Mystery surrounds DHA budget approval

KARACHI, Oct 22: The Defence Housing Authority development budget 2012-13 was approved in the annual meeting of its governing body held at the corps headquarters, says a DHA statement issued on Monday.

While the news regarding the passage of the budget was shared with the media, the DHA showing complete disregard to people’s right to know refused to disclose the amount of the budget.

Chaired by Defence Secretary retired lieutenant general Asif Yasin Malik, the governing body meeting was attended by its chairman lieutenant general Mohammad Ijaz Chaudhry, administrator brigadier Mohammad Abdullah and other officials.

The defence secretary said that DHA Karachi had come a long way in emerging as a prestigious residential estate of the country providing best civic amenities and dynamic living environment to residents.

He asked the housing authority to continue introducing new trends in the field of housing and civic management with a forward-looking approach to ensure that DHA remains a versatile organisation capable to respond to the future challenges.

Earlier, DHA Administrator Brig Mohammad Abdullah gave an overview of the DHA and briefed the governing body about the ongoing development projects.

The governing body was informed that the infrastructure development works at DHA City Karachi (DCK) were going on in full swing to make the DCK a liveable entity by 2016.The governing body chairman said that DCK was a unique project, which was a testimony of DHA’s credibility and stability as a strong entity in the field of housing and development. He emphasised the need for completing the project with professional diligence at a fast pace so that it serves as a model for future cities in the country and abroad.

He appreciated the DHA initiative of establishing a central control cell for efficient and hassle-free approval of building plans. He asked the DHA to improve the overall system by utilising information technology.

The chairman also called for ensuring water and electricity conservation to minimise shortage of these commodities. He said efficient checking and monitoring mechanism be introduced to stop wastage of water in the DHA.

Responding to Dawn queries, DHA spokesman retired colonel Rafat Naqvi said that he could not give the figure of the annual budget approved during the meeting, because he had returned home from office. Asked if the figure could be made available on Tuesday, he said that he might be out of office tomorrow.

In reply to yet another question, he said that he would not have the figure, because the budget was handled by another department.

He avoided sharing phone number of DHA Administrator Brig Mohammad Abdullah with Dawn by saying that the administrator might not have the figures, because he had taken over recently and was new in office. Interestingly, the administrator not only attended the meeting but also gave an overview of the DHA and briefed the governing body about the ongoing development projects, according to the DHA press release.