Short on space: DHA allots 5 acres near Emaar project for graveyard

Published: May 24, 2012

Aconsultant has already been hired to plan and build the graveyard. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

Defence Housing Authority has decided to allot around five acres for a new graveyard in Phase VIII in the vicinity of the Emaar project.

There is a chronic shortage of space. The Phase I graveyard has been full for a decade. The Gizri graveyard is bursting at the seams and squatters have blocked the use of a third option, the Qayyumabad ground. DHA residents have long demanded the authority find a solution.

But now, the people who have bought land around DHA VIII may discover that their plot is next to a new graveyard.  “Creek Vista apartments were actually supposed to be a graveyard,” explained Asad Kizilbash, who is a member of the Association of Defence Residents, a body that liaises with DHA on civic problems. “Somewhere along the way, DHA decided to change [the allotment plan for what is now Creek Vista].”

DHA Administrator Brigadier Aamer Raza has now allotted a plot near Emaar. According to Kizilbash, the graveyard will be away from the residences. He hastens to add, however, that he has only seen it on a map and has yet to visit the proposed area.

A source in DHA has corroborated that the graveyard will be around five acres large and that the ground for the graveyard is expected to expand with time.

Brigadier Aamer Raza has said the decision was made in Tuesday’s meeting between him and the Association of Defence Residents and they will try to complete work on it as early as possible.

Kizilbash says that a consultant has already been hired to plan and build the graveyard and according to him they are aiming to open for burials by the end of this year.

Sources in DHA and the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) have rubbished the notion that a graveyard will drive down property values in the area, citing the example of the Phase IV graveyard in Gizri and the valuable property surrounding it.

“What they have to do is ensure that people are comfortable around a graveyard by making a strong and high boundary wall,” Kabir Ali of the CBC said. “It’s obvious that if you build a graveyard near people’s homes it can have an effect on them.”

Ali felt that Phase VIII was the right place because it makes up such a large portion of DHA (45% according to him). An average of three people need a burial every day, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.

Reader Comments (3)

  • IZ
    May 24, 2012 - 12:57PM

    As the article points out the original plan DHA prepared when developing phase VIII years ago set aside land for a graveyard. Its clearly marked in all the property maps. For whatever reason the land allotted for the graveyard was sold to property developers to build Creek Vista. But another graveyard in that area should not come as any kind of surprise for people who have bought land in phase VIII.

    Now if only someone can convince DHA not to alot plots for schools all lined up in a row since that creates ridiculous traffic congestion…

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  • May 24, 2012 - 3:53PM

    I do have a suggestion. In ancient times, there used to be graves in which multiple bodies could be accommodated (stacked up or any other measure one can come up with). I think no matter how bigger a land you’ll get, the space eventually is going to run out so what can be done is, for example, that a burial space identified for a person can be utilized by his/her relatives for re-use. Just a thought.

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  • ashar
    May 24, 2012 - 7:34PM

    we have mercenaries everywhere. It is an outcome of greed not facility that is making DHA ever expanding. land mafia has joined hands with the government and I tell you they have reserved their seats in the next parliment no matter who wins the next election.

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