-ups of the city government are allowing
their ―favourite‖ advertisers to install billboards in some places, even though they do not bid the highest. For example,
Hassan Square, Nipa, Board Office, Jail Chowrangi and Liaquatabad are some of the places where billboards are starting
to emerge without any of the official formalities, sources said.

Furthermore, the installation, exhibition and displaying of banners in certain areas were banned after the bye-laws were
approved. These areas include Aiwan-e-Saddar, Club Road, Hoshang Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Abdullah Haroon
Road (Zainab Market to Clifton Bridge), Hassan Square, I. I. Chundrigar Road, the surroundings of Quaid-e-Azam‘s
mausoleum and most of Shahra-e-Faisal (excluding the portion from the Karsaz signal to the Tipu Sultan Road signal).

It is worth mentioning that local tax department recovery staff had been deputed to individual towns last year. All the town
administrations were asked to make arrangements for these officials in their respective offices. ―Even after directives from
the city nazim, the Shah Faisal, Malir, Bin Qasim, Gadap and Baldia town administrations have yet to provide offices for the
recovery staff, which is resulting in millions of rupees of annual losses,‖ sources mentioned.

One deputy district officer of local tax, on the condition of anonymity, complained that they have no power to take action
against the owners of illegal hoardings, which is also encouraging the sabotage of the city government‘s reputation and the
open violation of its bye-laws.

Sources further said that during the last fiscal year (2006-07), the local tax department had collected only Rs 450 million,
while the target was Rs 1.5 billion from advertisements such as billboards and signboards.

District Officer Local Tax Muhammad Rehan denied that these violations were taking place and said that the new bye-laws
are being implemented very strictly. ―After the new bye-laws were approved in December 2006, only 450 billboards have
been installed in the limits of the city government. The total number of billboards would be less than 1,600,‖ he said. He
said that he was too busy to say anything else.
(By Jamil Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 04/10/2007)

                                                   Sitting on the fence!
During the last few years the railway ministry has launched several new trains including the Sindh Express, Pakistan
Express and the Jinnah Express. The latest among them is the Bhambore Express, exclusively meant for low-income

The reservation of seats for some amongst us has also become easier as our federal railway minister says people can now
reserve seats at any booking agency, even with their credit cards. The renovation of many railway stations has also given a
much-needed facelift to these places while the eateries and other stalls on platforms speak volumes of the current,
burgeoning trend of public-private partnerships. Furthermore, the official claim that the Pakistan Railways has earned Rs3
billion in annual revenue, which is an all-time high, is also impressive.

However, despite all these supposedly inspiring achievements, the ministry appears helpless and the local government
weak when it comes to the safety of the poor who have been living along railway tracks for decades.
The simple and obvious solution is to fence the tracks. Though a feasibility report of fencing — with Rs18 million as the
estimated cost — was sent to railway headquarters in Lahore a few months ago, the long delay in its approval and
implementation put in doubt the efforts of those at the helm of affairs. And with the stated record annual earnings, the
railway authorities must certainly not be facing a shortage of funds as a hurdle, at least in this project‘s implementation.

The officials blamed the delay in the project‘s implementation on the poor who had encroached upon the railway‘s lands,
though the government still cannot absolve itself from the responsibility of giving protection to the lives of the people.
Encroachers might have become a hurdle now, but methinks it‘s the other way round: The absence of fences had invited
the usurpers to encroach upon the railway‘s lands.
It seems it doesn‘t matter if this year‘s figure of fatal railway accidents in the city crosses 60.

The media will routinely report any such accident when it happens, while officials will term such people ‗trespassers‘ and
will move on. After all, time‘s a great healer. This is at least what has been the practice in 2006 and 2005 when,
respectively, 48 and 65 ‗trespassers‘ were killed after being hit by trains.

Under the Pakistan Railway Act, moving on rail tracks in areas without a railway crossing or overhead bridge is a crime.
The violators are considered ‗trespassers,‘ and as per the law, any person found in violation of this rule may be fined
Rs2,000 or serve a six-month prison sentence, or both. However, railway police officials say public protests prevent them
from taking any action and suggest that fencing is the only way to stop this gross, dangerous violation.

The densely populated areas around the Drigh railway station in the city are the worst-hit. Half of this year‘s fatal accidents
on the tracks had occurred here. Thousands of people cross the fence-less tracks on a daily basis and during the last eight
years 297 have lost their lives while crossing the tracks here.
A hundred feet of open space on either side of the track is mandatory to ensure the secure movement of trains as well as to
avoid the loss of life, according to the PR rules. However, thousands of encroachers have occupied this mandatory space
in Karachi. In some densely populated areas this space has even shrunk to five feet. Mind you, children cannot be chained
all the time. So sitting on the fence will never resolve the issue. The grave risk involved calls for initiating the project at the
(Dawn-15, 05/11/2007)

                                    Unsecured containers continue to thrive
Where are the twist locks, ask the citizens, when they see heavy vehicles with containers still plying in the city without
proper twist locks, despite the year-old deadline set to control the offence. Given the fact that container traffic is likely to
increase in the future, one can‘t help but wonder why shipping companies are not following the set standards. Moreover,
untrained drivers and poor road planning are concerns that seem to have been overlooked by the authorities, say

Most of the fatal accidents have occurred because of heavy vehicles with improperly secured containers. These unchecked
and haphazardly loaded containers pose a huge threat to other commuters and pedestrians.

