DHA, Clifton residents stage sit-in outside CBC office in Karachi

KARACHI: A large crowd comprising residents of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Clifton are staging a sit-in protest outside the Clifton Cantonment Board (CBC) office Monday, calling on the board to provide them an audit report of their performance and hold those responsible for not providing them basic amenities.

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The CBC had sealed the gates of its office ahead of the protest scheduled by residents of the area. However, demonstrators breached the premises of and tried to enter the office but were stopped by police.

Angry protesters, women and children among them, held up placards and shouted slogans of “Go CBC Go” and “Ghunda Gardi Nahi Chalegi” against the board.

The protesters are demanding the chief executive officer of the CBC to address them and listen to their grievances.

Calling for an improvement in the sewerage system, the protestors are also demanding that an audit of the flood relief tax collected by the CBC be shared with them and called on the board’s members to be held accountable for the lack of amenities provided to them over the years. They have also asked the CBC to improve garbage collection in the area.

Last night, a group formed on Facebook under the name of “Petition against DHA & CBC” had announced they would protest against the authorities of DHA and Clifton outside the CBC office for the” incompetence of DHA & CBC in providing basic living conditions”.

The organisers had requested everyone to “remain peaceful at all times, not harm or hurt anyone, not damage any property and do not harm any plants or animals”.

The group admins had clarified that neither do they “promote, recommend, encourage or incite any sort of violence, nor shall they be held accountable or responsible for any person’s personal choices or acts in the Peaceful Protest.”

The organisers had also clarified that the group was not affiliated with any political party.

DHA residents announce protest, demand accountability and return of tax money

  • A list of 22 demands were put forward by DHA residents, which includes the return of tax money taken from them under the “Development Charges” head.

  • The residents said they also wanted contractors and decision-makers held accountable for constructing “useless stormwater drains” from their funds.

  • Following is a list of 22 demands that the aggrieved residents said they will put forward in front of the DHA during their protest on September 3:

  • Return the taxes taken from Residents in the form of Development Charges for ”stormwater drains” project worth billions which failed completely

  • Accountability of the contractors and decision-makers for these useless Storm Water Drains

  • Immediate removal of these cement slabs in the middle of the roads with holes in them

  • Removal of “charges “ and “ fees” on every kind of activity, approval and transaction inside our own homes

  • Installation of sewage treatment plant immediately

  • Stop the pollution from 150 million gallons of untreated effluent from DHA to be dumped directly into the sea

  • Sharing of 10 years audit report so residents know how their tax money is being spent

  • Stop reclaiming land from the sea for more housing without an infrastructure plan. This will increase further drainage/ sanitation problems

  • Stop renting out empty plots for the storage of animals

  • Separate area of storing of animals

  • Designated Slaughterhouses

  • New international standards drainage system to be installed immediately

  • Immediate repair of broken sewerage lines and roads

  • Hanging cables and telephone wires to go underground immediately

  • All electricity poles to be earthed and every pole be issued safety certificate by DHA. Saving lives is a joint responsibility. All lives matter

  • KESC statements to be taken seriously by DHA. “Non-KE wires on power distribution infrastructure, such as streetlights or TV, telephone or internet cables, are a major safety hazard, as they damage KE’s infrastructure and bypass safety protection mechanisms.”

  • Beggars removed from every street signal

  • All empty plots to be garbage-free (empty plots are the responsibility of DHA)

  • No more paying for water. Remove the Tanker Mafia immediately. If hydrants can have unlimited water supply why can’t our houses?

  • No construction on our beaches. Spend our money on our drainage system

  • Make a proper system of debris removal and construction material spillover on our roads.

  • All craters in roads due to rains to be attended immediately so as not to lead to more loss of life 22. Roads dug up for various utilities and left uncarpeted to warrant heavy fines to the contractors

  • Stop bringing in officials from around the country to head key positions in DHA and CBC. Locals of the city to be appointed only

As the sixth spell of monsoon rain lashed Karachi on Thursday, several areas of the city, notable DHA, became flooded. Video clips on social media showed how several houses were flooded with rainwater as the area’s stormwater drains failed to ensure water did not accumulate on the roads.

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