Karachi's Bahria Town Private City is Bigger Than San Francisco

Karachi's Bahria Town being built on the outskirts of Pakistan's financial capital is among the world's largest privately developed and managed cities.  It is spread over an area of a little over 70 square miles, larger than the 49 square miles area of San Francisco. When completed, Bahria Town will house over a million people, more than the entire population of San Francisco.

Bahria Town Karachi


The city comes complete with private roads, community parks, mosques, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, libraries, business parks, restaurants, recreation facilities, sports grounds, shopping malls etc. It has been the subject of litigation by local  villagers who claim that their land was unlawfully taken away from them to build this new city. Pakistan Supreme Court recently reviewed their cases and forced a settlement worth Rs. 406 billion to be paid by Bahria Town developer named Malik Riaz Hussain.

Karachi: Bahria Town Square



Bahria Town and other similar private cities and gated communities are popular with Pakistan's rising middle class. They are looking to escape the chaos of the nation's burgeoning cities unable to cope with the massive and uncontrolled waves of urbanization. The issues facing Pakistani cities range from lack of basic services to rising urban crime.

Karachi: Bahria Town Housing


The private city promises to “turn the vision of modern Pakistan into a reality”, with private and secure supplies of water, gas and electricity, garbage collection as well as private security and well maintained wide tree-lined roads.

Karachi: Bahria Town Nature Recreation Area


In a recent article published by India's Scroll.in, Samira Shackle argues that "the reason a privatized city is so much quicker and easier to build is not down to the inherent superiority of the free market, but because it removes power from people and communities and centralizes it into the hands of one person or corporation". "This is the same dynamic at play in China, for example, where the nominally communist government has been able to build vast new towns and cities from scratch because it doesn’t have to worry about eminent domain or democratic accountability", Shackle explains.

As of 2016, the real estate developers had built over 250 gated communities across Pakistan. Hundreds more are being developed in response to rising demand from upwardly mobile Pakistanis.

Eden Housing Gated Community in Lahore, Pakistan


These communities cater to insatiable demand for world-class and well-appointed housing with modern infrastructure including well-built wide roads and reliable supply of water and electricity. Additionally, they offer various state-of-the-art amenities such as schools, hospitals, mosques, restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and parks located within secure communities, according to a report by Adrian Bishop, editor of Opp.Today.

Gated communities are being offered at multiple price points and payment plans that suit not just the rich but the middle class buyers as well. They offer condos (flats), townhouses and single-family homes on lot sizes ranging from 125 square yards to  2000 square yards. These communities are fueling a construction boom in Pakistan.

Defense Housing Authority (DHA), Bahria Town (Malik Riaz), Eden Housing (Aleem Khan), Emaar Properties (of UAE) and Ghurair-Giga (of UAE) are among the biggest developers of gated communities in Pakistan.

Bahria Town Islamabad


In addition to major Pakistani cities of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, new gated communities are being developed in second and third tier cities as well. Recently, Bahria Town announced its newest development of a gated community in Nawabshah, a city of just over a million residents in southern Sindh province.

Here's an excerpt of a 2013 AFP report on Bahria Town gated community in Islamabad:

Cars glide softly over the smooth tarmac carpeting the gentle hills of Pakistan’s largest gated community, past immaculate green verges dotted with statues of cattle — which, unlike their real counterparts elsewhere in the country, pose no threat to traffic. 

There’s a horse riding centre, a golf course, a posh cinema, an immaculately air-conditioned cafĂ© and a mini zoo with “the only black panther in Pakistan”, whose growling excites young couples taking a walk. 

Elsewhere 20 metre models of the Eiffel Tower and Nelson’s Column — complete with lions — watch over this vision of suburbia which seems a world away from the rest of Pakistan’s seething, traffic-choked and crumbling cities.

Comments

Habibullah K. said…
Malik Riaz has proved that he is a great businessman and a Great Builder !
Ali H. said…
In any other country, with decent environmental protection laws, this project would have been stopped right in its planning stage. [Have visited the site and have seen things first-hand
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan begins work on major housing project

https://www.khl.com/international-construction/pakistan-begins-work-on-major-housing-project/139243.article

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has laid the foundation of a project that will build 18,500 new housing units.

The project will focus on delivering affordable housing for the low-income sector as part of the Pakistani government’s long-term goal to construct five million houses across the country.

