Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Emaar. Shaping the Future. Today.

Clifton Underpass (old Schon Circle) today has a new big billboard saying EMAAR - Looks like the soaring real-estate prices in Karachi even managed to attracts the oil-rich arabs to focus on Karachi.

More detalis about Emaar:
Emaar. Shaping the Future. Today.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Have an investment Plot in Scheme 33?

The following newsitem (7th Feb 2006) should be all honey for the average joe investors who bought a plot or two in scheme 33 of Karachi. This 40 year old scheme has been marred with unrealized civic amenities and the non-development of this scheme has resulted in the sharp upshoot of the prices real estate prices in Karachi.

KARACHI: Ibad orders revival of Scheme-33 in a month -DAWN - Local; February 7, 2006
KARACHI: Ibad orders revival of Scheme-33 in a month

KARACHI, Feb 6: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan ordered the authorities concerned to remove all the impediments in the revival of Scheme-33 Gulzar-i-Hijri within a month.

He issued these directives at a high-level meeting held at the Governor’ House on Monday, in which revival of the Gulzar-i-Hijri scheme, Taiser Town and design of the Karsaz flyover was reviewed.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Minister for Planning and Development Shoaib Bukhari, advisers Waseem Akhtar and M.A. Jalil, Chief Secretary Fazlur Rehman, City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal, Secretary Local Government Ishaq Lashari, DCO Fazlur Rehman, representative of the Federation of Cooperative Societies Scheme-33 and others.

Mr Lashari gave briefing with regards to the implementation of various directives and latest progress made in relation to the Scheme-33.

The Sindh governor issued directives for an early transfer of the scheme land to the city government. In this regard a committee, headed by a senior member of the Board of Revenue was set up with secretary local government, member land utilization, EDO revenue and others as its members.

Dr Ibad directed the appointment of a project director within a month and said that his office should be established in the same area so that the revival work could be completed expeditiously. He asked the chief secretary to hold another review meeting after a fortnight.

In the meeting the officials concerned briefed about details regarding water, electricity, sewerage etc. It was informed that the water board had completed the initial work for sewerage system and in this regard a pumping station would be set up on 200sq yards and a treatment plant on 200sq yards.

The Sindh governor pointed out that it was particularly difficult to resolve the intricate land matters but with sustained efforts, the scheme which remained in doldrums for the last 40 years, had been brought into take off position.

He directed that strict watch should be kept on the encroachments and those removed once must not reappear and the matters relating to the determination of the outer development charges should also be resolved expeditiously.

The secretary local government informed that over Rs50 million were outstanding against cooperative societies as cost of land and Rs120 million against individual allottees.

It was decided that in order to keep the revenue matters transparent, posting of Mukhtiarkars and Patwaris in future would be at the discretion of the city government. The provincial government will only issue orders for their posting in the city government. It was informed that Patwari was a district cadre post.

The governor directed that in order to maintain transparency in land matters, posting of honest and hard working staff be ensured.

Owais meets Ibad: Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani on Monday met Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan at Governor’s House.

On the occasion, inter-provincial matters besides various issues of mutual importance came under discussion.

Both reviewed the joint efforts of the two provinces for elimination of crimes and it was decided to further strengthen the strategy for wiping out criminals.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Dead Whale @ Hawksbay

Karachi gets its second dead-whale-washed-ashore in recent years. The 36 footer must be sight to go for (despite the reported stinking as the creature was dead many days ago as per the WWF experts). Earlier, a similar dead whale was washed ashore near Sea View (Clifton). I remember the local minibuses altered their conventional stops and the conductor of the bus used to shout 'Machlee, Machlee' to get a few extra passengers who'd want to see the dead giant and the buswalas could make a few more rupees!

KARACHI, Jan 16: Body of a whale which had died many days back washed ashore on the Hawkesbay beach early on Sunday morning. Responding to the Dawn queries, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) conservation officer Babar Hussain said that approximately 36-foot-long whale had died of natural cause about 10 to 15 days back.

The body is stinking.

He said that pieces of tail and dorsal fin of the dead whale had been eaten by the marine creatures. The skeleton of the whale would be shifted to Karachi University, he added.

He said that the WWF along with Karachi University and Millport University (UK) was carrying out a three-year Cetacean Conservation Project under which whales, dolphins and other marine creatures were being studied.

He said that earlier body of a sperm whale that had washed ashore near the Mubarrak Village near Hawkesbay was recovered and shifted to the Karachi University for its educational use.

Sindh Wildlife Conservator Ghulam Rasool Channa said he had deputed an official, Dr Fahmida Firdous, to check the marine creature that had washed ashore and she, most probably, would submit a report after which anything could be said on the issue.

