Empress Market

Updated November 18, 2018


IT was a pleasing sight to see the picture of Empress Market’s iconic clock tower being washed with the help of a snorkel (Nov 13), but what pained me was the dilapidated condition of the clock itself, with holes in it.

It is in a bad condition, without its hour and minute hands. It is a pity that there is nobody in the metropolis to artistically rejuvenate the historical clock or at least fix a newly built replica and ensure it works round the clock and chimes.

Don’t we have an aesthetic sense? We often talk of cultural heritage. However, Empress Market’s new look (minus the heap of debris) is simply exhilarating.

S. Ahmed


THE scene before my eyes was mesmerising, with my mouth agape, as if I was almost unfamiliar with the place except for the iconic clock tower. The site was Empress Market, Saddar, and Karachi, recently freed from the clutches of encroachers as the anti-encroachment drive set in.

The recovery of this monumental feat of architecture is a feather in the city administration’s cap. The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has promised the restoration of the Empress Market to its original condition in a fortnight. But the real challenge is to transform it into a regularly maintained public amenity / architectural heritage and prevent any future encroachment.

The splendid Empress Market needs proper care to include it among other magnificent buildings: Frere Hall, Mohatta Palace, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Building, Quaid-i-Azam Museum, Merewether Clock Tower and KMC Building.

Naeem Sharif

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2018