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Karachi: Music at DHA Beach View Club torments residents

Residents living in close proximity to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Beach View Club have complained that the loud playing of music in connection with frequent wedding ceremonies and social functions at the club have resulted in sleepless nights for them.

One resident said that almost three times a week, his family cannot sleep throughout the night as after the musical function comes to a close, the packing up exercise by catering staff continues for another couple of hours.

While independent sources have confirmed the frequency of these social events, the DHA administration contradicts this claim. The concerned dwellers of Darakshan Villas in DHA Phase 6 said that this has become such a frequent occurrence at the club that the Club is more or less a wedding hall now and not a community centre.

Located on 12,291 square yards, the Beach View Club is supposedly the only club in the country situated next to the sea. However, its main source of income now comes from weddings and musical functions. For its members, the club provides facilities of a well-furnished banquet hall, lounge, children’s library, a cards and snooker room, sports facilities for squash, tennis, badminton and swimming as well as a gymnasium; but for residents of the area, this make no difference as the place is a constant source of irritation after sunset.

Beach View Club is also unique among the six clubs of DHA, Karachi, as it is situated in the middle of a residential area so the frequent holding of private functions there is bound to cause concern among the people.

The reason for this location, said one resident, is that in the original plan of the DHA, this was a community centre which was then re-designated as a club despite protests from planners of the Darakshan Township in which it is located.

A concerned resident of the area, also a retired government official, said that he has complained several times to the Beach View Club secretary about the issue but to no avail. He said that the club should not hold musical nights and wedding parties on a commercial basis when it is situated in a residential area.

He referred to the West Pakistan Regulation and Control of Loudspeaker and Sound Amplifiers Ordinance 1965 which, according to him, binds the club administration to not play music on such a high volume causing discomfort to residents.

“No person shall operate or use of or cause to be operated or use a loudspeaker or a sound amplifier in a public, in a manner so as to cause or to be likely to cause annoyance or injury to persons residing in any residential locality,” reads the Ordinance.

Association of Defence Residents General Secretary Asad Kizilbash said that his association was largely satisfied with functioning of the DHA clubs and has no separate committee to monitor their working. “The only issue we raised about the clubs was that there should be no discrimination of membership fee for clubs among civilian residents of DHA and those who are retired servicemen. This we did when we attended hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence earlier this year,” Kizilbash told The News.

“The complaint of Darakshan Villas residents, however, seems genuine as the Beach View club with an increase in population is now situated well within a residential area while rest of the DHA clubs are present at a distance from population,” he said. “Our association will entertain and consider any such complaint whenever filed to us.”

Defence Residents’ Society President Zafar Iqbal said that as the issue had just come into his notice, it would be raised with the DHA administrator during any upcoming meeting with him.

Meanwhile Beach View Club Secretary Brigadier (Retd) Kursheed Alam Shah said that while his club is near a residential area, the administration has no option but to play music since it is a place that hosts public events frequently. “On such social occasions, the playing of music cannot be confined to a room and residents of the area have to bear with it and should understand the utility of a club,” he said.

He said that his club hosts wedding ceremonies just twice or thrice a month, but the playing of music “cannot be helped.” Shah further said that he was not aware of the concerns of the Darakshan Villa residents but if they have any complaints, he will look into the matter.

DHA Spokesman Lt Col (retd) Rafat Naqvi said that the Beach View Club holds musical evenings for its members just once a year. He said that an information and complaint centre has been functioning in DHA but as this is not a civic problem (as it is restricted to just one area), the concerned residents should send their complaint in writing to the DHA administrator.

He said the administrator would look into the matter, order a probe, and if the concerns are found genuine then steps will be taken for immediate resolution.

“The DHA is not an organisation meant for minting money nor does it support the holding of commercial activities at the expense of the peace of residents of the area. So if this complaint is real then it will be resolved within no time whenever it is brought to the notice of administrator,” said Col. Naqvi.

Source: The News

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