The Sindh government is considering a request of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) for allotment of up to 6,000 acres of seafront land in the metropolis, it has emerged.

The DHA has sought the land “preferably on beach side” for the expansion of its housing scheme “to meet its primary objective of providing relief to Shuhada families and armed forces personnel”.

It had approached the caretaker government of Sindh in December 2023 for “allotment of land for DHA Karachi for future expansion”.

In a letter addressed to the Sindh chief minister, the DHA administrator came up with the reasons behind the expansion plan while lauding the provincial government for its support in the past for various projects of the authority.

Mayor Wahab says Sindh govt considering the request; DHA wants land for ‘martyrs’ families and armed forces personnel’

“With bifurcation of DHA Karachi and DHA City Karachi, the requirement of additional land has become imperative for DHA Karachi to meet its primary objective of providing relief to Shuhada families and armed forces personnel,” he stated in the letter. “…it is requested that DHA Karachi may be leased an area of compact piece of land measuring 5,000-6,000 acres of land for its expansion in vicinity of Hawksbay area,” it added.

The caretaker set-up had acted swiftly on the DHA request as the CM Secretariat wrote to the Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) in January this year, asking the department to examine the authority’s expansion plan.

The process continued even after the Pakistan Peoples Party’s elected government began its fourth consecutive term in the province.

In a letter dated April 8, the land utilisation department of the provincial government asked the deputy commissioner of district West to furnish a detailed report along with the site sketch of the beachfront land.

When contacted, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab, who is also the spokesperson for the Sindh government, confirmed that the provincial government had received the DHA request regarding allotment of land.

“We are looking into it and officials and departments concerned are doing their job,” he told Dawn in a brief response.

DHA officials have declined to comment on the authority’s expansion plan.

However, sources said that the Hawkesbay Scheme in district West had already become a hotspot for “land mafia” and only an “organised and legal housing scheme under a strong administration” could save the area from encroachments and unauthorised occupation.

The sources said despite acknowledgement of the Sindh government, the proposal was still in “very early stage” and the fate of DHA’s further expansion was so far “unclear”.

“Even if the land was identified by the provincial government in line with the DHA Karachi’s request, it was not clear that the expansion would be viable or not,” said a source privy to the expansion plan.

“It’s in very initial stage. Once the land is identified, several studies will be conducted. So it’s yet to be seen whether or not the expansion on a certain piece of land is technically and financially viable,” the source added.

The DHA had launched its housing scheme in Karachi with just 76.2 acres of land in 1980s. However, it has now evolved as the largest and leading residential estate over the years.

According to information provided on the authority’s website, “DHA has attained a valuable status serving as a benchmark for providing unparallel living standards in Pakistan. Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority currently owns and manages over an area of 8,797 acres, serving several families. It has 81,489 members including armed forces officers, civilians and legal heirs of deceased members.”

Facebook Comments Box
Translate »