Pakistan Customs and a group of citizens have transformed Eduljee Dinshaw Road.
Pakistan Customs and a group of citizens have transformed Eduljee Dinshaw Road. © AYSHA SALEEM/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Recently, Pakistan Customs and a group of citizens — which includes architect Shahid Abdulla, Karachi commisioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui and former Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) chief Jameel Yousuf — put together the Eduljee Dinshaw Road Trust to transform the road and the facade of the building. The road turns into a pedestrians-only zone after 6:30pm. The project, which cost Rs65 million, was inaugurated on Sunday evening.

Customs collector Tariq Huda, who had the vision for this project, said that it was a well-thought-out and planned project and had witnessed several sacrifices during the course of completion. The tea sellers who had encroached part of the road and the parking mafia operating in the area were sent packing when the project kicked off, he shared.

Architect Shahid Abdulla recalled how it all came together. About a year ago, Abdulla was called to Customs House and was asked how he liked the building? “It’s obvious that I replied that it’s beautiful,” he told the audience. When asked about the road in front of the building, he was surprised. “‘What about it?’ I asked because there wasn’t anything to say about that road,” he said.

Eventually when they decided to revamp the road and came up with the idea of taking the 100,000 square feet of the road back to the era when the Customs House building was constructed. Abdulla admitted that his understanding of the designs of that era were limited so he sought the help of the chief architect of the project, Danish Zubi, who has great understanding of the British Raj and its décor.