DHA blocking off a peaceful protest by concerned citizens

Even after seven days of the unprecedented rainfall in Karachi last Thursday, several areas of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) are still flooded.

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Hundreds of houses on Khayaban-e-Muhafiz, Khayaban-e-Hafiz, and Khayaban-e-Ittehad and in other phases of the DHA remain submerged. Several phases of the DHA still don’t have power, forcing a large number of residents to move to various hotels.

Khayaban-e-Bukhari is one of the worst-hit areas which is still inundated with knee-deep water.

The residents of the upscale Clifton and the DHA held a large protest outside the CBC office in DHA Phase-VI on Monday afternoon against the miserable failure of the cantonment board authorities to drain out the rainwater that has accumulated in their houses, streets, and neighbourhoods.

On Thursday, the DHA blocked the roads by placing the containers on streets and hindered the peaceful protest by the concerned citizens.

The residents, in a PDF document, said that they pay heavy taxes to top the DHA management and the CBC (Cantonment Board Clifton) but the said organizations fail to adhere to their legal obligation of providing and maintaining the residents’ basic living infrastructure. Now it is time to hold the organizations responsible for their inattentiveness and demand an answer from them, added the document.

The resident thus made the following demands to the DHA management and CBC:

  1. the audit (of the tax money) must be conducted and disclosed publicly.

  2. the acquisition of property tax must be cancelled for a year and its resumption depends on accumulation of following points.

  3. Pumps must be placed for dewatering of inundated water.

  4. electricity must be resumed followed by a establishment of a project under which the open, non-durable electricity wires must be changed and placed underground.

  5. roads must be repaired under six months.

  6. before commencing dewatering the roads, the citizens must be brought under confidence under which contractor’s name, details of the project and the sum of amount allocated must be disclosed.

  7. a system for waste disposal and its basic structure must be implemented within next month.

  8. for accumulation of 4th and 7th point the DHA consultant group, consisting of public experts/ civil engineers should be contacted for public welfare.

  9. water must be properly provided with the help of lines. there is no basis for the tax collected by the DHA residents to pay the takers.

  10. the baseless FIR registered against the peaceful protest must be taken back. Citizens were protesting at CBC with adherence to the law and their democratic rights and were demanding the accountability of their tax money. We denounce every kind of torture and our members were not involved in any kind of torturous protest. If DHA management and CBC chose to stick to their threatening demeanor and ignore our demands, then we will appeal to the Supreme Court and accountability bureau (NAB) to probe current and former CEOs of the DHA management and CBC and we will present our application to the Prime Minister and Army chief (COAS).

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