Islamabad’s DHA Valley has been the subject of many controversies for a while now. The project, which is a joint venture between Bahria Town and Defence Housing Authority (DHA), has faced delays due to several issues, including litigation, slow pace of development work and the fact that a large chunk of land bought for the project is in the line of fire because of the Dadhocha Dam.
In 2015, Bahria Town attempted to adjust some file owners from DHA Valley to Bahria Town Phase 8 in Rawalpindi and Bahria Town Karachi. According to my sources, the response to this offer wasn’t very encouraging. However, some people did apply for relocation only to end up not hearing anything back from Bahria Town.
As we know that over 70,000 plot files were sold for DHA Valley, but when we look at the current status of development, it becomes evident that the project can only accommodate around 30% of the file owners at the moment. I am compelled to think that the developer will need to offer alternate plots to a decent number of DHA Valley file owners.
Some folks also believe that a few blocks of DHA Valley might be relocated. I don’t think that should bother anyone as long as the project is actually delivered. Those affected by DHA Valley will also appreciate it if DHA steps up and offers file owners to merge their files or relocate their plots within DHA Islamabad. It’s also important to mention that DHA Valley file holders that I have spoken to in the past have not shown much interest in alternate plots that Bahria Town has offered in other cities.
The absence of a direct access road to DHA Valley has kept the pace of development work slow for a very long time but Bahria Town has fixed the issue by arranging for an entrance from the Kallar Syedan Road. A 120-feet wide road from here snakes through DHA Valley; it has so far reached Magnolia block, while work is in process on the path that runs parallel to Sunflower, and goes all the way up to Bluebell.
Development work in Magnolia and Lilly is almost 100% complete. Bluebell is also developed largely. While construction work on about 350 DHA Homes is underway. According to the information shared with me by DHA Valley, possession of DHA Homes will be offered in two phases.
In the first phase, possession of about 1,100 homes will be granted. Construction of these 350 homes can be completed by the end of the year. It is also rumoured in the market that possession of DHA Homes will be offered in two months, which doesn’t appear to be a serious commitment.
The Dadhocha Dam factor
Dadhocha Dam is one of three dams that were proposed some years ago to serve as water reservoirs for Rawalpindi and Islamabad. According to a news report, the development of Dadhocha Dam, along with the other two dams, has been deferred due to a shortage of funds. Moreover, the development cost of these dams has increased significantly over the years, which is why funds for the projects cannot be made available for at least the next two year. .
The news is indeed bad for the twin cities, which currently suffer from water shortage. Moreover, this deferment doesn’t help DHA Valley in any way. Even if the Dadhocha Dam project is cancelled, it cannot fix other litigation issues in the valley, nor will it expedite the pace of ongoing development work. It might only help Bahria Town accommodate more people, but certainly not all of them.
Is there any hope?
Even though DHA Valley file holders are worried about the delays, information has remained scarce and they suffer because of a lack of updates. Bahria Town needs to make a better effort to keep people informed. Given that there are around 70,000 people stuck with files, it makes no sense that the developer makes little effort to disseminate updates and information – especially when some of them are positive.
My sources have reported that development work in the area has been ongoing at a good pace. I personally believe that a little bit of marketing from Bahria Town’s end can change a lot for DHA Valley; after all, it is the cheapest project one can find in both Rawalpindi and Islamabad. With some serious efforts towards development and its appropriate marketing, property rates here should go up.
Here are some of the latest pictures from the project:
Development work in progress in Bluebell Block, where electric poles for street lights have been installed. The road structure in Bluebell is 80% complete:
Construction work on a bridge on Oleander Avenue:
Latest images from Daffodil:
Mud track between Bluebell and Magnolia, which passes through Rose and Tulip blocks:
Newly built road from Oleander to Magnolia:
Under-constructed houses in Oleander Block: