Karachi, December 14, 2015 (PPI-OT): Responsible citizens of Karachi who had visualised and launched the Eduljee Dinshaw Road project around a year ago came together once again at the very spot for its inauguration outside the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) building and the Imperial Custom House here on Sunday evening.
The curved brick structure of the 1916 KPT building with little gaps in its cornice that seem so inviting to pigeons to brood and the Customs building next to it now overlooks a clean paved walkway with Victorian-style lampposts, wood and cement benches and fountains.
This project is a stepping stone to restoring Karachi to its past glory, said Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat Ul Ibad Khan before inaugurating the project at the freshly renovated Hindu temple with the golden dome on one corner of the same road.
Recalling the issues they had to face during the work on the project, the governor said that they worked day and night on it even when the Karachi operation was in full swing but it was all worth it and now as the project has seen the completion of its first phase, the neighbourhood, too, has stabilised. We can all visualise but it is the implementation that is so important, he said, adding that they also planned to do something about I.I. Chundrigar Road, which has some 62 historic buildings.
Saying so, he also mentioned Bagh Ibn-i-Qasim in Clifton that is in a bad way even after being restored. This unfortunately is owing to lack of maintenance. Therefore maintaining is also very important after restoring a building or landmark. Karachi commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui also showed his delight over the successful completion of the Eduljee Dinshaw Road Project. I feel that the renovation of the neglected old temple around Diwali, earlier, is the best part of this project, he said.
Jamil Yusuf, one of the trustees of the project, said that they were able to complete the first phase of the project with Rs65 million. Now the second phase extending from Charya Chowk to the Aga Khan Jamatkhana is estimated to be around Rs100 million, he said, sounding confident that they would be able to raise that much money, too, as they all had the best interests of the city at heart.
Architect Shahid Abdullah praised his entire team, especially fellow architects Danish Zuby and Haider Raza, who literally stood on everyone’s head to see the completion of the project. Tariq Huda, collector of customs, one of the major stakeholders in the project, admitted that earlier they were afraid of running into blocks such as people with vested interests and lack of funding. But everything went on so smoothly that it left us dumbfounded. It seemed as if God, too, wanted this to happen, he said.
Let’s not let it end here. Let’s carry on the good work. Karachi is full of architecture in need of restoration work to help this city make a comeback in a big way. Doing nothing has cost us dearly so let’s get into action. Let’s not be bystanders, he said.
For more information, contact:
Syed Wajahat Ali
Advisor to Governor (Higher Education and Media)
Sindh Governor House
Tel: +92-21-99201216-7, +92-21-99201201-3