RACE COURSE GARDENS

- Likely to bring a change in Karachi's architectural lifestyle

SADAF AURANGZAIB, Senior Correspondent
Apr 30 - May 13, 2007

Race Course Gardens is supposed to bring a change in the architectural lifestyle of Karachi. This project also comes under Army where an area of about 120 acres is proposed to be worked upon and derived as complete vicinity with modern equipped facilities to be enjoyed by the people of Karachi. In the project almost 60 acres of the land would be lying vacant for building botanical gardens and recreational activities, children museum and four different kinds of Art museums. An important element of the master plan is the restoration of old (19th century) residential railway properties in this neighborhood spread over five acres of land. The first phase will see restoration of four large bungalows which will be converted through an adaptive reuse process into specific museums which will be called City of Karachi Heritage Museum, Folk Art Museum, Modern Art Museum and Contemporary Art Museum and Army Museum.

Foundation for Museum of Modern Arts (FOMMA) under the dynamic leadership of Mr. Jalal-uddin Ahmed has also developed an art centre at the Zamzama Park and the research work is still in progress for the contemporary art museum of the project.

On a query of the slow progress in bringing things to surface, sources said the progress is not slow; the architectural requirement needs a lot of methodical and meticulous effort that has taken time to come to shape. For that purpose we were looking for the best expertise available in the region and now we have gathered those. For the project to come to shape the complete infrastructure of the surroundings is needed to be changed and for that matter we are required to confront with more than 20 different administrative agencies of the city. "We were in coordination with them and now they are on board with us. In Karachi the planners never take care of the infrastructural requirements but we have given a lot of emphasis to that and we spent three years to get these organizations on board with us.

"A 12-inch pipeline is dedicated for that purpose, KESC has also promised to deliver 150 MW for our project, a proper sewerage system of more than fifty thousand people has taken care of, etc. We have given a lot of time for the initial planning so that the end result would be as astounding as this project is. Unless the authorities promise and deliver the promising utility structure, we are not going to dispose of the land."

While talking about the investment in the project, the sources said that the initial investment is from Army side, the infrastructural development is from the Army through its own resources and pool of money. After this development we will sell the land to the developers whether Pakistani or foreigners. They will then build their own commercial, mixed commercial or residential towers but that also needed to get approved by our architectural standards. We will bring this project in the market in August or September this year, once the infrastructure which basically comprises proper roads, complete utility services, openings for gas, water and electricity will be completed so that it will then take this place to come to reality within another four years when the developers will be completing up their projects.

CREEK CITY PROJECT

Creek City is a residential project in the country being built in Phase V111 of DHA overlooking the Arabian Sea. It is envisaged as a garden-resort type residential complex with self-contained facilities like shopping malls, recreational clubs, water marina and golf course, etc. The city is spread over an area of 90 acres and is one of the zones of DHA water front developments projects. M/s Meinhardt Singapore (Pvt.) Limited has been assigned to undertake the design, construction, marketing and development of these projects at Creek City. Creek Vistas - a part of the Creek City project - is planned to be built on 17 and half acres of land. It will have 12 to 14 storied blocks with four housing units on each floor. Creek Terraces will also comprise 14 blocks, Creek View will have 12 blocks. The 30 storied Twin Towers will accommodate 240 housing units whereas Creek Marina will have 11 residential blocks. In all there will be over 4000 residential units in these projects. Creek City Hospital is also planned as sate-of-the-art project.

300-BED MODERN HOSPITAL IN THE CREEK CITY PREMISES

International Hospital Group of UK will be responsible for the project management activities - sourcing and installation of equipment, designing, construction, supervision, staff recruitment and training, commissioning and subsequently starting operations in the hospital. In short, the Creek City will be a perfect model for a self-sufficient township that aims to provide all possible comforts and convenience to its residents.

DHA

A part of these projects and in search of new horizons, DHA has finally been able to acquire/purchase around 1200 acres of land on Super Highway astride the newly coming up Education City from Govt. of Sindh to start a new place for its members. We wish our best to DHA to keep going on with these projects and develop the city to give it a beautiful and promising future.

Pakistan Defence Officers Cooperative Housing Society Limited, Karachi, was registered in March 1953. During August 1980, the Cooperative Housing Society was dissolved and Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority was created through President's order No. 7 of 1980. Defence Officers Housing Authority primarily came into being for the welfare of the serving and retired officers of the Armed Forces of Pakistan. The Housing Society, which made a humble beginning with the allotment of a mere 76.2 acres of land, has come a long way then since. DHA has expanded mostly by reclaiming land and today is a vast consolidation of eight phases, covering a total area of 8, 797 acres. DHA is acclaimed for proving its mettle by providing state-of-the-art mega projects to the Army people. Notwithstanding the trial of the poor infrastructural pressures, DHA is keen to take several such projects that are in line to develop those lands as the landmark of modern Pakistan.

In Army, the QMG branch is the organization which looks after the entire Army land so QMG is the custodian of all the Army lands wherever those are lying. When Pakistan was created, a number of lands were allotted to the Army. Many of those lands were developed over the years like the Malir Cantt, etc. These kinds of developments arose as a town within town. Currently, DHA disposed of another 16.9 acres of land on MA Jinnah Road, located next to Capri Cinema. The purpose of disposing of this land is to develop new Army headquarters for which the land has been taken by the CDA.