Do Darya has been a famous eatery among the people of Karachi. Even when people come from other cities, they are keen on visiting the location for its beautiful view and exemplary variety of foods. The odd name of ‘Do Darya‘ when translated, means two rivers but, as there are no rivers on the site and just the Arabian sea, the name might be given due to the Persian meaning which translates to ‘sea’ and the sea is located on both the sides of the location.
ARE KARACHIITES BIDDING FAREWELL TO THIS BEAUTIFUL EATERY?
However, this public site is being demolished. The number of restaurants built there are seventeen and many were underway when the Defence Housing Authority announced the dismantling plan, leaving the people devastated. Not only would it affect the restaurant owners and their successful businesses which have been in process for years now, but, it would also affect the beauty of the city as well. Do Darya was considered to be one of the tourist locations due to its amazing view. According to the Defence Housing Authority, notices were issued to the owners a year and a half before the destruction began as they expressed their intention of constructing residential and commercial projects, high-rise buildings being one of them. The notices did not make the owners abandon their businesses but instead requested stay-order from the court to extend their time duration.
Do Darya is located at the coastline of the city of Karachi and is on the brink of complete disappearance. Since, we all know how powerful social media has become that even a single thread can create huge groups, similarly, people began using hashtags like #savedodarya and #dodarya to spread the word as quickly as possible and demand help in saving the scenic location. Dissimilar to the food streets located in many parts of the city, the one located along the coastline offered a memorable experience of both dining and sight-seeing as it also played a part in attracting the tourists, both local and foreigners.
DEFENCE HOUSING AUTHORITY SET TO DISMANTLE DO DARYA FOR GOOD
For about a period of ten years, the land was left barren and was known for crimes and usage of drugs by addicts, the people living nearby kept staying fearful of what might happen. But, the people who had their minds set on investing, introduced and set up their eateries by taking the risk no one intended to and from there and then, the idea kicked off like a dynamite.
However, when inquired, it was found out that the spots leased were under a five-year agreement and were provided with assurance of the extension of almost a good twenty to twenty-five years. The Defence Housing Authority informed the owners that their lease would not be extended and that was when they were forced to request a stay order whose tenure will end in two-months and the authority being discourteous and acting like misers are even determined to keep the wooden planks.
LARGE INVESTMENTS WERE MADE WITH NO EXPECTATION OF RETURN
Defence Housing Authority expects the location to be vacated as soon as possible but, the fight from the opposition is coming strong as they had invested a lot of money of Rs.250 million and are not being returned with the investment, sadly. Due to the food outlets, a large number of around five-thousand was for employees inclusive of the cooks, waiters, security guards and the valet.
The shutting down of the place would mean unemployment for those large of people. The recent visits inform that some of the restaurants have been shut down and destroyed by DHA. The plots that had been leased were under the ownership of Army sports club and navy sports club whilst the remaining land has been reserved for the Chinese investors for building properties.
What a shameful act it is for the authorities to shut down a publicly renowned place and in addition a tourist spot as well. The location now seems to be deserted with nothing but debris and ruins of the once standing and prospering establishments. Among the rubble lie years of beautiful memories of the people who would visit this place.
The uniqueness in this food street was that of unconfined waters and the breath-taking sight it offered to the visitors. From the balconies of the restaurants, people could witness the boats from Marina club carrying people around and the silent passage of the fishing boats. Atop that, the beautiful birds and fishes that people would feed with their leftovers.
IS THERE HOPE FOR DO DARYA AFTER ALL?
It is a matter of furiousness as instead of funding and expanding the concept of Do Darya, it is being forcefully shut down and for what? For residential and commercial projects that are not even required. As, the projects would clearly restrict the general public from visiting the location entirely. Speculations among the people are being continued, some of which are the contract termination and construction for high-rise. But, many seem to wonder how such a narrow strip could contain such projects.
It is also being heard that there might be hope for the eateries after all, the remaining undemolished restaurants are said to having their contracts renewed with the Defence Housing Authority for a period of another two years. The ones who left merely could not withstand the immensity of the pressure and departed. But, those owners who stood up and took matters to court do not plan on leaving anytime soon, for, at least a good two year duration.