Khan said, “Out of 18,500 units to be built in Zone-IV of the federal capital, 10,000 will be specified for the low-income group, who will be able to own a house through easy banking loans.

“The government’s role will be confined to facilitation as well as provision of land to the private contractors, who will execute the project as the government does not have sufficient resources to fund such a huge project.”

The timeframe in which the 18,500 homes are expected to be delivered in is expected to be around a year and a half.

The demand for the new housing is predicted to be higher than the available units. Due to this, the government will allocate units through balloting.

Khan also said that the government would launch housing projects in other cities by engaging the private sector. “In Karachi, around 30 to 40% of people live in slums having neither any ownership rights nor the amenities like sewerage and others.”

In the province of Sindh, it has been reported that the government will offer around half of the slum land to the private sector. This land will be used for the construction of commercial areas and the building of more affordable housing for the slum dwellers.

Khan said that in Pakistan the poorer population struggles to afford their own houses primarily because banks do not provide mortgages to them. To tackle this problem, the government is in the process of drafting new laws to force banks to extend housing loans to the poorest demographic.
Riaz Haq said…
The U.S. Does Poorly On Yet Another Metric of Economic Mobility
Aparna Mathur
Aparna Mathur Contributor


https://www.forbes.com/sites/aparnamathur/2018/07/16/the-u-s-does-poorly-on-yet-another-metric-of-economic-mobility/#2894c3016a7b

The concept of economic mobility is relatively simple to grasp. Over the course of a lifetime, can people move up the rungs of the income ladder? Are children doing better than their parents when it comes to standards of living? How do we help people access opportunities that we know can make the climb easier? The questions come easily to us, but the solutions, not as much. The challenge is even tougher when we are talking not of one city, state or country, but for multiple countries around the globe. To be precise, a new tracks 148 countries, with 96 percent of the world’s population, to answer the age-old question of how much economic opportunity and upward economic mobility a country really offers its citizens. This is a tremendous effort. To put it in context, we are still absorbing the results of the first comprehensive study on U.S. economic mobility that was released in 2017. Now, we can compare not only how the U.S. fares on mobility, but how developing countries in Asia and Africa are doing relative to the U.S.. The results are striking.

Rather than using the more traditional metric of income, this study uses educational attainment as the basis for defining upward mobility. Absolute upward mobility refers to the ability of children to “out-learn” (my term) their parents. For example, if the parents only completed secondary school, but the children completed tertiary schooling, that would reflect absolute upward mobility. Relative mobility refers to the ability of children to do better than their peers compared to how the parents did relative to their own peers. In other words, if the parents were in the bottom quartile of educational attainment within their cohort, but the children were in the middle or upper quartile, that would reflect relative upward mobility.
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The map of global economic mobility shows pockets of hope and pockets of concern. Thirteen of the fifteen least mobile countries globally are in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, while some of the most mobile economies are in Western Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan. But the divisions are not clear cut. The threat to economic mobility exists even in developed, high-income countries such as the United States. The U.S. is one of only four high income economies amongst 50 economies with the lowest rates of relative upward mobility. While the problems in each country are unique, many solutions are universal. The report highlights much needed investments in early childhood through subsidized childcare and paid leave, nutrition programs, good quality public education programs and schools, improved occupational networks and labor market interventions such as employer tax credits to employ younger workers. But it also points to a new, and often overlooked, factor: the role played by aspirations, both of the parents and the children themselves, and the link between aspirations and mobility. In Mexico, for instance, among youth between the ages of 12-22, those who had higher aspirations for mobility were far more likely to stay in school and exhibit better behavior more generally, particularly in relation to health. Similar findings were reported in a diverse group of countries, such as India, Vietnam, United Kingdom, Pakistan and in the Dominican Republic as well. Perhaps not surprisingly, believing in the dream of upward mobility is critical to achieving it.

Policymakers have a simple mandate to making progress on this issue. Take real, practical actions to make that dream come true for people worldwide.

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/28428
Riaz Haq said…
Why is the #Pakistan media silent about #MalikRiaz whose family purchased Hyde Park #London property from a son of ex PM #NawazSharif ? This is the largest such settlement by British crime agency. #Corruption #MalikRiazSettlementStory @TRTWorld https://www.trtworld.com/asia/why-is-the-pakistani-media-silent-about-this-real-estate-tycoon-32052

Malik Riaz has paid $250 million as part of a settlement with Britain’s money laundering investigating agency.
Most news anchors won’t speak his name during their programmes. A guest in a talk show was muted every time he mentioned his name. Mainstream newspapers ran cautious stories. Forget opinions and investigative features.