During the last one-and-a-half years alone, nine people were reported dead in such accidents. Aamir Parekh and his driver
M. Hanif were killed on August 4 last year when a container fell on their car, and two more people were killed on the ICI
Bridge on October 9 when a trailer along with a loaded container overturned and crushed the pick-up (mini truck). Similarly,
on November 26 last year, another container killed two people including a city government electrician. Then on May 8 this
year, two more people were killed in a similar accident on Mauripur Road followed by another accident that also claimed
two lives in the KPT area. One more person was killed on the old Quaidabad Bridge when a container detached from its
trailer and fell on the victim‘s taxi.

These figures do not include scores of other similar incidents in which no one got killed since the same are not reported by
the press. One can see large numbers of heavy vehicles plying the city without any twist locks. What is even more shocking
is the fact that these huge containers are tied with ropes. These containers and other heavy vehicles that are physically
unfit and heavily overloaded can be seen turning over very frequently on the National Highway, industrial areas and other
outskirts of the metropolis.
It is worth mentioning here that a large number of containers are transported to the US from Afghanistan and Central Asia
through the Port Qasim terminal. Merce, one of the biggest shipping countries in the world, transports a container to the
United States within 20 days from Port Qasim. The transportation of containers will increase manifold after the
establishment of the deep-sea terminal being set up here. However, no safety measures have been taken regarding the
shipment of these containers to the port.

Moreover, a majority of the drivers who are untrained and have no idea about the way these containers should be handled.
Even the engineers here are not aware of the road geometry necessary for these heavy vehicles.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-20, 06/11/2007)

                                         Deadline to end on 30th
                              Bus owners told to get licences for conductors
KARACHI, Nov 7: In an attempt to implement motor vehicle rules, which have been violated for more than three decades,
traffic police have asked transporters to ensure that conductors put on badges and have licences issued by the competent

The Deputy Inspector-General of Traffic Police, Wajid Ali Durrani, told Dawn on Wednesday that November 30 had been
fixed as a deadline in this regard. Owners of buses, minibuses and coaches had been given three weeks to obtain badges
and licences for the conductors, he said.
―It was mentioned in the Motor Vehicle Rules 1969 that the conductor of public transport should display a badge and have a
licence. However, the rule has not been implemented since long and I am just trying to implement it,‖ he said.

According to a statement issued by traffic police, bus, minibus and coach owners should not employ any person as
conductor, who is under 18 years of age and does not possess a licence and a badge issued by the licensing authority as
provided under Rule 103 of the Motor Vehicles Rules 1969. The conductor and vehicle owner would be fined after
November 30 in case of the rule‘s violation, the statement added.

Anyone who wants to become a conductor by profession will have to obtain the necessary licence and badge from driving
licence branches in Clifton, Korangi and Nazimabad, said the statement.

The DIG said that the decision was taken after a number of commuters complained about ‗underage‘ conductors and their
misbehaviour with the passengers. ―We want to streamline the system and implementation of the rule will help us in
keeping an eye on conductors,‖ he added. He feared that some transporters might offer resistance but was more optimistic
about majority of transporters, saying that better sense would prevail.

KTI hails decision
Karachi Transport Ittehad President Irshad Bukhari promised to support the traffic police in implementation of the rule and
said that any campaign against violators after the expiry of the deadline would not be resisted.
He said both drivers and conductors used to have valid licences and badges before the introduction of minibuses some 30
years back. ―At that time companies were operating public transport in the city and they never employed any person as
conductor or driver if he did not posses a valid licence,‖ he added.

However, with the introduction of minibuses in the mid 70s transporters failed to keep their standards while traffic police
also turned a blind eye towards traffic violations. Now around 3,300 buses, 8,000 minibuses and over 7,000 coaches are
running in the metropolis, he said.
He said: ―The decision taken by traffic police is a good omen. We will issue a circular asking our members to obtain
licences and badges of their conductors. We will not resist if traffic police launch a drive against this violation,‖ he said.

Mr Bukhari offered full support to the traffic police and reiterated that past mistakes must not be repeated on any pretext.
―The law must be equal for a transporter and for an influential person,‖ he added.
At a later stage, traffic police would implement another condition under which drivers and conductors of public transport
would have to wear proper uniform, DIG Durrani said. Fare tickets would also be issued to commuters in future, he said.
―We are trying to improve the traffic system through a gradual process,‖ he remarked
(Dawn-19, 08/11/2007)

                                    Flyovers to fix Hotel Metropole traffic?
KARACHI: The land of the defunct Hotel Metropole would be handed
over to the city government in a few months during which time the
demolition will be completed. The CDGK is then going to hire a
consultant to study the traffic in the area and consider flyovers or
underpasses to solve this particular spot‘s problem.

