DHA to enclose Phase VIII with 8 barriers

Published: February 10, 2016
The eight entry points into DHA Phase VIII will have electronic gates with separate lanes for residents with e-tags and visitors. Motorcyclists will have a tough time getting into the neighbourhood. PHOTO: FILE

The eight entry points into DHA Phase VIII will have electronic gates with separate lanes for residents with e-tags and visitors. Motorcyclists will have a tough time getting into the neighbourhood. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Young men on motorcycles, who either sped through the deserted streets of DHA Phase VIII for the thrill or lurked on street corners to snatch mobile phones, will find in a few months eight security barriers blocking their entry.

This is part of the housing authority’s plan to ‘enhance security’ and monitor those entering from the eight entry and exit points of the recently populated area with the help of e-tagging electronic gates.

The largest phase of all, Phase VIII is spread over 4,400 acres but only 20% of it has been occupied so far. It is also home to dozens of seafront restaurants, a multiplex cinema and mall, and residential apartments.

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“We will enhance security and provide a safe environment,” said DHA Administrator Brigadier Zubair Ahmed, who clarified that these electronic gates will only be installed in Phase VIII, with no plans to expand to the remaining phases. “There are 40 to 43 entry exit points in the entire DHA [Karachi],” he said. “We can’t control all of them but we can isolate Phase VIII and we are doing that.”

On Sunday, DHA officials advertised in newspapers about the e-tagging systems, and announced that tenders have already been called. The plan to install the setup is for some time in April.


Brig (retd) Muhammad Rashid Butt, who is the project director for these security gates, explained that Phase VIII residents will be given stickers to be put on their vehicles. Before approaching the electronic gates, the sensors at the barrier will recognise the e-tags and allow the car to pass through.

Separate lanes will be formed for residents and visitors, and closed-circuit television cameras will be installed to record all vehicles entering the area. Visitors will not need e-tags to enter but will be allowed to pass through, as long as they are accompanied by their family or are driving a car. Suspicious ones will be asked to move to a separate lane and then checked before being allowed in. The guarded entry points will be stricter with motorcyclists, Butt explained.

In the first phase, the e-tagging systems will be set in place on the Khayaban-e-Hafiz and Saba Avenue entrances to Phase VIII. The gates will be manned by officials of the DHA Vigilance but the local police and Rangers will help if needed. The official added that employees of restaurants on Do Darya can be issued passes.

Happy residents?

Mugging incidents in Phase VIII, mostly near the Do Darya restaurants or on the dark lanes, have been heard of, though many cases go unreported. Residents are, however, happy with the e-tagging system.

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A resident of Creek Vista apartments, Irfan who did not want to share his last name, welcomed the move. “While I welcome the step, I feel that authorities should take notice of bus stops near Do Darya restaurants,” he said, adding that construction workers living inside incomplete houses also need to be restricted.

Samina Jamshed, who lives in Phase V, felt the same measures should be adopted for all other phases as well. “Other phases, which are linked to katchi abadis, should have these check-posts as most of the criminals come from there.”

Resident Syed Raied Arshad, who works for community policing in the area, called for DHA authorities to have better coordination with the police.

Meanwhile, DIG South Jamil Ahmed hailed the e-tags as a good move since most muggers travel on motorcycles. “But motorcyclists know katcha areas, how would they stop them,” he pointed out, adding that crime rates have gone down in the area since January police presence has increased.

Earlier, the police department had established Sahil police station, exclusively for Phase VIII but it remain un-notified by the Sindh government, meaning that the police station cannot register FIRs and there are no lockups.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th,  2016.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • ibs
    Feb 11, 2016 - 10:05AM

    Great move! if a similar system can’t be installed across DHA then there should be more vigilance staff on motorcycles patrolling the area, especially the small streets.Recommend

  • Feb 11, 2016 - 10:27AM

    I live in Phase 8 but feel we should not promote barricades and gated communities. Rather focus on improving the law and order. This proposed system in going to discourage visitors from meeting those living in phase 8. This needs to be properly devised and polite and professional people should be hired for these positions.Recommend

  • Anon
    Feb 11, 2016 - 10:39AM

    Without sounding pessimistic – wait till the sensors malfunction and the residents of the place have problems. Unless they are totally superior this will happen at some point. Also what happens to maids and servants who maybe get off at a bus stop and walk through to the houses where they work? Also on what basis will a motorcycle be allowed into the area? It cannot be possible that no motorcycle will be allowed.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Feb 11, 2016 - 11:02AM

    Agreed ! We also need snipers and machine gun turrets positioned every 2 blocks. And a few anti-aircraft batteries in case these loafers try anything funny !Recommend

  • Asad Shairani
    Feb 11, 2016 - 11:23AM

    The rich and elite keep isolating themselves from the problems of the city and country. Private schools, private hospitals, private security. And then we keep wondering why things don’t get better in the country and why people are so frustrated that they tie bombs to their bodies!Recommend

  • Sahil Abbasi
    Feb 11, 2016 - 11:52AM

    The best article so far.. that is some great news i live in phase 8 trust me that biker boys and the zinah in phase 8 the snatching all the things going on this system will end it and phase 8 will be so amazing after that.. please DHA do it soon … that barcode system and one thing thing put cameras to like everywhere. Make phase 8 like malir cantt.. thank you soo much DHA for your services..Recommend

  • Feb 11, 2016 - 1:21PM

    @Sahil Abbasi:
    You sound like a DHA employee! Cant think of any DHA resident who would want to thank them for anything.Recommend

    Feb 11, 2016 - 1:39PM

    Please take the Police away from DHA Phase VIII they are part of the problem……..Recommend

  • FAS
    Feb 11, 2016 - 4:15PM

    DHA kindly extend this to entire DHA including old phases. Slumps around DHA are real source of street criminals which needs to be checked and stopped.