The story is about Malik Riaz, a Pakistani real estate tycoon, who just paid $250 million in a settlement and officials don’t want to discuss it.

On December 3, Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said it had reached a settlement with Riaz and his family as part of a year-long fraud investigation.

The money, which was confiscated from bank accounts and an expensive London mansion overlooking Hyde Park, will be transferred to the Pakistani government, the NCA said.

Riaz’s family had purchased the Hyde Park property from Hassan Nawaz, a son of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who himself faces a corruption enquiry.

This is the largest such settlement since the NCA’s mandate was updated two years ago to investigate money trail of people who might have acquired wealth from illegal means.

Bahria Town, Riaz’s company, is perhaps the largest real estate developer in Pakistan. He has built housing complexes, apartment buildings and golf courses in lavish developments that come with miniature copies of the Pyramids and amusement parks.

The Pakistan government has refused to divulge details about the settlement, saying it has been reached under a confidentiality agreement.

Riaz himself tried to spin the story by saying he’s simply bringing back money kept in foreign accounts, saying he has sold the property.

He didn’t say that the NCA was investigated him and the assets had been confiscated.

In August, the NCA froze bank accounts containing more than $150 million, which were suspected to be profits linked to kickbacks and bribes. Those accounts belonged to Malik Riaz.

Earlier this year, Riaz agreed to pay the Pakistani state around $2 billion to settle a case, which involved the illegal occupation of thousands of acres of land in Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi.

At the time, people had questioned how a businessman with little exposure to foreign markets had come to acquire such vast wealth in a country, which has time and again approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for bailouts.

“No one is developing real estate property like he does. Even his critics would want to go and live in his housing projects,” says a Karachi-based builder, who asked not to be named.

“There is an increasing dearth of homes in cities while the population is expanding rapidly. Young people are moving out of their parents’ home, siblings who once lived together in combined families, now want their own places. Malik Riaz has simply tapped this market on a grand scale.”

But Bahria Town faces accusations of manipulating land records and forcibly evicting people from their villages on the city outskirts to make way for its projects.

Riaz, a major advertising spender, has an outsized influence over media houses, which block coverage critical of the real estate tycoon.

“You can report on powerful military and extension issues of its commander but not Malik Riaz. You can imagine his influence,” a reporter told TRT World.

Bahria Town’s projects, which include thousands of residential and commercial properties, have also become a way for high-yield chasing investors to make quick money.

Thousands flocked to the Bahria Town offices when he announced a new project, trying to buy property documents, which are later sold at many times their face value on the underground market.
Riaz Haq said…
#Karachi a victim of poor planning, bad governance – and floods. "...the same story is repeated in varying degrees across all the cities of #SouthAsia – Rawalpindi, #Mumbai, #Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, #Dhaka and on and on."
#climatechange |The Third Pole https://www.thethirdpole.net/2020/08/31/poor-planning-poor-governance-poor-monitoring-flood-karachi/


Many parts of Karachi went without electricity for 50 hours, prompting Sindh’s Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to ask, “What kind of service is this?” Internet and mobile phone networks were disrupted all over Pakistan’s largest city.

Women, children and the elderly waded through waist-deep sewage to reach rescue boats as rain continued to pelt down; the boats had to navigate around floating furniture, submerged cars, motorcycles and even shipping crates pushed around by the force of the floodwater.

The meteorological department totalled August rainfall in Karachi at 484 millimetres (19 inches), with the highest daily rainfall of 130 mm at PAF Faisal Base on August 28.

“Last year, through the three monsoon months, the PAF Faisal Base recorded a total of 345 mm of rains; this year in just two months, over 600 mm rain has been recorded there,” Sardar Sarfaraz, the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s Karachi head told The Third Pole.

“The rains are unprecedented; and in all likelihood, this seems like an erratic event, with the last such intense rain recorded in 1931,” said Sarfaraz. “I cannot say with finality that this rainfall can definitively be attributed to climate change.”

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Noman Ahmed, dean of the Architecture and Management Sciences department at Karachi’s NED University, said some encroachments happened in connivance with different government agencies, while some were “organic”.

