Our army seems to be having as many corrupt officers as any other government organisation. As these retired army officers, who are employed by DHA, have large pensions and huge salaries given to them by DHA have to come up with innovative ideas of generating income. Some Machiavellian mind has thought of imposing a charge on anyone who is renovating or fixing their property.

One of the residents has filed a case against DHA, but this being Pakistan and DHA having the armed forces power behind them has continuously taken stay orders from the court. Notwithstanding the stay order, the DHA claims that through a Public Notice in a newspaper and the same Public Notice put on a notice board in its head office, they have informed the residents that the same development charges, subject of the stay order, has been added to the property owners/residents accounts with an escalation clause for non-payment under the head ‘Refurbishment Charge’.

Most residents are unaware that this so-called ‘Refurbishment Charge’ with an escalation clause, is outstanding dues against them. To accelerate payment of this alleged illegal development cost, the DHA has devised a plan whereby they have instructed their team of vigilance guards to roam all the roads within the area, snoop on the residents and if they find any repair/maintenance work being carried out by a resident, then they should demand an authority letter of the DHA for the work. If the resident decides to apply to the DHA for permission, then the resident is told to clear the outstanding dues, which includes the so-called escalated ‘Refurbishment Charge’ in order for permission to be given.

On the other hand, if the resident refuses to obtain this permission for essential repairs/maintenance work from the DHA, a Vigilance Mobile, full of guards, calls on the residents and the head guard threatens to stop the on-going work unless permission is obtained. This method of intimidation is tantamount to physically forcing the residents to pay charges before the High Court has decided on the case and which is subject to its stay order.

AFTAB BUKHARI,

Karachi, May 16.