THE fate of Karachi’s Do Darya spot has apparently become uncertain. The plan to have more commercial and residential projects in the area is paving the way for the closure of the spot for the general public. As such, visitors to the area now have to put up with barriers and check- posts that divide all vehicular traffic into two categories; one lane is exclusively meant for those holding resident permits, and everyone else has to make do with the other lengthy, slow-moving queue.

In fact, the word on the street is that pretty soon the authorities will be initiating identity checks that will create yet another divide in a city that is full of social and financial divides. Will the general public be barred from entering the area at all when all the residential projects get fully ready? Will the area be cordoned off as an elite zone?

Do Darya happens to be one of the finest spots for the people of Karachi to enjoy their days off. Similarly, the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) had initiated some action in 2018 against restaurants that used to serve the public, especially after sunset. The action was criticised heavily by the people even then, but, as is almost always the case, it does not take much to ignore what the people are saying. Today, only a few surviving restaurants are functioning.

In essence, the current check-posts have once again raised concerns about the future of a public space that the people of Karachi love to visit. Another elite zone is not what the city needs.

Munib Ali
Karachi

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2024

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