“For example, the encroachments on Gujjar Nala were facilitated by the KMC functionaries by providing inappropriate leases [on its edges – in areas that were not supposed to be inhabited in the first place],” Ahmed said.

“The alignment of the nalas [drains] have clearly been demarcated in all land-use plans available with the different civic agencies,” said Ahmed, and therefore selling plots of land was nothing less than a “criminal act”.

He did not blame those who had bought the plots. Ahmed said people had started building on the dry bed of Gujjar Nala because for decades there was nothing more than a thin stream. “They occupied the land without knowing how vulnerable they were to sudden inundation, and this is what happened in recent rains.”

Architect and heritage consultant Marvi Mazhar also attributed “unplanned and unregulated growth, lack of monitoring and corruption” as major reasons for the havoc the rains wrought on the city of 16 million, which has been heavily “concretised, with not enough soft ground left for water to be absorbed”.

The problem has persisted despite court judgements, including an order from the country’s chief justice that all illegal construction be removed from Karachi – whether on or off the drains.

Describing the removal of encroachments as “a very tricky affair”, Ahmed said that very often debris left behind by a demolition crew causes more obstruction to water flow than the original buildings.


“These drains can actually be added into beautification plans with plantations on either side, and run across the city like in Amsterdam,” said Mazhar. Instead, she said, they are seen and treated as an eyesore with garbage thrown alongside them, which invariably slips into the drain thereby choking it. She held both residents and the government responsible for the indifference shown towards Karachi’s garbage.

Now Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he wants a “permanent solution” to problems associated with drains, the sewage system and water supply.
Riaz Haq said…
The absence of managing lands on the basis of environmental and social considerations has devastated the Karachi region. Over 2,800 goths [villages] along with their agricultural and pastoral lands have been swallowed up by developer-planned housing schemes. Their original owners have been made homeless and destitute. For example, the area of Bahria Town Karachi is larger than Manhattan. A land use change over such a large area is not a part of any official plan. Also, how was this huge land assembly achieved, considering the fact that it must have involved dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of original owners?

https://www.dawn.com/news/1606997

The story that emerges is one of coercion and murder, with support from officialdom, of those who opposed the surrendering of their properties. Those responsible for this have not been brought to justice in spite of overwhelming evidence against them. It is pertinent to mention here that, in 1985, 70 percent of Karachi’s vegetable and fruit requirements came from its rural areas. In 2013, this was reduced to 10 percent and Karachi lost a huge and undefined area of tree cover and green areas.
Riaz Haq said…
Last month, while Murad Gabol’s two children were sleeping, police raided his house. “We showed them the papers of our home, but they beat us and locked me up in jail,” Gabol said.


https://english.alaraby.co.uk/features/how-indigenous-lands-are-being-forcibly-seized-pakistan


Noor Mohammad Goth, a village in the outskirts of Karachi, had been home to Gabol and his family for generations. “We’ve lived here before Pakistan existed… We got the papers [for our land] from the British when Pakistan was created. This is our land,” he said.

Gabol says that ever since a gated community called Bahria Town started development between the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad in 2013, indigenous lands have been forcibly seized.

Bahria Town Karachi is a privately owned suburb under construction located 45 kilometres outside Karachi on a busy highway that connects the city to the rest of the country. The neighbourhood is being built by the Bahria Town Group, one of Asia’s largest private property developers, with construction projects in cities across Pakistan.

Their Karachi project alone occupies under 46,000 acres (making it three times the size of Manhattan). Bahria Town promises a million members of the elite class access to private and secure supplies of water, gas and electricity. It even has its own golf course, the world’s third-largest mosque, an exclusive block for overseas residents and a private police force.

To make way for the skyscrapers, villages on the periphery of Karachi’s Bahria Town have been coerced into displacement over the past seven or eight years, says Hafeez Baloch, the leader of Sindh Indigenous Rights Alliance and a resident of Gadap Kator, a village adjacent to Bahria Town Karachi.

Although Baloch’s village is not occupied, he worries about the impact of large-scale development on the environment.

“There are mountains and rivers here, and there is an international park here, and Bahria Town is planning to put all their sewage there. If they are not stopped, the villages left will not be able to sustain themselves. This is a matter of life and death for us.”

