On a recent trip to Sydney, I saw their new Sydney Light Rail project under testing and it reminded me of the tram system we commuted in Prague and Zagreb.
Karachi is a city of almost 30 Million residents (forget what the “census” says!). The City is held “hostage” to the traditional bus mafia- unsafe, rash & decrepit. While the Sind Government is trying to get it’s overdue Bus Metro project started (Lahore is way ahead of us with their Metro!), in a metropolis of this size, our mass transit has to be revolutionized and modernized … and the only way is Metro or a solar powered, Light Rail/Tram system.
The advantages of a light rail network is that it runs above ground – we don’t really know the plans of our buildings’ foundations so better to stick to above-ground solutions.
Like most cities of the world, distances in Karachi are great. Unlike many cities in the world, Karachi still has wider roads – but as the traffic and parking is not controlled, we remain “bumper to bumper” when driving. However, if safe parking plazas are built & operated and car, bus & motorcycles’ driving in lanes are regulated, I don’t see why we cannot actually convert one lane (each-way) on each of our main arteries and larger streets to a tram network. Using the Sun to power the Rail during the day, we will also protect environmental damage and conserve electricity.
We need to MOVE PEOPLE safely and quickly- this will never happen with our current bus service.
This weekend, my family and I visited our driver for a condolence on the death of his young son, who also worked in our Hotel.
The man died
of mouth cancer … due to chewing paan (betel nut) and gutka.
tobacco-related narcotic, is truly the scourge of mouth cancer- and it is
the Provincial Government enacted a tremendous law banning Gutka, with a heavy
fine & imprisonment … while the nascent law is a positive step, the
government has yet to follow up with effective implementation.
is that for the consumers of this substance it is a narcotic. You can’t simply turn off a switch. Like other narcotics and behaviors, it is
deeply ingrained in society and part of their lives – so much so that generations
of families are consuming it concurrently.
Besides, I don’t believe we have the infrastructure to provide
medication, counselling or alternative therapies to “un-learn” this behavior.
Like the law,
we have had strict rules restricting betel nut on the job (let alone gutka!)-
but, like the law, we cannot effectively implement our own rule. We do physical checks and entry pat-downs –
yet it makes its way into the staff canteen and staff areas. In spite of knowing their colleague’s cancer
(which was in its final stage when diagnosed), no one has even reduced this
consumption. Our own house maid, her
mouth STUFFED, refuses to accept she’s chewing it – her mouth so full that she
cannot even verbally defend herself!
condolence visit, not only was our driver’s wife consuming betel nut but their
entire family was chewing away on it … nary a care to the reason behind
reduction of their family’s size!
If the finality of death is not enough to scare such consumers to stopping this narcotic, what will ☠?