DHA City Karachi: Civilians to pay Rs2m and army officers half for plots

Published: February 23, 2012

The project was started to facilitate the 10,000 plots needed for army officers, said Raza. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

The journalists at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Defense Housing Authority (DHA) City Karachi (DCK) were persistent in their queries about why civilians are not given the same concession on plots as military personnel at army-run projects.

Although the Corps Commander Lt General Zahirul Islam hinted at a concession for the public, the DHA administrator, Brigadier Aamer Raza, acknowledged no such information. “We can look into it when more plots are auctioned in the second phase of the project after 2016,” said Raza. Spread over 11,640 acres, the DCK is located 44 kilometers from Karachi along the Super Highway. Around 25,000 plots, measuring from 160 to 2,000 square yards, have already been sold.

The project was started to facilitate the 10,000 plots needed for army officers, said Raza. “DHA develops for defence officials, yet civilians were allowed to participate in the auction for the first time. This gesture should be appreciated.” DHA will hold a ballot within the next four weeks for the allotment of the first 9,000 DCK plots to investors, who will be able to move in by 2016. The entire project will be completed by 2030. Another 25,000 plots will be auctioned in four to five years.

Officials said that after the setback of Emaar, Creek Marina and Cogen Power plant, DHA has prepared a financial model. The model will ensure that the escalation of the construction cost is covered by the interest earned from the sale of the 25,000 plots, said the chief project consultant, Arif Osmani.

It’s not personal, it’s business  

A standard 500 square yard plot in DCK has been sold to civilians for Rs2 million, whereas the army officers paid Rs1 million.

Following the project’s inauguration and its initial ground work, the price has started to move up, said a real estate consultant, Muhammad Shafi Jakvani. “The 500 square yard plots are now being sold for over Rs2 million.”

Self-sufficient

The DCK project director, Brig. (retd) M Rafique, said that investors will be happy to know that sufficient quantity of water has been found in the underground aquifers. “By 2016, the water requirement will be five million gallons per day and we will be able to manage that easily.” According to officials, the residents of the project won’t be burdening the country’s scarce gas reserves as solar geysers will be mandatory.

A vast piece of land has been allotted for windmills and conventional thermal power plants. The DCK requires 50 MW within the next four years.

The entire cost of DCK is estimated at $1 billion. DHA hopes to attract $3 billion in investment through businesses like hospitals and educational institutions. Thirteen trams and 79 buses will operate for the residents to commute within DCK. Two theme parks, a hospital with nuclear medicine facilities, a university, 20 colleges and 40 schools have also been planned for the project.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Feb 23, 2012 - 4:30AM

    Army officers “need” 10,000 plots? For all the rhetoric about appreciating the sacrifices of soldiers, how about offering some plots for jawans and NCO’s? How many of them live in any of the DHA’s apart from the servant quarters? How exactly is DHA paying for all of this? Who paid for the land and the seed money? How did they get control of the land? Have the original holders been compensated? Does the Corps commander and other brigadiers have nothing better to do? Given that there is rampant militancy in one part of the country and terrorist sanctuaries in another, is this where their priorities lie?

    When DHA wants to sing praises about its accomplishments, it proudly claims to be a military project, with serving officers in attendance. When any criticism is placed on it, then they claim to be a civilian organization, with no relationship with the military.

    Now they have prepared a “financial model”, so for the previous projects they hadn’t? Who has been held responsible for the losses, costs overruns and delays in the previous projects?

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  • Feb 23, 2012 - 7:35AM

    @Nadir:
    .. aah, i wish u could also be one of the allot-tees and then u would realize the potential frustration in forthcoming years due to snail paced development. have you ever realized that most residents of the DHAs are civilians , who can purchase at extra ordinarily high prices out of their looted / corrupted / money. Army officials get lesser opportunities, so they need to be compensated. regards

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  • Feb 23, 2012 - 10:45AM

    Its really strange that public money is being wasted on such projects. What about the persons who lost their houses in earth quake& devastating floods in Pakistan, Is their any plan to support them, answer is NO. Moreover money donated by the outside donors was also looted bcoz poor peoples have no power. Every where you will find such society which are being built on public money, like DHA, PIA Colony, Journalist & Justice Colony, WAPDA Towns, Federal Employee Housing & lot more. Giving such plot to the person who lost their life while defending the country wether those were serving security forces or law enforcement agencies really make sense but not for the others. can any one give me an example of such housing schemes in any other part of the world.