On June 6, Baloch, with other indigenous rights activists and villagers, held a protest outside the neighbourhood. Activists who attended the protest told The New Arab that speeches by the organising committee members were going on when black smoke started rising from the main gate of Bahria Town. They deny association with vandalism.

Soon after, police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, injuring children, women, and the elderly. Some vehicles, showrooms, and buildings inside Bahria Town were also set on fire.

As a result, the police have issued over 28 First Information Reports (FRIs) on terrorism charges and arrested hundreds of people, many of whom Baloch says were not even at the protests.
Riaz Haq said…
The suburban neighbourhood of Bahria Town in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, is billed as a utopia.

At 46,000 acres, the city-within-a-city under construction is more than three times the size of Manhattan, to be complete with posh apartments, parks, a zoo, schools, restaurants and the world’s third-largest mosque. Its developer has hailed it as a model city, designed to house one million people when finished.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/wx5xam/arson-arrests-bahria-town-pakistan-billionaire


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“Bahria Town Karachi has provided what others can’t, not just to the rich but also low-income people in the form of jobs,” Bahria Town Karachi resident Sidra Najeeb told VICE World News.

The June 6 incident shook many like her. “It was like I, and my home, was being attacked,” she said. “Whatever the issue is [between the villagers and Bahria Town], it’s not right to destroy such beautiful property.”

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But the elite community became a site of chaos and destruction earlier this month.

While indigenous rights groups and villagers were protesting outside the neighborhood, which they claim was built on land stolen from them, videos circulated on social media of masked men setting the entry gate on fire, then rushing in and torching cars and vandalising shops on June 6.

In the coming weeks, 156 people were arrested and charged at an anti-terrorism court.

But some say they are being falsely blamed for the violence. “I wasn’t even there during the protests,” Jansher Jokio, a 27-year-old laborer accused of terrorism, told VICE World News. “But I know why I was named. It’s because I’ve been resisting Bahria Town for three years.”

Jokio is one of the thousands of villagers who have been arrested or charged over the last eight years for protesting what they call illegal land grabbing.


Kazim Mahesar, a lawyer who has advocated for villagers like Jokio for five years, told VICE World News that the authorities are indiscriminately punishing indigenous villagers and activists. Among those arrested were children as young as 12, said Mahesar, who is part of a legal team challenging the arrests and charges at the local high court. The next hearings are scheduled for July 7.

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After the recent violence, Riaz tweeted a statement maintaining that the Karachi development is legal and asked for “justice” against the “act of terrorism”.

“We did not illegally grab any land,” he said. “If anyone can prove illegal occupation of even an inch of land, we will be responsible. We have faced investigation before, and we will again.”

Riaz Haq said…
Project Attraction: A Master-Planned Community with World-Class Infrastructure and Facilities Exclusively For Overseas Pakistanis
Project Type: Master-planned gated community
Project Status: Booking has been closed.

https://www.alhussainproperties.com/bahria-town/bahria-town-karachi/bahria-town-karachi-overseas-block/#sthash.veIBeFwa.dpbs

Project Availability:
Lakeview Block adjacent to a magnificent lake
Golf Course Block adjacent to USGA Standard Golf course
Residential plots: 250,500,1000 and 2000 Sq. Yards
Commercial plots: 125,200 and 250 Sq. yards
Bahria Homes: 125 and 200 Sq. yards
Bahria Apartments: 2,3 &4-bed

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https://youtu.be/WZNVB5H_FMY
Riaz Haq said…
While rain wreaked havoc in most parts of Karachi, Bahria Town Karachi (BTK) appeared to have remained unaffected.


https://tribune.com.pk/story/2255574/bahria-town-unaffected-by-monsoon-downpour


According to a statement, there were no water puddles in the gated community's streets nor overflowing gutters causing inconvenience for its residents during the heavy downpour. The streets remained dry as the rainwater quickly drained away.

Besides, the locality was not subjected to prolonged power cuts following the rainfall, which otherwise has been a norm in Karachi. As a result, residents were able to continue their daily activities despite the heavy rain.

The statement added that BTK has a separate sewerage treatment plant that runs around the clock and is being used to recycle water so that it may be used for construction and horticulture needs, as well as conserving water.

