LAHORE - The Metropolitan Corporation of Lahore’s 16th session was held at Town Hall on Thursday with Deputy Mayor Mehar Mehmood Ahmed in the chair.

Opposition members did not turn up at the session that started 50 minutes behind the schedule. The only independent member, Raja Fazal Elahi Butt, was barred from raising the issue of equal distribution of funds after Lord Mayor Mobashir Javed exchanged words with him.

Reacting to the treasury’s attitude, Butt called gagging the voice of opposition “disgrace to the honourable house”. “The session was a complete failure. They did not even allow the only opposition member to speak on the issue,” the UC 128 chairman said.

However, Mobashir said: “The house of 315 members should not be held hostage.”

Earlier in his address, Mobashir promised equal distribution of Rs2 billion funds. He sought recommendations to remove encroachments from the city. The issue of delay was also raised.

During the session, UC 54 Chairman Muazzam Piracha brought a lion cub to the house. He took the cub to the lord mayor who greeted it gently. It is unclear whether the UC chairman had special permission from the Wildlife Department to bring a lion cub to the house.

Local council representatives unable to provide relief to public due to shortage of funds highlighted the distrust among people of his constituency.

“In next elections, how will masses vote for us when we are not providing them even streetlights?” asks Basharat Ali Dola, chairman of UC 101 in Kot Kamboh Khoro. He presented the first resolution about unavailability of streetlights and sewerage pipelines.

Though the assembly affairs were run smoothly, some members of the house tried to speak without their turns.

Treasury benches raised slogans in favour of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and prayed for health of Kalsoom Nawaz.

UC 143 Salamat Pura chairman presented a resolution against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which was passed subsequently.

Women members asked for monthly allowance like Punjab Assembly members and sought streetlights in their union councils.

Hameeda Parveen, district member of the MCL, presented a resolution, which highlighted that Town Hall is insecure and concrete measures should be taken to protect lives of members of the house. She also presented a resolution, demanding that minimum age to enroll a child in a school should be seven years.

Rafaqat Sahutra, MCL district member, said that Christian workers who clean the city daily are not getting pension and gratuity.

Awais Bashir Awan, chairman of UC 65, presented a resolution against encroachments in his UC.

Chairman of UC 94 Chaudhry Muhammad Afzal demanded that a landfill in Sodewal should be shifted to some other place. He said residents of the area were suffering due to bad smell of the waste.

Amid sloganeering by both sides, the chair adjourned the meeting for an indefinite period.