Traffic nightmares may come true

While commuters fear the worst scenes of traffic congestion, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has been persistent with its plans to construct an underpass near Hotel Mehran supposedly to remove one of the last major bottlenecks in the flow of traffic on Sharea Faisal.

In this connection, a meeting was held at the KMC head offices on Monday to review the preparatory work to start construction of the underpass near Hotel Mehran in the near future.Speaking at the meeting, KMC Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed directed the municipal officials concerned to immediately start shifting of the underground utility lines at the proposed site of Hotel Mehran Underpass on Dr Daud Pota Road so that construction work on this project could be initiated.

He also instructed the concerned departments to re-organise the traffic management plan for vehicles passing through the proposed site of this underpass at Sharea Faisal.

The meeting decided that first, only a single track of Sharea Faisal would be closed for traffic to carry out the construction work for the Hotel Mehran Underpass while the second track of Sharea Faisal would remain open for traffic.

The KMC chief said that the work on this project must continue on round-the-clock basis and during the holidays so that a portion of this project could be completed in two to two and a half month’s time. Continue reading

Flyover in Karachi

It is very good to see that fly over construction has started at Water Pump, Ayesha Manzil and Liaquatabad Dakhana in Karachi. These three flyovers will now ensure hassle free flow of traffic. Because of traffic jam at Ayesha Manzil and Liaquatabad Dakhana, there were many case of mobile snatching.

Mobile snatchers were very much active in these areas and police have failed to maintain law and order in these areas. During the inauguration ceremony Sindh Governor Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan said that work on these fly over, will be done 24/7 and within six months construction of fly overs will be completed.  Continue reading

Absence of mass transit system ups traffic woes

KARACHI – KMC Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed has directed to start shifting of underground utility lines at the site of Hotel Mehran Underpass so that construction work on this project could be initiated. He also instructed the department concerned to re-organise the traffic management plan for vehicles passing through the site of this underpass at Shahrah-e-Faisal.Addressing a meeting attended by Metropolitan Commissioner Matanat Ali Khan, DIG Traffic Khurram Gulzar, DG Technical Services Altaf Memon, Deputy Commissioner South Mustafa Jamal Qazi, Deputy Commissioner Central Dr Saifur Rehman and other officers, he directed to construct this underpass in two phases.

Firstly, work will be carried out on a track of the Shahrah-e-Faisal while this track will remain close for traffic on this track and the second track will be used for construction work after completion of work on the first track.He said the work on the project must continue round the clock and during holidays also so that a portion of this project could complete in two and a half months time.He said shifting of water and sewerage pipe lines beneath the site of project was very important and needs some time to complete hence the work on it must begin immediately. Continue reading

Rs 49.592bn released for development projects

LAHORE: The Punjab government has released Rs 49.592 billion to executing agencies for various development sectors against the net development programme of Rs 210 billion during the first quarter of financial year 2012-13.

Official sources told APP on Sunday the net size of the Annual Development Programme (ADP 2012-13) is Rs 210 billion out of which Rs 49.592 billion had been released for implementation and completion of development projects.

The Punjab government released an amount of Rs 18.945 billion for social sectors, Rs 23.807 billion for Infrastructure Development, Rs 2.557 billion for Production Sectors, Rs 1.388 billion for Services Sector, Rs 2.776 billion for development schemes of Local Government and Rs 0.012 billion for other sectors i.e. Environment, Information & Culture, Archaeology, Auqaf, Human Rights etc. Continue reading

Trade with EU under ATP begins next month

LAHORE: Head of World Trade Organization cell of Trade Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP), Mujeeb Ahmed Khan, has said that Pakistan’s trade with European countries under the EU Autonomous Trade Preference (ATP) scheme will begin from November 1, 2012 and a notification to this effect is expected by the 28th of this month.

Khan was speaking at a seminar jointly organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Trade Development Authority Pakistan. “Trade Development Authority Pakistan was all set to issue online certificates from November 1 to potential businessmen interested in doing business under the EU ATP scheme,” he said.

He made it clear that for the remaining two months of the year only 25 percent of the annual quota would be made available for duty-free access while a 100 percent would be available from January 1, 2013. Khan further said that all chambers of commerce in the country would be issued guidelines for the issuance of country-origin certificates within a week. “Businessmen doing business under the EU ATP scheme would have to mention the particulars of their buyers in the EU,” said Khan.

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Bakery beating finally catches Shahbaz’s eye

LAHORE, Oct 15: Defence B police on Monday registered a case against three unidentified men and six Elite Police Force officials for allegedly hurling life threats and torturing an employee at a confectionary in a case linked to an ‘influential’ young lady.

On orders by the chief executive of the province, police took the action some eight days after the incident allegedly took place in T-Block market of the Defence Housing Authority on Oct 7. Police took two men, including an Elite Police Force official, into custody.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has also ordered a high-level inquiry into the torture incident.

According to the First Information Report lodged under sections 148, 149 and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code, complainant Umer Hussain, a DHA Phase II resident, stated that he ran the confectionary ‘Sweet Tooth’ in T-Block market.

Between I pm and 2 pm on Oct 7, a woman came to the shop and asked for a cake. The shop was closed for cleaning. The employees asked the visitor to come later when the shop would be open. Two men, who according to Mr Hussain’s account appeared to be bodyguards of the lady, misbehaved with an employee named Irfan and left with warnings of dire consequences.