―The firm will review the existing road network configuration and the
prevailing traffic and transport,‖ TCD EDO Muhammad Athar told Daily
Times on Tuesday. The firm will also identify underground and at-
grade utility services before implementing any plan.

The CDGK is open to foreign consultants as well.

Traffic jams cause nightmares during rush hour at this central point in
the city because of the flow from Club Road, Abdullah Haroon Road
and Shahrah-e-Faisal. The tender for the firm would be finalised this
month as the land would be handed over to the city government in a
few months. ―The demolition of the hotel‘s present structure is

underway and will be completed in the next couple of months,‖ the EDO said.

The hotel stopped working a long time ago but the traffic problems at the intersection which connects Shahrah-e-Faisal,
Club Road and Abdullah Haroon Road should be resolved without further delay, said Kamil Agha, an executive of a Saddar

Hotel Metropole was a prominent landmark for over 50 years but closed nearly four years ago. It was constructed by a
renowned Parsi family, the Minwallas, opened in 1949 and formally inaugurated by the Shah of Iran in 1951. After the death
of Mehara Minwalla in 1967, the hotel was run by his son, Daryus Cyrus Minwalla, popularly known as Happy Minwalla.

―Happy Minwalla was an active member of Pakistan Hotels Association‘s executive body for a long time and his
contribution to this industry is commendable,‖ said a member of the PHA.
(By Jamil Khan, DailyTimes-B1, 08/11/2007)

                                Two-stroke rickshaws to stay till October 2010
KARACHI: The Government of Sindh has accepted the demand of two-stroke rickshaw owners and has extended the
deadline for imposition of the ban on faulty rickshaws till October 2010.

Sources in the Sindh law department told Online that the Sindh High Court (SHC) had also granted conditional permission
to the government to extend the deadline and so has Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim. They said a notification
was in process.

However, when asked on what conditions the SHC had granted permission, sources said the details of the conditions will
be released after an official notification was issued.

Earlier, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan had extended the deadline by to mid-2008 after being persuaded by
rickshaw owners.

Registrations for new two-stroke rickshaws have been banned and under the directives of the SHC, they have to be phased
out as soon as possible. Under the present relaxation provided to phase-out faulty rickshaws, which are a major source of
pollution in the city, owners of rickshaws would be bound to replace their vehicles by October 2010.

Sources said that according to an estimate, there were around 50,000 auto-rickshaws plying on the city‘s roads and almost
all of them were two-stroke. They were causing environmental degradation. ―Around 0.2 to 0.3 million people were
dependent on these rickshaw drivers which had refrained the government from taking strict action against them.‖

According to a report by issued by SUPARCO, air pollution and water pollution levels in Karachi had crossed national and
international environment quality standards posing serious threats to the lives of the citizens. The main sources of
degradation of the environment are smoke-emitting buses and rickshaws, which also cause rise in noise pollution, it said.
(DailyTimes-B1, 08/11/2007)

                                Signal-free corridor-II to be opened by Dec 31
KARACHI, Nov 9: Five flyovers along the signal-free corridor-II will be opened for vehicular traffic by Dec 31. This was
stated by City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal during his visit to the sites of various development projects, including the signal-
free corridor-II on Friday.

He said that the Sohrab Goth flyover, one of the six falling in the corridor, along with an underpass, had been completed
and would be inaugurated soon. Almost 40 per cent of work on the remaining five flyovers had also been completed, he
said, adding that the entire corridor would be opened for traffic by Dec 31.

He said the government had removed a major hurdle in the inflow of foreign investment by strengthening the city‘s
infrastructure and improving the transport system.

The city nazim also inspected development work at Jauhar Morr, Gulshan Chowrangi and Nagan Chowrangi.

Devolution of traffic police
The city nazim, said that the matter of the devolution of traffic police department had reached its final stage.

Talking to PPI after addressing a five-day training workshop on disaster management held under the auspices of the
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with UNDP, he said the City District Government Karachi
would soon introduce ‗traffic wardens‘.

About the efforts towards disaster management, he said that the city was faced with challenges of various man-made
disasters and, therefore, the CDGK was spending a huge amount on the procurement of the latest equipment and training
of its staff to develop capacity and skills to cope with such disasters. He mentioned traffic mess, fire incidents and
environmental hazards as man-made disasters.

In reply to a question about the environmental impact of development work along the Sindh coastline, he said that the uplift
work along the coastline was being carried out under the federal government, which was spending $45 billion on these
(Dawn-16, 10/11/2007)

                                      Need stressed for revamping KMTC
In a high-level meeting of the Sindh government and the City District Government Karachi (CDGK), senior officials have
been directed to update the almost 20-year-old Karachi Mass Transit Cell (KMTC) to resolve the chronic transport problem
in Karachi.

