Monumental change: Take a round of DHA’s roundabouts in Karachi

Published: June 18, 2016
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Solidarity Monument, Happiness Monument, Unity Monument & DNA Monument

Solidarity Monument, Happiness Monument, Unity Monument & DNA Monument

KARACHI: Ever wondered what the circular monument painted in green and white at Defence Morr means? Or why three D-shaped structures stand tall near the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) head office?

DHA administrator Brigadier Zubair Ahmed discusses the significance and concept behind the monuments with The Express Tribune.

DHA has constructed four monuments on different roundabouts, each at a cost of Rs1.5 to Rs2 million. With a fifth one in the planning, the monuments symbolise happiness, unity, and patriotism.

Made of steel frame, alloys, and metals, the monuments are prepared on an order of two months, said Ahmed. “The monuments are elevated to protect them from motorcycle and car accidents.”

The purpose of building these monuments was to uplift the face of DHA, explained the administrator sitting in his clean and spotless office.

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Happiness Monument

Located near McDonalds in Phase I, three white-titled structures on a roundabout form the ‘Happiness Monument’. According to the administrator, the ‘D’ shaped monument depicts the smiley emoticon, which is made using capital ‘D’ [:D]. The structure seeks to spread happiness, he added.

The monument comprise of three Ds to make it appear three-dimensional. “Every living being has three angles. [We should] be happy from all angles,” he added.

“No matter from where you are, and where you belong, you should always stay happy,” remarked Ahmed.

DNA monument

The twisted ‘DNA monument’, which is shaped like a DNA molecule, lies behind the Happiness Monument and near DHA head office in Phase I.

The idea behind this monument is to emphasise originality, and people should be aware of that, said Ahmed. ‘Know your origin. Know yourself’ is the message it promotes, he added.

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Solidarity Monument

On Korangi Road, stands the ‘Solidarity Monument’ in the shape of a whirl. Speaking about the roundabout, Ahmed said, “It’s a circle. [Complete] 360 degrees. It means that a person should be Pakistani a full 360°. A person should be 100% Pakistani, loyal and affectionate.”

The monument also has five point structures in white behind the circle. These represent the four provinces of Pakistan while the fifth one depicts Azad Kashmir.

The Unity monument

Inaugurated on first of Ramazan, the ‘Unity Monument’ outside Ayesha Masjid on Khayaban-e-Ittehad, Creek Avenue junction, has the kalma inscribed on it.

“The unity monument represents our religion, and it unites everyone,” pointed out the administrator. “See… it has two vertical and broad parts. Two vertical parts, extreme right and extreme left. When one looks at it from one end, he can see Allah written while from the other end you can see Mohammad (pbuh).”

Near the monument is the Pakistan flag erected on a flagpole, while there are jasmines planted around the roundabout.

Future plans

The authorities are now planning a fifth monument which would be called the ‘Peace Monument’.

Speaking about the idea behind the new monument, Ahmed said “This country needs more peace. It will give a strong message of tolerance to the community.”

Administrator also remarked that DHA will not build statues as monuments because they do not want to be involved in any controversy. The architect of two of the monuments, Solidary and Unity Monument, Atif Osmani said that he was not permitted by his client to talk to the media.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Indus Valley
    Jun 19, 2016 - 9:27AM

    What a wastage of money.They should better focus to make Karachi a cleaner city.Recommend

  • fawad
    Jun 19, 2016 - 9:37AM

    too much money spent on just monuments, though good for aesthetics but could have been cheaper.Recommend

  • farhan
    Jun 19, 2016 - 10:52AM

    Good work DHA…and they look refreshing not an eye sore…idea is great on roundabouts..Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jun 19, 2016 - 12:47PM

    @farhan:
    Roundabouts may look all nice and dainty when road traffic is sparse but they are an anachronism and even danger with heavy traffic, and should be replaced by 90 degree crossroads managed by traffic lights. So erect those monuments elsewhere.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Jun 19, 2016 - 5:49PM

    This is good. Face uplift is a good thing and I must say these monuments look good too! But As a resident of DHA Karachi, I would rather like to see our water problem is resolved quickly. In addition to that there is no arrangement for Parking in commercial areas and residents and shop owners face so much difficulty. Moreover, many shops specially eateries have encroached the footpaths but DHA vigilance cant see it. I think the administrator needs to realign his priorities. Thanks.Recommend

  • farhan
    Jun 19, 2016 - 6:32PM

    @Haji Atiya: Nothing is happening in the city..at least someone is taking steps to beautify.. As for traffic is concerned menace are the buildings built everywhere without considering road congestion, parking, utilities..Recommend

  • asim
    Jun 20, 2016 - 7:58AM

    Now one in the army Top brass has ever worked or addressed the needs of the JCO’s/OR’s. Everything is done for officers General Raheel is requested to please initiate similar projects for JCO’s /OR’s in all cities of Pakistan to make it a welfare state.Recommend

  • Mansoor
    Jun 20, 2016 - 11:30AM

    It was surprising for me that DHA is choosing to focus on cosmetic enhancements rather than spending a fraction of it on something that can save peoples’ lives and assets. I have been living in DHA Karachi for 18 years and have been astonished by their sheer carelessness (or rather criminal negligence as I would like to term it) all along. How much does it take to build speed breakers ? There are multiple crossings in my neighborhood on which I witness bad (and sometimes fatal) accidents on a frequent basis. The underlying reason in majority of the cases: Lack of speed breakers on critical intersections. I am not talking about intersections where traffic lights are installed as speed breakers there make little, if any, sense. Some of the vulnerable junctures are:
    Intersection of Khy-e-Nishat and Khy-e-Rahat (cars some speeding along Nishat and are difficult to spot from Rahat)
    Intersection of Khy-e-Rahat and Khy-e-Shaheen
    Intersection of 21st street and Khy-e-Rahat (Last week I saw three cars badly destroyed)
    Intersection of Khy-e-Shujat and Khy-e-Sehar
    Intersection of Khy-e-Shahbaz and Saba Avenue where there is total chaos because the traffic lights are readily visible to drivers travelling in speed on Saba Ave.

    The above loopholes are not an exhaustive list and are only representative of the few roads which I take regularly while travelling to / fro my home and witness frequent accidents every now and then. These weaknesses are prevalent on a larger scale. DHA with their emergency response team must also be having substantial data on the number of accidents that happen on these roads. Yet they are not bothered at all ! If this is not criminal negligence then what is ? Yet their priorities are towards building monuments!Recommend

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