Between 6 pm and 7 pm the same day, the two men revisited the bakery accompanied by another man. They identified Irfan and took him just outside the bakery where up to six uniformed Elite Police officials were present. Irfan was thrashed and threatened. Bakery owner Hussain says in the FIR he alerted the Rescue 15 police about the incident.

A police investigator privy to the development told Dawn the police had taken Elite Police Force head-constable Muhammad Riaz (4262) and Zafar Hussain of Saqib Town, Baidian Road, into custody and raids were in progress to arrest the remaining suspects, including policemen. Zafar Hussain is said to be a private bodyguard of chief minister’s son-in-law, Imran Yousaf.

The same officer said the police couldn’t as yet establish the identity of the young lady mentioned in the FIR – even though CCTV footage purportedly of the lady’s visit to the bakery on Oct 7 had widely been circulating on the internet for the last few days. On Monday, some television channels joined social media sites into suspecting that the lady was a close relation of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Some loudly wondered whether it was his daughter, as alleged by some social media sites.

The CCTV footage doing the rounds captures two episodes, separated by a few hours. The first installment shows a young woman wearing a scarf entering the shop and apparently having a conversation with the staff. The second episode shows men dressed in shalwar kameez escorting bakery employee Irfan out, talking to him and then launching into a physical attack on him as a handful of uniformed souls who appear to be members of the Elite Force stand by flaunting their ‘No Fear’ jackets. The ‘anonymous’ police officer Dawn talked to said the registration of the case was based on this second incident. Dawn tried to reach Umer Hussain, the complainant in the case, to get more details of the case. He couldn’t be reached despite repeated calls on his cell phone.

According to an official handout, it was only on Monday morning that the matter was brought to the notice of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif – who was on a foreign visit at the time when the incident is alleged to have taken place. Continue reading

CDA staff to get Eid bonus

Islamabad: Following efforts by the Capital Development Authority’s Mazdoor Union, CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz has approved payment of Eid bonus equal of one-month basic salary for the civic body’s employees from BPS-1 to BPS-16 (non-gazetted staff).The decision will also apply to employees working in the CDA on contract and daily wage basis. Both salary and Eid bonus would be paid to employees before Eidul Azha on October 22. Continue reading

CDA sets up committee to iron out kiosks issue

ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz on Monday constituted a high-level committee to look into the issue of granting licence to kiosks and to formulate a policy in this regard. According to CDA official, the committee will be headed by Member Finance Azhar Ali Chaudhry and include Member Administration Munir Ahmed Chaudhry, Member Planning and Design Syed Mustafain Kazmi and Member Environment Dr Kazim Niaz as its members.

The committee would submit a detailed report containing all the aspects, issues and proposals to this effect to the CDA chairman by 23rd, the sources further said. The committee would also review the legality of the already established kiosks located in different city areas. It would also look into the alleged irregularity in licencing of 450 kiosks near Faizabad Interchange. While addressing a meeting on Monday, CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz said that a comprehensive policy regarding licencing and erection of kiosks “is necessary to eradicate the complaints and help maintain the beauty of the city”. He directed the committee that proper procedure should be adopted regarding licencing, fee and other relevant issues of kiosks to minimise the complaints of irregularities and ensure transparency. Continue reading

Sacrificial animals market to be set up in I-11

ISLAMABAD – The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has successfully conducted the auction of sacrificial animal market (Bakra Mandi) for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.

The highest bid for the auction was Rs 5.260 million. Market for the sacrificial animals would be established in sector I-11/4 from the 1st Zil Haj till 13th Zil Haj, while all arrangements in this regard have been finalised.

Basic facilities including parking lot, lights, sanitation and fire brigade would be available in Bakra Mandi. Chairman CDA, Syed Tahir Shahbaz has said that CDA would facilitate the residents of the federal capital to purchase the sacrificial animals from Bakra Mandi without any hassle.  He directed Directorate of Enforcement not to allow the sale of sacrificial animals in the city except the market and keep vigilant eye on the movement of sacrificial animal traders and take action against violators. Continue reading

Civic authority’s garbage disposal raises stink

View from Islamabad

View from Islamabad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ISLAMABAD Islamabad’s litter collecting problems are not confined to paper cups thrown in streets or people tossing wrappers out of moving cars. The civic authority of the city Capital Development Authority (CDA) itself has been littering sectors after sectors.

After being forced by the local residents to shift the landfill site from Sector H-11, H-10 in 2010; G-11, G-10 in July 2011 and I-15 in December last year, the CDA has found another temporary site in Sector I-12 to openly dump municipal, including hazardous, waste.

The site was earlier shifted to Sector I-14 but moved out from there due to pressure from the residents as they had to live in stink.

Environmentalists in the Ministry of Climate Change worry that these activities carried out in ad hoc manners have unfavourable environmental and community health implications.

According to Farid Shah, the supervisor of the site, about 50 to 60 trucks dumped waste there after collecting them from homes and offices.

“Trucks and tractors start coming in 8.30am and keep dumping mounds of garbage until 3pm to 4pm,” said Shah, as he gestured to a garbage truck to reverse.

Worse than the awful stench that hangs over the land half the size of a sector but the hazardous material from factories unloaded openly.

The site, roughly seven to eight months old, is at the centre of settlements about 300 to 400m on all sides where stench spreads out over houses. Continue reading