It is interesting to note that while major reshuffling has been done in a few departments of the CDGK, the director of the
KMTC remains unchanged.

The meeting, headed by the Sindh chief secretary, and held recently in Karachi, has demanded the KMTC to be updated.
The cell‘s feasibility and the implementation of the projects is also likely to be reviewed. The meeting was also attended by
the Director General, Mass Transit Cell, Malik Zaheerul Islam.

It must be mentioned that the Chinese circular railway project is just on paper with PC I, PC II and many other consultants
appointed in this regard.

The City Nazim, Syed Mustafa Kamal, when asked about the performance of the director general of the cell, said that Islam
is one of the officers who has went abroad in connection with various projects. However, insiders of the meeting told The
News that chief secretary expressed his complete dissatisfaction over the performance of the KMTC.

The KMTC, as a practice according to the meeting report, has prepared the CNG buses specifications. These buses have
been promised by the City Nazim for quite a while now, but the CDGK officials claim that KMTC is responsible for the delay
in their arrival.

Last month, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz announced that he had approved the CNG bus project on the nazim‘s request.
However, the meeting pointed out that a separate summary of CNG buses has been sent to the prime minister‘s secretariat
for approval. The response is yet to be received in this regard.

Regarding the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRTS) — another project of the KMTC – this is again being hampered by several
obstacles. Once again, an Expression of Interest (EOI) has been invited for the pre-qualification of firms for consultancy
services and the Terms of Reference (ToR) are being finalised with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The KMTC has spent billions of rupees on the consultancy of different projects but these projects have yet to take off.

Out of the 140km-long network of the BRTS recommended by a study (2006) conducted by the KMTC and CDGK, the first
route to the BRTS, which is 29km long (from Surjani town to Mazar-e-Quaid and Orangi to the board office, Nazimabad), is
being implemented under first trench of the ADB financial and technical assistance programem.
(The News-20, 10/11/2007)

                                School vans: facility or nuisance for parents
Thursday‘s hijacking of a school van by its driver who had threatened to ram the van into the airport along with the children
reminded Dr Afshan, a gynaecologist working for a local private hospital, of an incident a few months back when her
mother-in-law called her at the hospital and informed her that her five-year-old daughter had not yet returned from school.

She immediately made a call to her daughter‘s school but nobody responded. Confused about what to do to locate her only
child, she urged one of her colleagues to take care of the patients and rushed to the school, located in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. It
was around quarter past three in the afternoon and she was on the way towards her daughter‘s educational institute, when
Dr Afshan received her mother-in-law‘s call on her cell-phone that her daughter had just reached home.

On reaching home, she discovered that the delay was caused as the school van, in which Maryam was transported to and
from her school, had developed some mechanical fault on the way from school and the operator managed to arrange an
alternate van after a delay of one and a half hour.

The story does not end here as the next morning, which was Sunday, to Dr Afshan‘s surprise, she heard her little daughter
singing an Indian song, considered as highly vulgar and objectionable. On inquiry, it was revealed that such songs are
played by the driver of the school van while transporting young children to and from school.

Most of the fathers don‘t consider it an issue worth discussing outside their homes but for most of the mothers, it is as
important as schooling of their children or even the security of their sons and daughters and whenever possible, they try to
bring to the notice of people concerned.

For some of them, exorbitant fares charged by the school van operators is another major issue in addition to unsafe journey
of their children, frequent delays in their arrival, vulgar music and language used by the drivers during the journey besides
rash driving.

Many mothers who send their children to schools through vans said they approached respective school administrations on
a number of occasions to ensure that all school vans are made safe enough to shuttle kids from their homes to the
educational institutions and vice versa but failed to get any assurance or positive response from school owners and
administrations as they say it was none of their business.

―If parents can be compelled to pay whatever fare demanded by the van operators under different pretexts, then why can‘t
we demand a safe and sound journey and better conditions for our children‖ argued Mrs Safia Waseem while opening the
Pandora Box of complaints against the operators of school vans and school administrations. Complaining of an indifferent
attitude of school van and bus drivers, she said overcrowding was another issue as she had often seen both of her kids
standing while going to school or back home.

She held school administrations responsible for all the physical torture students have to bear.

Another lady narrated a different story regarding the nexus of school van operators, plying their vehicles in a same area. ―I
live one-and-a-half kilometres from the school where my children study. The school van operator charges Rs300 per

I spoke to another van operator of the same school who charges Rs150 per month from a relative of mine who lives near
my area across the road. But the van operator told me that he had an agreement with his competitor that he would not
cross the road as certain areas had been divided between them‖ informed Mrs Farhan.

Another area neglected by the school owners, local authorities and even parents is the physical condition or in other words,
fitness of vehicles used for transporting children to schools and back to their residences. In order to minimize the expenses,
owners of school vans have also stopped keeping any helper to assist the children climb into the van and step down.

