News has surfaced that Karachi will soon lose Do Darya to upscale developments by Defence Housing Authority (DHA). Do Darya is a food street along Karachi’s coastline. It is a means of local entertainment, as well as a profitable tourist attraction. Do Darya’s land is reportedly on lease from DHA, which is set to expire soon. Knowing about the potential of the place, the establishment obtained a stay order when DHA refused to renew the lease in 2014. The stay order will expire in 2 months, meaning the place has to be evacuated within that time.

Unsurprisingly, this attempt to shut down Do Darya has created a social media uproar.

With Karachi recovering from a long drawn, debilitating security situation, attractions like Do Darya are a relief for the city’s people. Mafias wars, MQM goonies, and ethnic conflict made Karachi a lost national treasure for years since the 1990s. That is until the Rangers Operation majorly cleaned up the city and reduced crime rates, enough to allow people to revive the spirit of the city. Demolishing Do Darya would mean a step backward as the establishment has come to symbolize Karachi’s resilience to years of crime and terror.

Unemployment was also a logical concern expressed on social media.

Mounds will be unemployed in a country where lack of opportunities is already rattling the youth. This decision will only add to the population’s frustrations.

The rubble caused by the demolition and consequent construction will also be detrimental to Karachi’s environment, which already suffers from terrible pollution.

The worst part is that what is currently a civilian zone, will soon be taken over by the exclusive elite.

While the perks of being in the armed forces in terms of amenities are undeniable, does it really have to be at the expense of civilian leisure? Even if legally DHA has the right to demolish, is the public sentiment of zero value? Public spaces like Do Darya contribute to a better standard of living for the average Pakistani. While the elite has access to private beaches, other classes only have these avenues to build a healthy lifestyle, where work follows by some leisure as well. The decision to demolish Do Darya is pretty much an affront to public interests. As well as an attack on Karachi’s beautiful open, coastal line, which will soon be dominated by an ugly concrete jungle that benefits a select few.

*Feature Image Source: Haroon Sheikh/Flickr*


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