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  • Atif Ejaz
    Feb 23, 2012 - 3:15PM

    @nadeem:

    “have you ever realized that most residents of the DHAs are civilians , who can purchase at extra ordinarily high prices out of their looted / corrupted / money”

    yes some of the civilians may be involved in looting plundering, but all these forces “who torture masses in Baluchistan, who bombard their own fellow country men, who treat their batman lesser than a human being, and who become president of Pakistan in uniform” are paid out of the taxes of us CIVILIANS money; whether looted or earned

    if you want to give concessions, give’em to Jawans who sacrifice their lives for the country, who are fired in their chest, not those OFFICERS who keep conspiring against civilians and party rest of their time.

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  • Tax Paying Civilian
    Feb 23, 2012 - 3:43PM

    So this is where al my money is going and the very reason why 6 men were able to keep 3,000 military and para military forces at bay in PNS Mehran for an impressive period of time.

    The project should be immediately scrapped and the money distributed amongst those dying in suicide bombings due to sheer incompetence of our armed forces and intelligence agencies.

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  • Nadir
    Feb 23, 2012 - 4:21PM

    @nadeem: Who will compensate the people upon whose land these schemes are made? The people whose land was taken on which DHA Phase 1 and 2 has been made in Islamabad have not been compensated since the 1990s. So dont lecture civilians on their corruption, when the Army loots and plunders as they wish.

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  • DANISH ALI AHMAD
    Feb 23, 2012 - 9:12PM

    and guess who can buy a piece in that place of heaven?
    that will be generals, brigadiers, captains, lieutinents . Who can play polo, golf, bridge above the average rate.
    who can dress, walk, jog, run and talk like westerners.
    and the list will also include some fine bureaucrats…
    who while possesing all of the above charateristics must have corruption money in their pockets.
    I bet if someone would put a regulation that a BUYER has to prove his income rule, and the arned income should have been TAXED by the govt. they cannot sell a SINGLE plot in this scheme.

    while poor of the country is getting poorer on daily basis, the rich of this country have still guts to tell people that you are STUPID.

    collecting TAX from the middle class (school teacher/bank worker/private sector etc) and the lower class (indirect sales tax on almost everything), the 22% of budget is then used to DEFEND the country. 1% used on education to keep the masses ill literate. making sure the RICH of the country has plenty of everything so that their next 7 generation dont have work for a single dime.

    it is a very BIG shame for the whole nation. Congratulations……Recommend

  • Feb 24, 2012 - 12:56AM

    I welcome the DCK plan with the hope that the green city will serve as a model for the 21st century and inspire private-sector developers to build similar project in the future.

    While Defense Housing Association (DHA) is known for developing upscale communities in major cities, Pakistani military governments have also taken low-cost initiatives to house the poor beginning with the urban planning and development of Landhi, Korangi and New Karachi in 1960s. Unfortunately, there has been little interest on a similar scale by the civilian governments to follow through on their promises of roti, kapra aur makan (food, clothing and shelter) for the poor.

    http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/02/groundbreaking-dck-green-city-in.html

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  • Disco
    Feb 29, 2012 - 7:50PM

    way to go nadir , you nailed it..Recommend

  • nadeem
    Mar 18, 2012 - 1:02AM

    I think every institution of Pakistan should learn from military that how they take care of their employees who lay their lives for this country and peoples of Pakistan. After reading most of the comments it can be concluded that being a Pakistani it has become our nature to criticize. 2nd Military officers are not beggars they pay the plot cost and no Government/Public money is used. Military protect the country not steal the country as most of government servants and politicians do.

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  • Ahmed
    Apr 1, 2012 - 4:34PM

    Dear fellow country men, i agree with nadeem sb as he has been quite clear but there are institutions like PIA, WAPDA, LDA, Judiciary, PCSIR etc who probably have done good for their employees. So instead of casting baseless allegations it is better we learn from each other. Army is our national institution and we must respect them. I believe our Officers always lead from the front and take very well care of their Jawans. Recently even Jawans have been allotted homes in Askari Schemes.
    Y to criticize defense forces alone, oonch neich to har jaga hey. Do we see MS of a Hospital living like ordinary Doctors and Doctors like paramed staff. XENs and SE of Wapda living in close proximity of ALM/LM (with due apology to those LM who are at time richer than SDO/XEN). Collector Customs and appraiser living in same lane (with due appology to those Appraisers who are at time richer than Collector), IG police a neighbour of a Constable.
    So plz think positively and learn to respects the system and elders in society. I think we all know how many of us like to pay tax, so y to quote it that way. There is no Utopia so Pakistan its society and institutions can improve and they are improving. Long Live Pakistan Long Live Gr8 Pakistanis.

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