Most of the drivers, always in a hurry to meet the deadline of schools, demonstrate a high degree of negligence in ensuring
that the student just picked up has properly taken his seat. As far as overloading is concerned, they say owing to inflation,
high fuel prices and large number of children, they are compelled to transport ―as many children as possible.‖
(By Waqar Bhatti, The News-13, 10/11/2007)

                                     Traffic police keen to streamline the city
The neglected traffic laws seem to have reincarnated as the traffic police extends their circle of monitoring traffic violations
slowly but surely. However, there is still a long way to go till the targets are achieved. ―I have taken this as a challenge and I
am fighting for equipment, additional recruitment and other facilities for my department,‖ the Deputy Inspector General
(DIG) traffic Wajid Ali Khan Durrani told The News.

The recent initiatives taken by the traffic police clearly indicate that they are looking to streamline the traffic mess by mainly
concentrating on the traffic rules violations. The revival of the conductor‘s license and badge, restricting commuters
(especially motorcyclists) behind the stop line, as well as selecting some of the busiest thoroughfares of the city for mobile
monitoring in connection with the frequent traffic violations. These are just some of the positive measures taken by the
department. However, the impact of the enforcement is yet to be felt as the number of traffic violations in the city has
crossed all boundaries.

Durrani said, ―I am also fighting for other facilities for my staff since it is quite a painful job – they stand under the scorching
heat along with the thick black smoke emitting from unfit vehicles, causing several health hazards for them.‖ Highlighting
the importance of the department‘s own equipment, he said that if they had their own crane when a container fell on a taxi,
say at Quaidabad, they would have removed it within half-an-hour and could have saved the driver‘s life as well.

When asked why their various campaigns were unsuccessful, he said that they need more man power and proper
equipment to deal with such violations.‖ Since it is a huge city, ―we have to work with a plan. We have set our priorities and
patrolling forces with zero tolerance on Sharae Faisal is one step. It will serve as a message for offenders that we are after
them,‖ Durrani elaborated.

It was also noticed that the motorcyclists were given warnings for crossing the stop line when the red signal is on. Crossing
the stop line has been an old tradition in the city, however if this initiative is strictly enforced and monitored, it could
certainly help control one of the most common violations – crossing a signal before it turns green. Durrani said, ―slowly but
surely we will control the violations,‖ he said, adding that ―fines should be increased, and since mobile patrolling is also
important, therefore it should be extended.‖

After the inauguration of the patrolling team on Sharae Faisal, which is claimed to be successful, they have included three
more model roads for the patrolling teams. According to a press statement, the Provincial Police Officer, Sindh, gave 50
motorcycles to the traffic police that enabled them to accomplish the patrolling on Sharae Faisal. Recently, 30 more
motorcycles were given to them so they launched their patrolling teams on other busy roads as well. These included the
roads from Sunset Boulevard up to the Adam Khan intersection, Mauripur Road, the Nazimabad-Karasaz corridor that
includes three underpasses and a couple of flyovers and the road from Fawara Chowk up to Park Towers.

According to the statistics released by the traffic police — of the 31 days after the launch of the patrolling team – the ratio of
the challans has increased by 80 per cent on Sharae Faisal. They also claimed that they would raise this figure to 100 per
cent which will bring a noticeable change as the people have already started following the traffic rules.

Talking to The News the DIG said, ―We have selected some 80 important intersections on the busiest thoroughfares of the
metropolis.‖ He briefed that some of these included the intersections of Tibet Centre, Garden, Capri, Numaish and Guru
Mandir on M.A. Jinnah Road. The Tower, Habib Bank Plaza and Shaheen Complex intersections on I. I. Chundrigar Road
had also been selected in addition to those on Sharae Faisal. Similarly, the PIDC and Teen Talwar intersections were also

When asked to comment on traffic jams, he said that they needed heavy manpower to control them and that they had
requested the city government to hand over some 200 volunteers to the traffic police from the City District Government
Karachi‘s (CDGK) community police. They would be trained by them and help regulate traffic for them as well. When asked
about the frequent traffic jams on M. A. Jinnah Road, he said that ever since the ban on public transport on I.I. Chundrigar
Road was implemented, the brunt was being borne by the former, as it was designed as a one way road but was being
used by both ways these days.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-20, 12/11/2007)

                          Action against Quetta-bound buses entering city likely
KARACHI, Nov 12: Sindh Minister for Transport Mohammed Adil Siddiqi has taken strict cognizance of the movement of
Balochistan-bound buses in the limits of Karachi city, observing that crew of these buses were still lifting and dropping
passengers in different parts of the city in violation of the relevant rules.
The minister directed transport secretary, DIG Traffic and city government to take immediate steps to check entry of
Balochistan-bound buses into the city and cancel their route permits.
He maintained that a bus terminal exclusively equipped with all the required modern facilities had been established at
Yusuf Goth on RCD Highway for the buses shuttling between Karachi and Balochistan. As such, he added, there was no
justification for the entry of these buses into the city.

