I Bitched, Ranted & Raved … and then JOINED them! 😊

April 1, 2021

https://dinshawavari.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/for-the-love-of-motorcycles/

                              &

https://dinshawavari.com/2019/07/03/can-we-please-ban-motorcycles-on-karachis-roads/

I have had a perennial hatred for motorcycle riders in Pakistan … the impunity with which they get away with breaking the law; their crass method of driving; and their complete lack of knowledge on rules of the road (but the same may also be said of 4-wheelers ☹)

Then one day, Shireen, a young lady in our Community, contacted me about some issue and, in talking, mentioned she drives a motorcycle to work & back – I have seen sporadic women motorcycle drivers – but someone this hit home.  (It’s like the time my son in the 2000 decade skillfully used chopsticks in Fujiyama, when I used a fork! – man, that really hit home 😊)

Come end December 2020, I learnt the basics of motorcycle driving through Pink Riders (as you guessed, basically a class for women learners).  Besides the instructor, I was the only male in the group … and that too 50+.

So, in 3-4 lessons, I learnt the basics … and soon thereafter, much to my wife’s (and subsequently family’s) chagrin, bought a used, 70cc motorcycle.  What she found even more vexing was the price I bought it at – she wasn’t sure if she should be concerned for my safety on a bike OR be concerned for my safety on THIS bike at THAT price 😊😊😊.

(image courtesy of Maxine.com, Hallmark LIcencing & Crabby Road)

Honestly, what I have come to learn is motorcycles are actually fun (I’m still learning by the way in my compound, much to my guards and drivers’ enjoyment) and what I have been against in the past was actually the motorcycle RIDERS.  There is no discipline, no system to the way they drive, nor any safety standards they adhere to. 

Not only am I self-learning with ALL the help of YouTube but I am taking great care in learning as per the rules of the road.  For instance, I ensure I wear the helmet, PROTECTING MY HEAD (where, I think, it’s meant to be 🤔) and NOT on the gas tank, PROTECTING THE BIKE!  It’s not easy when you learn by YouTube because there’s no one to tell you when you do wrong – but I think I’m getting there.

So, while I may continue to bitch about others … I have basically JOINED THEM.

OVERLAND PAKISTAN … here I [subsequently] come!

(@Beach_Luxury @AvariTowers1986 @AvariLahore @AvariXpress  #AvariHotels #Karachi #bikers #motorcyclists #motorcycle #roadsafety #helmet #cars #driving #MotorcyclesinKarachi #MotorcyclesinPakistan #Roadrules #motorcyclesafety #Helmets #Safety #roadsinKarachi #drivingrules #transport #recklessdriving #buses #roadsafety #AtlasHonda #SuzukiPakistan #YamahaPakistan #HotelsinPakistan #hotelsinkarachi #hotelsinislamabad, #hotelsinmultan #hotelsinfaisalabad #hotelsinlahore #BeachLuxuryHotel #AvariTowers #AvariLahore #AvariXpress #AvariHotels)

LIGHT RAIL – TRAM SYSTEM

January 2, 2020

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjvk4Lqq-TmAhW9QUEAHbl6AzQQMwhZKAYwBg&url=https%3A%2F%2Fdefence.pk%2Fpdf%2Fthreads%2Fthe-karachi-tramway-of-yesteryear.428552%2F&psig=AOvVaw1X9tU1wvWsCxe7Pji-SRZJ&ust=1578034790143080&ictx=3&uact=3

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.

Sydney light rail (Sydney Morning Herald)

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.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way to success!

Farm … to Market

November  6, 2019

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elXGOeS8EUQ)

One of the best investments this Country ever made in the ‘90’s was development of the new Motorways in the Punjab.  Let’s analyze what it has produced-

  • Poverty- Whether it’s the “CPEC” development of roads network, rail links or other transport modes or it’s internally developed, tying city to city and province to province will uplift rural areas and give them access to commerce, trade, emergencies, etc.;
  • Commerce – you’ve shrunk the time, eased the availability and given smooth access to farmers and trade from their villages to large towns and cities;
  • Mobility- Punjab has become MOBILE.  With a maximum travel time of six hours, people can work in one city while their home is in another- very much like cities in USA;
  • Transport- network and infrastructure has increased and become better;
  • Employment- you’ve created new means of income & employment- whether new buses ply the motorways, staffing these buses or opportunities for shops, outlets, offices, etc. (more on this below*)
  • Tourism- you give immediate access to develop internal tourism opportunities (more on this below*).  This summer, my brother, sis-in-law and our families drove from Karachi to Nathiagali, in one of the best overland adventures they have had!

*Tourism & self-employment- Local towns, villages and populace on the road network should be helped & encouraged to put up small, clean, 2-3 star lodgings & cottages– the economy of that area is being developed indigenously.  Pakistani hospitality is one of the best the world has ever seen (but few can experience it in the face of negative publicity ☹).  You don’t need the “Avaris” and the “PCs” & “Serenas” – let it be the “Khan Motel” instead.  One, 10 room lodging will give DIRECT income & employment to a family of 5-7 people minimum; they in turn will employ others to help run the show; producers will sell food stuff, cleaning, linen and other items to these lodgings; the benefits go on down-stream and are never ending; and on & on.  The ancillary developments that take place are another story all together – shops , retails, malls, organized tours, etc.

(http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/416339-Motorway-opened-for-all-kinds-of-traffic)

There may be no international empirical evidence suggesting an increase in road networks necessarily helps an economy but I see actual, on-the-ground benefits we have gained in Pakistan.  If travel time between Karachi and Lahore can be reduced from almost 24 hours to 12 hours, what’s not to like?  If a series of motorways links the length and breadth of Pakistan, what’s wrong with that?

(As I post this, the new M7 – Multan to Sukkar- just opened!)