Defence Housing Authority is a supposedly private housing real estate company that constructs and manages the most elite suburban areas in Pakistan. The organization is famous for being a part of the military encroachment into Pakistani public life. DHA is mostly run by retired army officers and is said to favour others from the military fraternity. In addition to being a shameful reminder of the way, state institutions are willing to meddle in anything that isn’t in their job description, what is most troubling is the organization’s lack of accountability.
Whether it is the fact that in Karachi, more recent phases of DHA, as well as other housing projects, were built on top of land that acted as a natural drain for Karachi’s rainwater, or the fact that all of their sewage flows untreated into the sea, DHA is not held accountable for its actions. Most recently DHA Multan allegedly took part in an act of pure brutality towards the environment. Pictures on social media showed that they had cut down several hundred of Mango trees in Multan, to make a home for more elite housing projects. If Pakistan’s judicial system is impartial and even remotely functional, they should ask DHA about these incidents and hold them to account.
Sadly it is not just DHAs complete disregard for the environment, which is fuelled by a profit motive and is evident through these violent attacks on mother nature, their indifference towards the environment runs much deeper. The streets in DHA are not meant for walking on. There are virtually no sidewalks, no pedestrian overpasses even for the busiest streets and no benches for the elderly to rest on. The DHA administration only caters to cars, and the traffic jams they cause, by widening roads and destroying green belts. They do not consider that by increasing sidewalks and making DHA more walkable they can discourage the use of cars and encourage people to walk. Those who are forced to walk every day are invisible to DHAs administration. They do not care about the poor that have no other option but to walk.
The problem is not that they don’t know what we are doing wrong, it is that they don’t seem to care.
This article was written by Rimsha Ahmed. To write for The Students Herald contact: firstname.lastname@example.org