He observed that development works were in progress across the metropolis and citizens were already facing traffic jams
and other problems. The movement of inter-city buses was only adding to these problems. He pointed out that the
government had already restricted the movement of heavy vehicles in the city from 8am to 11pm.

Mr Siddiqi said the government was taking every step to ensure that modern bus termini were established away from the
densely populated areas of the city to avoid these buses‘ entry into the congested areas. He said that recently, the
government had set up a terminal for Daewoo buses which was three kilometres away from the city‘s entry/exit point,
Sohrab Goth.

Separately, speaking at a ceremony held to give away awards to the participants of the ―Women Gold and Gems‖ exhibition
on Sunday night at a local hotel, the minister said the industry of gems and gold jewelry had a bright future in Pakistan. He
said the government would establish a ―gems and jewelry estate‖ in Karachi. In this regard, cooperation would be sought
from the government of Italy, he added.

Mr Siddiqui pointed out that India had given a boost to its gems and jewelry industry and was earning Rs1.5 billion annually
from it.

―Pakistan is the seventh largest importer of gold in the country,‖ he said, adding that the country imported gold worth Rs2
billion a year. However, he regretted, this important sector was still neglected one and even modern jewelry machinery was
not available in the local market. He pledged that the government would import the modern jewelry making machines.
(Dawn-19, 13/11/2007)

                                     $5bn refinery accord signed with UAE
ISLAMABAD, Nov 13: Abu Dhabi signed an implementation agreement on Tuesday to build a $5 billion refinery which
would double Pakistan‘s refining capacity.

Under the deal between Abu Dhabi‘s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and the Pak-Arab Refinery, the
project will be built at Khalifa Point in the Hub district of Balochistan.

The Khalifa Coastal Refinery Project will have a refining capacity of between 200,000 to 300,000 barrels per day of middle
distillate products. ―It will be a large refinery to meet domestic needs and cater to the export market,‖ said Prime Minister
Shaukat Aziz, who witnessed the agreement signing with United Arab Emirates‘ Energy Minister, Mohammed bin Dhaen al-
Hamli, in Islamabad.

Abu Dhabi, one of the seven members of the UAE, has a 40 per cent stake in the Pak-Arab Refinery at Mehmood Kot in
the central province of Punjab.

The IPIC, possibly with other UAE government institutions or companies, will hold an initial 74 per cent stake in the Khalifa
project, with the Pak-Arab Refinery holding the remaining 26 per cent stake.

Pakistan, almost totally dependent on oil imports, has an installed refining capacity of 12.82 million tonnes a year (just over
250,000 bpd) from its five refineries. The country consumes about 15 million tonnes of oil products annually.

Mr Aziz said Pakistan‘s economy, growing at an average of 7 per cent annually for the past four years, needed energy and
fuel to sustain its growth momentum.

Pakistan‘s annual energy requirements are expected to surge to 177 million tonnes of oil equivalent by the year 2020 from
its current needs of about 58 million tonnes.
The Khalifa refinery is expected to be commissioned by December 2012.

The Pakistani government has announced various concessions for the project that includes 20 years tax-free status and up
to 1,000 acres free of cost land.
(Dawn-1, 14/11/2007)

                                          Ban on entry of heavy vehicles
The Home Department, Government of Sindh on the request of the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police/Traffic,
Capital City Police to impose the ban on the plying of heavy vehicles on the roads of the city during the day time under
section 144 Cr. P.C. for a period of 30 days to overcome the acute traffic congestion, has banned the entry of heavy
vehicles in Karachi City from 06:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The ban is imposed in the exercise of the powers conferred under section 144 Cr.P.C. for a period of 30 days. The ban
would not apply to entry of heavy vehicles carrying water, edible oil, construction materials, liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen,
medical gases which came under life saving drugs, meat, skin and other related items, provided that they were
permanently stationed in Karachi.

However, the heavy vehicles entering into Karachi were allowed to ply up to Karachi Port and the industrial areas on the
following specific routes:

Superhighway: Superhighway to Slip Road to New Karachi Industrial Area.
National Highway: National Highway up to Manzar Petrol Pump cut to Younus Chowrangi to Dawood Chowrangi to Road
8000 (Mehran Highway).

R.C.D. Highway: Northern Bypass/R.C.D. Highway to Paracha Chowk to Estate Avenue to Siemens Chowrangi and back
to the Gulbai Mauripur Road to Karachi Port (East and KPT Godowns and back via NLC Intersection Mai Kolachi to Port
Area. This order is valid for a period of 30 days.
(The News-19, 14/11/2007)

                                      Policeman killed by traffic law violator
KARACHI, Nov 14: A traffic police officer was crushed to death by an unregistered four-by-four in Defence when he chased
the vehicle on a motorbike to book the driver for a traffic violation on Wednesday.
The killing of Assistant Sub-Inspector Ali Akbar Memon, who left two wives and nine children, caused the police authorities
to direct traffic sergeants not to follow heavy vehicles guilty of traffic violations.