Furthermore, it has constructed 12 dams to collect rainwater, with the capacity to hold 167.6 million gallons of water, showcasing its efforts to utilise and conserve national resources.
Riaz Haq said…
Bahria Town Karachi 2 | All You Need To Know

https://pakistanpropertyservices.com.pk/bahria-town-karachi-2-all-you-need-to-know/

Booking of Bahria Town Karachi 2 will start on 5th January 2023. Investors should be ready to invest in Bahria Town Karachi 2 to invest in the property of their choice. It is a golden opportunity for investors who want to invest in Bahria Town Karachi but cannot do so for any reason. They are again getting a chance to invest with the developers of their choice.

Bahria Town Karachi 2
Bahria Management is well-known for the amenities and facilities it provides. Bahria Management will follow the same international standards in Bahria Town Karachi 2. One of its main facilities is its location in the prime spot, which is very easy to access from different sides.

Bahria Town Karachi 2 Location:
Bahria Town Karachi 2 or BTK2 is located ideally 30 km from Bahria Town Karachi near Nooriayabad on M9 Motorway. This location is easy to access from different landmarks of the area, like the new Karachi Airport and DHA Phase1.

Bahria Town Karachi 2 and Bahria Town Karachi will be developed as Twin cities. Bahria Town Karachi will join Bahria Town Karachi 2 through the back gate.

Nearby areas:
M-10 Motorway is almost 30 minutes away
Jinnah International Airport is nearly 30 minutes away
The super-Highway toll plaza is nearly 34 minutes away
Malir Cantonment is nearly 50 minutes away
Gulzar E Hijri Scheme 33 is almost 55 minutes away
Dream World Family Resort is nearly 20 minutes away
Karachi Northern Bypass is nearly 39 minutes away
Al Ghafoor Green City is roughly 45 minutes away
North Town Residency Gadap Town is nearly 50 minutes away
Memon Medical Institute Hospital is almost 45 minutes away
Shah Faisal Town is almost 40 minutes away
Fiesta Family Water Park is nearly 30 minutes away
Development status:
The development of Bahria Town Karachi 2 is 40% completed. The gatehouse’s grey structure and roads with green belts on the 40% area are 100% finished now.

BTK2 Rates | Bahria Town Karachi 2 Rates | Payment Plan, Location and Map
These roads feature street lights too. The management has promised to complete the rest of the development within no time. The development time for Bahria Town Karachi 2 will be less than Bahria Town Karachi.

Daily Updated Bahria Town Lahore Rates – Updated Prices of Bahria Town Lahore
Sector A Bahria Town Karachi 2 will be the priority for the developers to develop.

Successful developers:
Bahria Management has always offered projects offering luxurious and contemporary facilities for their investors and huge profits. They are well-reputed among investors, who want to invest with them to increase their profits. Bahria’s management has a great demand in their market. Each of the previous projects has been completely sold out.

Daily Updated Bahria Orchard Lahore Rates – Updated Prices of Bahria Orchard Lahore
Investing with Bahria’s management is the priority of the investors.

Approval:
Bahria Town Karachi 2 is already approved by SDA and SBCA. All the documentation is 100% complete for the process of leasing Bahria Town Karachi 2. Investors can rent their property after completing their payment too.

Limited plots available:
Bahria Town Karachi 2 is offering limited plots for investment. The investors will have to hurry to book their properties as the demand will be higher and the supply of the properties will be low. Invest in Bahria Town Karachi 2 as soon as the booking opens.

Updated Bahria Nasheman Lahore Rates – Updated Prices of Bahria Nasheman Lahore
Considering these project factors, it can be the investment that delivers unmatched dividends and is a golden opportunity.

Riaz Haq said…
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DHA Phase 8, Defence, Karachi


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Fall in love with the breathtaking sunsets over the Arabian Sea from the luxury of your living room. Each property has its own unique design aesthetic.
Riaz Haq said…
INSIDE THE UNDERBELLY OF KARACHI

https://www.dawn.com/news/1723403


Arif Hasan | Dhuha Alvi | Anum Mufti Published November 27, 2022


It is necessary to understand the scale of these real estate projects. Bahria Town (186.15 square kilometres) is more than three times the size of Manhattan (59 square kilometres), and DHA City is 47 square kilometres. Other gated communities are also large in size when compared to similar real estate in other cities of the world. They vary between 60 acres (for ARY Laguna DHA City) and 3,000 acres (ASF City). Many others, such as Commander City, Gulmohar City, Seven Wonders City, Karim Palm City, are between 100 and 300 acres.