    Extra entry exit points should be closed for motorist. Only few entrances should be allowed with checking same as DHA Islamabad.Recommend

  • Rumormonger
    Feb 11, 2016 - 4:25PM

    Last Sunday I witnessed Sunday bikers in the undeveloped area of Phase VIII. The police were rounding up the bikers and taking them away. These bikers are a nuisance, but where could these young people go to enjoy their free time, of which they have a lot.Recommend

  • Logitech
    Feb 11, 2016 - 10:39PM

    As a frequent visitor to Phase VIII, I approve of this step.

    I’ve seen this method deployed in Lahore and it works. Undesirables are kept out so that families can be safe from muggers.

    Khe-Shaheen (a road that runs from Zamzama to Nueplex) has become notorious for such incidents. Only recently, a mother was shot in front of her children when some muggers shot her (out of sport or accident, we will never know).

    I propose a zero-tolerance attitude for these kids on bikes. Recommend

  • Shocked
    Feb 11, 2016 - 11:10PM

    Let the Satta games begin in property prices of DHA phase 8 on this news and by the way Phase 8 is very poorly planned with roads as narrow as old phased, it is the biggest phase and one can imagine the traffic it will have after 5 years.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 12, 2016 - 12:35AM

    Shouldn’t the solution lie in bettering the lot of the common man so that he has no need to threaten those who are stationed above him. I see this less as a security measure and more as a measure to force the price of already inflated real estate, even higher.Recommend

  • Azmat Ali
    Feb 12, 2016 - 12:44AM

    So let’s say that I am a biker and me and my friends, all bikers, decide to have dinner at a Do Darya restaurant. We turn up at one of these posts with, say, 10 bikes. Will we be turned away? How will we prove to those manning the barriers that we are going to a Do Darya restaurant? Is the Phase VIII a private, gated community? If not so, then on what basis will the gatekeepers deny access to “unrelated” people?Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Feb 12, 2016 - 7:02AM

    @Azmat Ali:
    Hypothetically-speaking, you and your pals will need to inform Phase VIII security of your intended visit to the restaurant 3 days in advance with copies of your NICs and PKR 500 each for the necessary background checks. If deemed appropriate, the leader of the group will have to undergo an interview also. If your applications are cleared, your bikes will be required to be parked at a holding pen 100
    yards from the restaurant and each member of the group will be strip searched for firearms. There will be an additional PKR 300 charge for this. Enjoy your meal and see you again !Recommend

  • Muhammad Daniyal
    Feb 12, 2016 - 10:43AM

    I every Sunday come to do dariya with my friends on bike and I am very concerned about the development taking place. What DHA authority is doing to separate rich from poor. Do dariya and seaview belongs to every one not just the rich. These rich so called mummy daddy never thinks about the collective well being of society but their views are only confined to themselves. Only one motto of DHA authority “Safe DHA from the poor” Recommend

  • NAthan
    Feb 12, 2016 - 11:01AM

    Great move! if a similar system can’t be installed across Karachi then there should be more vigilance staff on motorcycles patrolling the area, especially the small streets.Recommend

  • Sameer
    Feb 12, 2016 - 12:20PM

    What about other DHA phases? They also pay the same amount of Tax. Unbalance in the system while Creek Vistas enjoy superb security while other areas in DHA are neglected.Recommend

  • Shahjee
    Feb 25, 2016 - 8:15AM

    In USA and Europe, most of new residential communities are gated , this is a new trend, its a good step, DHA should purchase Islands from Sindh Government or KPT whoever own these islands , make these island safe communities as DHA city is too far, who will live there,, I dont think in next 30 years it will be populated, Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Feb 25, 2016 - 8:21AM

    DHA vigilance staff have been collecting Bhatta from push carts and shopkeepers for letting them use safe outside their shops. This problem must be controlled before its out of controlRecommend

  • sameer
    Feb 25, 2016 - 11:48AM

    Please note that all new communities which you referring must be far away from COMMON PUBLIC Interest Places like SEA FRONT , if there is a waterfront with calm waters where common man can perform his/her hobby of catching fish on weekends suddenly influent class who resides by there humiliating other residents from other part of city by setup Check posts for restricting them to entre , its pure injustice to occupy roads which led towards PUBLIC interest area,

    I can bet that DHA people don’t need to deploy these things in there NEW DHA CITY new new bahria town Karachi because no public interest place surround it,

    and why the (real) AUTHORATIES remove barriers from other localities of the CITY?
    because they or there love once don’t live there???Recommend

  • Abbas
    May 23, 2016 - 5:02PM

    Great Move by DHA ! Security is the prime concern for residents of such areas. If proven effective, the same should be extended to other areas as well.Recommend

  • Farhan
    Jun 10, 2016 - 11:40AM

    I think this is a great initiative to keep the residents and visitors of Phase 8 safe and similar measures should be taken in other areas as well where ever possible..Recommend

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