Mr Memon, who was 45, worked in the police department for over 25 years.
―The late police officer signalled the driver of a white Toyota Surf with an AFR registration number to pull over in Defence
Phase II. The offending driver sought to speed away. The policeman was run over by the four-wheeler near the Defence
Phase II traffic light,‖ said an official at the Defence police station, adding that the vehicle had been left at the crime scene
by the driver. It was seized by police afterwards.

He said the body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for autopsy from where it was taken to the
late police officer‘s Korangi residence. It was subsequently taken to Larkana.

Police have registered an FIR (426/07) under Section 302 (intentional murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The tragic incident set alarm bells ringing in the traffic police department whose high-ranking officials met later in the
evening and issued fresh directives to officers on the ground.
―I have told all officers on the ground not to chase offending vehicles. This may turn fatal – as it did on Wednesday,‖ DIG
Traffic Wajid Ali Khan Durrani told Dawn. ―We obviously have serious concerns about the lives and safety of our officials
and the current directives are in line with those concerns.‖

Mr Durrani pointed out that while the traffic police department did not have as many motorbikes as needed to control
growing crime, the number of vehicles, especially heavy vehicles, had been steadily increasing.
―For the time being, I have directed my sergeants not to chase heavy vehicles whose drivers violate traffic rules. Instead,
they have been told to inform the nearest traffic section so that the violator could be arrested.‖

The traffic police have some 300 motorcycles to keep a check on violations of traffic rules in the city. Officials insist that the
department does not have the required number of motorbikes.
―We need at least 800 bikes,‖ said another senior official who asked not to be named. ―While we have requested the
authorities to give us more motorbikes many times, our requests have so far gone unheard,‖ he said.

He admitted that quite often traffic police sergeants stopped vehicles only with a view to extracting money from drivers.
―This is perhaps why drivers do not stop when they are asked to pull over by traffic sergeants. But this is no excuse for
killing a traffic policeman,‖ he said.
(By Imran Ayub, Dawn-17, 15/11/2007)

                       Chundrigar Road renovated, office-goers continue to suffer
The closure of public transport on I. I. Chundrigar Road has been causing extreme hardship to commuters who are
compelled to walk long distances to reach their destination. Locals using the M. A. Jinnah Road and working in the offices
located in the commercial hub of the city are the ones most affected. Moreover, the shuttle service that was once provided
by the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) is no longer active on this road.

Among the many complaints received by The News, a majority of the people said that they had to walk from M. A. Jinnah
Road to I. I. Chundrigar Road to get to their work place and vice versa. ―As if boarding an overloaded bus probably was not
enough to test my patience that now I have to walk more than a mile everyday when I am already exhausted,‖ said one
frustrated commuter.

It was also seen that scores of women working either on I.I. Chundrigar Road or the adjoining arteries also walked long
distances to get to M.A. Jinnah Road for boarding their buses. ―Unlike the men, I can‘t even hitch a ride,‖ lamented a
woman who worked at a private bank on I.I. Chundrigar Road. ―I cannot afford a rickshaw everyday as it costs me nearly
Rs50 to get to my bus stop,‖ she added. ―The beautification of this road has benefited only those who have their own
conveyance,‖ she slated. She further said that this development did not yield any fruit for pedestrians who used public
transport and banning the entry of the buses to this road was the last nail in their coffin.

It has been nearly two years since public transport was banned on this important thoroughfare. There was criticism that
public transport had been banned forever on this road, so to level those accusations, the CDGK then launched a shuttle
service to facilitate the common man. But after the carpeting of this key artery was completed, no shuttle service has been
revived whatsoever.

When the EDO, Transport and Communication, CDGK, Syed Athar Hussain was contacted, he told The News that when
the concerned committee of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) approved the project, a shuttle service was included in it.
―When the old buses were banned on this road we asked them to launch a shuttle service but they said that they would do
it after the completion of the project,‖ the EDO said, adding that ―as a result we started the shuttle service but since the
work was delayed, we had to close that too.‖

He further said that public interest and convenience was a prime concern of the CDGK and, therefore, it could not be
ignored. ―In our grand CNG route network plan, we have included I.I. Chundrigar Road which should solve this problem,‖ he
continued. ―But we have also asked them to run their shuttle to facilitate the public and, apart from that, we will run the CNG
bus on this thoroughfare since the new buses will not harm the beauty of the road,‖ he added.

One wonders if this development is only meant to facilitate the elite and not the poor working classes which are the
backbone of all economic activities of the city, and play a vital role in its progress. According to Hussain, even if the city
government is going to run CNG buses on this route, pedestrians will continue to suffer until the SBP‘s committee launches
their shuttle service, which was originally part of the project.
(By Farooq Baloch, The News-19, 16/11/2007)

                                 CDGK to loan CNG bus transporters Rs 2.5b
KARACHI: City Nazim Mustafa Kamal has said that the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) would provide Rs 2.5
billion in loans to CNG bus transporters to encourage the switch.