It may be recalled that sometime back, body of another whale had washed ashore between the DHA and Korangi coast.

The skeleton was recovered and is being kept at the wildlife museum.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Karachi to have its first Tier 4 Data Center

For the interest of the local IT community, here is some good news to share: Karachi to have its first Tier 4 Data Center.

Public Data Centers (as opposed to 'Private Data Centers' built and operated by private enterprises) are rated according to their infrastructure facilities and allowable downtimes per year. They can range from Tier 1 to Tier 4 with Tier 1 being the most simple and inexpensive and Tier 4 beig the most complex to maintain and most expensive to build.

Such a resilent facility should have no shortage of potential customers specially when decent network connections to the outside world are available to the data center. I wish the US based group that is financing the venture and its Pakistani owners all the success as this could be the start point of the much awaited local hosting facilities.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Mobilink's Online Subscriber Counter

Mobilink is causing its competitors sleepless nights by putting up interesting online counter on a huge bill-board on the (ex-Shcon Circle) Underpass. The counter shows a whooping 9,XXX,XXX figure that moves with time and is meant to show new SIM being activated on the mobilink network. It sure will give Warid & Telenor a lot of blood pressure while Paktel and Instaphone can die out of their inability to even cross the million mark.

Hajj Fever Gripping Karachi

Hajj is approaching and a lot of activities related to Hajj can be spotted. Alamgir Trust is the center spot for the general public for their Hajj related shopping (Ehram, Chappals, Prayer Matts etc) as well as the Hajj training programs that are one of the best in their domain.

The Hajj Flight Schedule has been finalized.

Ban on Marriage Dinners!

Last night I attended a marriage ceremony - which is what everyone is doing since Eid (4th Nov 2005) because it is considered the best time to get married in contemporary culture. Ever since the Higher Courts of Pakistan woke up from their respective sleeps and re-enforced the ban on lavish marriage dinners, the administration has been pretty strict in getting the orders implemented. The bride family of a typical middle class will secretly thanks the situation where they can gracefully avoid the expense of marriage dinners.

However, what just dawned on my last night was the fact that despite the fact that dinner was not served, the reception family included five to six non dinner items (and of course not to mention the paans) in the refreshments. The family could bearly afford the cost of the event and even though they were offered this chance of saving something on this excessive expenditure, they didn't opt for it and made sure they include all possible dishes (call them items!) that they could afford.

And all this made me think if the intent of the ban was really met or not.

How about real casual marriage ceremonies where we actually sip some good hot tea and chew a few dry-friuts and can be true to our concious that we attended a simple marriage ceremony?

PTCL's Putting More Optical Fiber in Karachi Neighbourhoods

PTCL is putting a lot of new optical fiber cable in the oustide plant (for non-techies, the term optical fiber refers to the copper and fiber cables that a telco lays on the streets and the roads - beyond its office building - to reach to its customers locations. This time, more interestingly, they have arranged pre-casted manhole chambers of concrete that they will just dig-and-bury at the junction level.

For those close to the business, this means a lot of new capacity for PTCL in terms of both quantity (more lines) and quality (broadband serviecs) to the end users in...err..2010 may be!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Another Bus Accident

Two racing 4L (large) busses at Teen Hatti caused another accident. The driver of the chasing bus drove his vehicles right wheels on the footpath to find his way ahead in the rush and when he tried to get back to the road he could no longer balance the large mass of the bus and the body tripped on the road.

The scream-producing scene was of a motorcyclist who was miraclously saved. He was just on the left side of the bus moving in the same direction and he actually saw the bus started to fall on its left. As he quickly got off his moving bike, the body of the bus fell on the bike and the man remained mostly safe.

People were trying to pop out of the fallen bus most of them with visible bruises and blood stained arms and faces due to the broken glasses and overall unfortunate incidents.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

PIA Planetarium - Revival?

Seems like there is some revival of the PIA Planetarium activities going on. Located in Gulshan near the Expo Center, the place and facility has attracted lots of bad press and seems like it would soon be a victim of cost cutting and will eventually be closed down. but initially it had all the ingredients to spark intense interest in Science and Technology in the younger generation while providing some healthy fun to the elder visitors but the facility never took off. The idea was great and so has been my experience with the Planetarium (when I was too young to write all this but can still remember the details).

How about asking PIA to relinquish the administrative charge of the facility (we do thank them for all the investment and the work done till now) but let us give this out to a more agile (private?) body who could attract due crowd to the fantastic place, increase the activities that take place (something beyond the repetitive shows). We had the Mars pass the earth so closely in the past week and it was an excellent time to promote the planetarium and arrange some live Mars Observation via some good quality telescope (may be for a small fee). All this and more could be done if we have a more dynamic body taking care of this precious citizen resource of Karachi.