In addition, there are over 550,000 housing units that are new or under construction in over 150 gated communities. Further, there are more than 120 buildings of between 20 and 50 floors being constructed in the city centre.

Most of the larger housing estates are located on the M-9 Motorway to Hyderabad and on the link roads of the city. Most of the people currently living in villages along the Motorway have been evicted through police-backed coercion by the developers or their ‘barras’ [elders] have been bought out, to sell the land of their communities.

The people still living in villages along the Motorway are of the opinion that they, too, will be forced out. They are of the opinion that, if they manage to stay, the K-4 scheme will provide water to these gated communities and not to them or the lower income settlements in the area.

As far as the disposal of sewage is concerned, the area contains a large number of hill torrent tracks which will be used as disposal points, creating immense environmental degradation — not only for the city of Karachi, but also for its larger ecological region. Judging from the past, these fears are justified.

With ingenuity, investment and will (all three missing in the real estate sector in Karachi), the water and sanitation problem can be overcome locally. However, an increase of vehicular traffic from these settlements to work areas or for other social and economic purposes will result in further congestion of already congested entrance and exit points to the city and will cause serious air pollution in an age of climate change.

An estimated 100,000 vehicles will enter and exit these housing estates per day, provided they get fully occupied — which seems unlikely for at least 15 years.

WHO WILL LIVE WHERE?

The other question is about who is going to live in these homes? Estate agents believe that, eventually, most of the residents will come from the middle class areas of Karachi, which were previously double-storeyed and can now have high density multi-storey construction on them. A trend that has been observed is that such properties are now being sold at a very high price and their returns are being invested in the purchase of a number of housing units (one for each child) in the new housing estates.

In addition, it is also being said that a large number of purchases are being made by residents of other Sindh towns and also from the province’s rural areas. However, many of the existing schemes are undeveloped or empty and their land and housing units — approximately 400,000 of them — are being held for speculation. It is surprising that, in spite of the availability of land, one finds almost no tree plantation in the completed or under-construction schemes.

Previously, land on the city periphery has been utilised for the development of katchi abadis. However, today, it is increasingly being used for the development of elite and middle class housing, and its price is beyond the affordability of low-income communities. Also, it is too far from work areas, increasing travel time and making the cost of commuting unaffordable.

But Karachi’s informal housing market has found solutions for low-income housing which are nearer to the city and somewhat more affordable.

Riaz Haq said…
INSIDE THE UNDERBELLY OF KARACHI

https://www.dawn.com/news/1723403


Arif Hasan | Dhuha Alvi | Anum Mufti Published November 27, 2022


But Karachi’s informal housing market has found solutions for low-income housing which are nearer to the city and somewhat more affordable.

GARBAGE FOUNDATIONS

At many locations along the coast, land is being reclaimed for low-income housing. Early in the morning, government and other trucks carrying garbage, debris and other forms of solid waste move into the coastal mangrove marshes and mudflats, and start depositing their contents on them.

Informally, hired government tractors level out the garbage and, in some cases, government-owned bulldozers compact it. The “developers” say that this work is a joint venture between them and government officials, without whose support their “project” would not be possible.

Large areas of the city, such as Sultanabad, parts of Keamari, Shireen Jinnah Colony and coastal villages have been colonised in this manner. The land is sold even before it has been reclaimed. A piece of paper is given to the prospective owner with a telephone number of the developer, the size of the plot, and the payment that has been made for it.

Once the plot is “ready”, the owner moves in and starts construction. He spends a lot of money on filling his plot with garbage, earth or debris, and compacting it to whatever extent he can, so that he can build a home. In most cases, because of insufficient compaction, the plot sinks and is filled with water during the rains. So, very often, it has to be refilled and re-compacted.

This is one of the cheapest ways of acquiring a residential piece of land in Karachi. It is interesting to note that, despite the rains and the intrusion of the sea into the nullahs and creeks of the city, no action has been taken by the government to prevent the reclamation of land from the mangroves and mudflats.

Instead, over 6,000 households have been made homeless due to the bulldozing of homes along the Gujjar, Orangi and Mahmoodabad nullahs, with the assumption that such bulldozing will prevent flooding of the city — something that the last rains proved was not a valid assumption.

Apart from the serious physical damage this process does to the city, its environmental repercussions, as mentioned before, are even more serious. The shift from developing katchi abadis on lands belonging to goths on the city’s northern and western periphery to coastal areas has a number of reasons behind it.