―CNG bus operators would only have to spend 20 percent of the money to start a bus service while the CDGK would pay
the rest. We will also provide them bank loans and pay the interest on the loans,‖ Kamal said during his visit to the ongoing
development work in Gadap and New Karachi towns.

Work on Road 9000 in New Karachi has begun and it would be expanded from Super Highway to Manghopir. ―The
construction of Road 9000 would reduce the distance between Super Highway and areas of Badia, Surjani and New
Karachi towns, and provide a smoother ride,‖ he said.

He also visited Ahsanabad where he reviewed the project plan for the expansion of the W-11 route and other ongoing
development work. He met transporters and told them that the government was taking effective steps to provide facilities to
(DailyTimes-B1, 17/11/2007)

                                                       Status of KEE
City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal said that the 24-kilometre long Karachi Elevated Expressway (KEE), extending from
Jinnah Bridge all the way up to Quaidabad, has been held in abeyance because some positive changes are being made in
its planning. The foundation stone laying ceremony of this project was meant to be held in August, but did not materialise.

Kamal said that, at the moment, he was not in a position to disclose the aforementioned ‗positive changes‘ in the larger
interest of the city. He felt that, if disclosed, these changes would merely cause problems as it would open up a Pandora‘s
Box in terms of the myriad modalities associated with the project.

The project, which is to be constructed at an estimated cost of US$225 million, is slated to be completed in three years.
The city of Karachi, having a population of more than 14 million, is spread over an area of 1,800 square kilometers. The
city, which is by far Pakistan‘s largest, has growing population with a increasing number of vehicles coming onto the streets
on a daily basis, because of which vehicular traffic has increased manifold over the years.

Sharea Faisal is the main arterial routes of Karachi and carries heavy volume of traffic from all over the city. Initially, the
KEE was proposed to be built atop Sharea Faisal to provide an express route to Jinnah Bridge, near the Karachi harbour.
(The News-20, 19/11/2007)

                                   The manifest problem of public transport
When asked what he is doing to improve the public transport system, Kamal said that the City District Government Karachi
(CDGK) is going to introduce the Rapid Bus Mass Transit System (RBMTS) some 18 months from now. Under that system,
there will be a separate track for buses and it will be constructed in a way so that no traffic will be allowed there. The buses
would move about without any hindrance which is certainly aimed at facilitating the poor class that uses public transport. ―I
am also targeting those officers who use their private cars to get to their workplace since the CDGK will ply luxury CNG
buses on that track,‖ he added.

―Once this system is in place, people will find it so convenient that they will prefer taking the bus rather than their cars which
will help ease the traffic load,‖ Kamal explained.

When asked why he is not launching it now, he said, ―I have learnt from the mistakes of previous policies and do not want
to repeat that.

If I introduce them without a proper plan they would hardly survive a year or two and will meet the same fate as they did
previously.‖ He further said that he is working on removing all the obstacles that can result in failure of this new system only
then he would launch this service.

When asked what hurdles he is facing in launching the RBMT, Kamal said that 15 buses are waiting at the port for custom
clearance and after that every month there will be a fleet of 250 buses. He further said that they are taking their time to
make sure that all hurdles are removed before the service is launched. Hopeful about the RBMT, Kamal said that it is a
new system that has been successful in other cities around the world. Under this system, the buses come and go at a
specific time. He further said that initially two corridors have been planned for the RBMT. First is corridor one from the
Surjani roundabout to Numaish while the second is corridor three from Orangi town to the Board office. Once this system is
launched, it will be place for 40 to 50 years, he added.

When asked to explain how they are working to get this project, he said that they are not buying these buses. Instead, they
have asked the government to support private entrepreneurs by giving them loans with the facility that the interest will be
paid off by the government. In this, he said, ―we have been allowed to invest Rs2.5 billion.‖

As far as the replacement of old buses are concerned, Kamal said that ―when the new buses arrive, the old ones will be
removed but we can‘t remove them now as it will deprive the public of transportation.‖ He further said that the Asian
Development Bank has assured a loan of $800 million for the mega development of Karachi, out of which $200 million has
been kept for mass transit alone.

Giving an example of the problems caused by the duplication of power, he said ―I want to shift inter-city bus terminals to
city‘s outskirts but I do not have land. The land we planed for the bus termini belongs to provincial government and that is
why they have not been shifted as yet.‖

In addition to the duplication of command, lack of cooperation by other agencies is another problem, Kamal added.
―Regarding the allocation of land and approval of many other plans that are linked to Karachi‘s development but are out of
my power, I have even gone to the president. I was not given land for development projects that are in the larger interest of
public while the same has been given to private parties for commercial purposes. I am facing a lack of cooperation on part
of other agencies,‖ he added.
(The News-20, 19/11/2007)