Archive for the ‘Infrastructure’ Category

The Power of Community: Things Pakistan can Learn from Cuba

This might be a scary movie for rest of the world. But Pakistan and Pakistani may learn from it. Cuba after collapse of soviet union faced two major issues.

  1. Energy Crisis (Peak Oil Prices – Power Shortages of up to 14 – 16 hours a day)
  2. Shortage of Fertilizer (Leading to food shortages)

This is a story of how Cubans, who were an educated nation of doctor and engineers, stood up against all odds and survived gracefully. people believed that sharing what little they DID have (food, land, resources) with each other was more important and for the greater good than hoarding it for themselves. Also the government was very encouraging, and allowed all unused urban land to be turned into incredibly productive gardens.

Cuba's Economic Crisis

Click on the image to see the video

With shortage of fertilizers and power cuts, We are also as vulnerable to a sudden collapse of our current agricultural systems. Watch this one for some inspiration on how to get our Pakistan out of the current Mess!

Also, in last couple of weeks, I have fallen in love with again. There are some really inspirational videos over there. have a nice day!

Wapda; only a secondary option

'G' for Generator; 'W' for Wapda

'G' for Generator; 'W' for Wapda


Although the incidence of unannounced loadshedding has been reduced since Mr.Zardari chaired a meeting  in near past over rising public unrest; things are still worse for business and end consumers.

Most of the shop owners, who could afford one, have installed Generators who are now their primary source of power putting the Government utility, WAPDA, only as an occasional, optional way of lighting bulbs…

Too much to spare!

Too Much to Spare!

Too Much to Spare!

Streetlights in DHA wide awake during afternoon hours when they are supposed to be sleepin’. Not to mention that we are witnessing the worst electricity shortage in history…

Is Lahore Ready For An Emergency?

After looking at fiasco that happened at Marriott Hotel of Islamabad, I am seriously concerned to know the current state of Emergency Response Services in Lahore. Are we ready? I am trying my best not to sound cynical but it is the reality of modern civic life that there will be natural of man made disasters.

These days, terrorism is a reality. Unfortunately, we will have to live with it for a considerable period of time. But as citizens of Lahore, we have to keep an eye on the civic services that are being made available to us by our govt. After all we pay all those taxes and its our right to demand a better civic life from them.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

It was a pity to see the Marriott Guard trying to extinguish an explosive chemical fire with a CO2 fire Extinguisher. It was even more disturbing to see firefighters trying to throw water from ground to 4th Floor. What is this? 1920’s…. Millions of taxpayer Rupees have been spent on services like 1122 and CDA’s Disaster Management Cell & all we got was broken pumps and dead batteries. (more…)

Google MAPS – Volunteers Needed

Google Map Maker

Google has opened Pakistan for its Map Maker API. Please visit the site below and add the information for our beloved city Lahore i.e. Roads, Boulevards, Neighborhoods; Once all this information is processed and moderated, it will be included in Google Maps which would certainly help all of our community.


Can we solve the energy crisis?

The sleepless nights and disruption to daily routine through load-shedding has come to be known as business as usual in Pakistan. Over the years however, the realms of what is normal in terms of duration has been pushed to the limit with the country experiencing up to 10-hour electricity and gas load-shedding – an unprecedented level. My sympathies go out to the people who have to bear this experience alongside soaring mercury levels (up to 50 degrees celsius). Thanks to a series of broken promises and sheer mismanagement by the rulers, there doesn’t seem to be any short term solution nor a long term commitment to solve this problem.

It doesn’t take much to conclude that the existing scenario is essentially due to some of the following factors (in no particular order):

1. Uncontrolled population explosion
2. Rising Middle Class with more energy needs
3. Unchanged power infrastructure
4. Inefficient management of power authorities
5. Lack of vision and investment by the Government

Add to the above a consistently unstable political framework and massive levels of illiteracy, any solution not only seems very daunting but downright impossible for the next few years. So what can be done to break this vicious (and self-sustaining) cycle. Considering the indispensability of energy to the future growth needs of the country, a clear vision and plan needs to be drawn up and an unwavering commitment by people and rulers to the process of rolling out the goods regardless of political affiliation.

Based on geological analysis, it is evident that the most pragmatic and sustainable solutions would involve adding multi giga-watt capacity through coal and hydropower based projects. According to research, Pakistan sits on top of the world’s 8th largest reserves of coal and is also home to one of the most extensive natural river systems. Despite the fact that there is widespread agreement on the basis of these two options, progress has been slow and even stalled due to lack of commitment at all levels of government. I would like to draw a distinction here between financial and political ability. It is fair to assume that if a nation wide motor-ways and a new port city (Gwadar) can be built, so too can more dams, power plants and coal exploration be funded by the same government.

Another less talked-about aspect of power generation is solar and wind energy. It is clear that the world’s appetite for non-renewable sources such as crude oil, coal and gas is set to diminish over the next 50 years as some of the world’s largest deposits show signs of depletion. At the same time, there is a shift towards renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and water with great advancements in the development and distribution of infrastructure. Pakistan could seize an opportunity in the current crisis by investing in solar and wind energy farms. With one of the most sunniest outlooks in the world, the plains of Punjab and Sindh could house industrial-scale solar farms or subsidise the technology for distribution at domestic level to help increase self-sufficiency. The coastal regions of Sindh and Baluchistan could be utilised for off-shore wind farms which would not only provide additional capacity but also result in thousands of jobs for locals across the coastal regions.