After the expansion of the city, the goth lands have become far away from places of work, recreation and social facilities. Access to them is time-consuming and transportation is expensive. In addition, the land along the coast is also not much more expensive but it involves considerable expense at raising its level through earth-filling and compaction. However, due to its proximity to the city and an immediate informal piece of paper establishing ownership, the “owner” is willing to bear the extra cost.

The solid waste being used for the reclamation of land from the sea also has a story behind it.

Its management has been handed over to a Chinese company, which is supposed to pick it up from all homes, parks and markets. As a result, the cost of managing solid waste has gone up considerably but still, the old manner of lifting and disposal has not radically changed. What happens is that the company sublets the collection and disposal of garbage to a subcontractor, often a political person of importance in the district, and signs an agreement with them. The company pays this person for this job on the basis of that agreement.

In theory, the garbage is to be picked up and taken to a designated garbage transfer station (GTS), where the recyclable material is removed and sent to the recycling units in the city. The residue is sent to the landfill site or informally sold for reclaiming land and filling under-construction plots.

Riaz Haq said…
ALIZEH KOHARI
The road to the city of the future: evictions, demolitions and land reclamation.

https://www.thedial.world/issue-4/karachi-coastline-waterfront-development


“WHO WOULDN’T WANT A SKYLINE IN KARACHI, YAAR?”

WHEN: December 2022

WHERE: An under-construction development on land reclaimed from the Arabian Sea, Defence Housing Authority, Phase-VIII extension, Karachi

The apartment I was being shown did not exist, but no matter — until some decades ago, the ground beneath us didn’t either. On Google Earth, you can see this coastal appendage mutate over time, lengthening and fattening: Little rectangular plots divide and multiply amid fading foliage, extending an expensive Karachi neighborhood, pushing back the Arabian Sea. Inside the apartment that did not yet exist — we were inside a temporary model unit — the sales associate clacked past a six-person dining table to the far end of the living room.

“And here, you have a floor-to-ceiling oceanfront view,” she said brightly. I nodded appreciatively at the blank wall.

Later, we climbed up to the roof of the sales office and watched the construction taking place along the water’s edge. A paraglider swooped over mounds of upturned earth; a black kite dodged the long arm of a tower crane. The sea was pockmarked with distant trawlers. Ground broke on the first of 19 towers last year; when the project is completed, by the end of 2025, this sales office — including the model apartment we just toured — will be dismantled: Its glossy floors and gilded chandeliers exist only to pitch high-end vertical living to deep-pocketed Pakistanis. Alina, whose job it is to sell this dream, grew up in Dubai and is afraid of heights.

“I’d consider it, maybe, if someone gave me the penthouse,” she said, with a shrug.




In Karachi, facts are always in flux. The city is home to 15 million people— or 20, or 30, depending on which account convinces you. It has long been touted as one of the world’s fastest-growing cities, but preliminary census data indicates a possible downtick in population in recent years, findings that will no doubt be hotly contested in coming months. It is a city of opportunity: Like New Yorkers, most Karachi-wallahs are originally from somewhere else, drawn like moths to the metropolis.

Still, to appreciate the current contestation over Karachi, take any small stretch of land — say, along the city’s coastline, which is 90 or 48 or 27 kilometers long, based on whom you cite — and watch it morph before your eyes, like an optical illusion, depending on who is telling its story.
It is a city of danger: Last year, more than 78,000 vehicles and 30,000 mobile phones were snatched at gunpoint; dozens of people were killed when they resisted. (Most people in Karachi can relate multiple genres of mugging stories: absurdist comedy, thriller, tragedy.) A hundred years ago, it was no more than a cluster of small fishing villages. Seventy-five years ago, it was the capital of the new state of Pakistan, welcoming hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighboring India. Today, it is violently remaking itself into a city of the future, through evictions, demolitions and land reclamation

[Read: The Dispossession of District Six]



All cities contain multitudes; this is not a particularly astute observation. Still, to appreciate the current contestation over Karachi, take any small stretch of land — say, along the city’s coastline, which is 90 or 48 or 27 kilometers long, based on whom you cite — and watch it morph before your eyes, like an optical illusion, depending on who is telling its story.



The developer of this particular gated community is the scion of a United Arab Emirates-based Pakistani magnate,

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