All the above options seem quite plausible in the case of Pakistan and given some political will, might even get to see the light of day. But what can we do to stop the crisis from further deterioration and provide some ways to survive this summer? The solution lies in a collective national effort.

It is clear that consumption habits of consumers across Pakistan are grossly inefficient. Leaving lights and home appliances on even when they are not being used is a common practice across our homes. Similarly, many businesses such as small retail outlets use excessive lighting. It is commonly observed that shops that could do with a few energy efficient lights to meet the desired level of luminance use as many as 15 to 20 tube lights. Not only does this increase power consumption, it also generates heat and creates a need to purchase even more power hungry cooling appliances such as ACs. The inefficient consumption trend simply runs across all domestic, industrial, trade and commercial sectors. It is crucial that there is an immediate collective national-level effort to stop this misuse of energy.

So what can be done to buck the current trend? With minimal effort, well over ten percent of the overall consumption can be saved by simply changing our attitudes. The people of Pakistan need to acknowledge that the country is faced with an acute energy crisis which requires a national-level effort to overcome it. Together we must draw a distinction between electrical necessities and luxuries. There is simply insufficient levels of energy to fuel both aspects.

There is real potential to avert a real disaster by simply promoting conservation and meet almost half of the energy deficit. To ensure success, public awareness is essential. With the help of effective electronic and print media campaigns the government can quickly educate the masses on the necessary steps.

Unfortunately, we will have to compromise on luxury in order to meet the necessities. Commercial establishments can substantially reduce their power consumption by changing their working hours. An early start and early end to maximise daylight ought to be adopted as opposed to afternoon until late at night hours. AC usage must be dropped to a minimum.

The AC has long been associated in Pakistan with higher social class and with a sign of a luxurious lifestyle. It is probably a fact that rising middle class’s demand for ACS finally broke the proverbial camel’s back. At the current AC consumption trends, we will probably have to stare at the silent ACs with no power as there will be no electricity left for anyone to run them. So let’s stop the use of ACs and grab the good old fan and mosquito net and take in the pleasure of sleeping on the roof. Oh and the beauty of the celestial setting will truly take away any worries of heat. On a personal note, some of my most memorable nights in Lahore have been under the sky during cloudless summer nights.

To conclude, there is no denying the fact that probably the whole world is faced with a form of energy crisis. Energy is scarce and is becoming increasingly dear. The power to harness and conserve energy is in the hands of the people of each nation – In our case, all Pakistanis.

I call on the educated and ruling elite to lead by example and convince the poor and common man that charity indeed starts at home. The masses will take on the idea when they see that the rulers practice what they preach and will play an equal role in changing the status quo.

Hopefully projects such as Dams, Wind, Nuclear and Solar farms will eventually see the light of day. But until then, it is the simple solutions that could potentially save us from a slow and painful process of suffering.

CDGL’s Operation Cleanup

City District Government Lahore (CDGL) is finally taking an effective step against encroachers on main commercial streets in the city starting with demolition of illegal extensions of gas and fuel stations on Thokar Niaz Baig and removing encroachments on both sides of Multan Road.

CDGL’s Operation Cleanup - 2

CDGL’s Operation Cleanup - 1

This bold step has been undertaken in presence of LDA (Lahore Development Authority), LESCO (Lahore Electric Supply Company) representatives and officials belonging to the related law-enforcing agencies.

Regulation and proper implementation of property laws and strict action against offenders regardless of their status are initiatives that are so very good for the commuters, business owners and ultimately the annoyed residents of the affected localities and their surrounding areas.

The city of footballs takes off

Sialkot, situated almost half the way to Islamabad from Lahore, is a city famous for exporting world class sports goods (read footballs), utensils and surgical instruments. Despite of its high industrial and economic status, the city pathetically lacks decent accomodation or hotels, and good logistics links with the rest of the country. But everything is going to change for the good now.

With a new Rs.40 billion Motorway link between Lahore and Sialkot in the planning stages, the city already has an international airport now.


Last year, the people of Sialkot made history by building the first privately owned airport in the country. SIAL by every mean and measure is the largest privately sponsored infrastructure project in Pakistan and speaks for the marvels industry investments into society can bring.


Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) started its first scheduled service off Sialkot on November 30, 2007 and from February 15, 2008, Sialkot has been brought online on PIA’s international service with weekly flights to Kuwait. Plans for a regular international cargo service are in the final stages too.

This indeed is great news for the people of Sialkot while for Lahoris, it gives us access to the facility of Pakistan’s longest runway (welcoming prospective arrival of the A380 in Pakistan) just on a two hours drive.

LMB congratulates the people of Sialkot for showing us all how citizens can make real difference and benefit from unity of economic and social strength.

Only in Lahore: Restroad

…and just when we, at LMB, were having a toast at all the praises Tee Emm of KMB had for Lahori roads, we (sadly) encountered this! :(


An open manhole covered with a broken commode.

As a Lahori, I find this extremely embarrassing – but not more than this! ;)

Image Source: Daily Times

Be Grateful, O Thankless Lahoris!

Read what Tee Emm of KMB had to say after his recent visit to Lahore after a long gap of 8 years: Karachi vs Lahore

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.