Karachi:The Defence Society Residents’ Association (DSRA) has appealed to the Defence residents that they should refuse to pay recently imposed Refurbishment charges “arbitrarily and illegally” imposed on them by the DHA.

Speaking at a press conference here on Monday, DSRA President Captain Haleem A Siddiqui said that the recently held meeting of the central executive committee of his association had decided to initiate a lawsuit against the imposition of the Refurbishment charges (also known as infrastructure tax) on the DHA residents.

These refurbishment charges is being justified under the pretext that the DHA had spent Rs2.5 billion to construct rainwater drainage system in the DHA and that the DHA needs to recover its expenses, he said.

“First of all, the DHA being the land developer had been negligent in making sure that all the areas being developed should have had a suitable rainwater drainage system during their development stage. Absence of rainwater drainage in the DHA was finally exposed after flooding of the area during the 2007 monsoon rains,” said Siddiqui.

“Instead of compensating the residents, whose properties were destroyed and their lives and businesses disrupted during and after the 2007 flooding, as demanded by the DSRA, ironically the DHA has decided to make residents foot the bill for its negligence and professional incompetence as a developer,” he said.

These so-called refurbishment charges imposed on the DHA residents is calculated to be over Rs4 billion as the accumulated sum after collection. No accounting or detailed financial report, duly audited by a competent national auditing firm, has ever been provided or published to verify the claimed expenses, he said.

Initially it was said that the rainwater drainage system in the DHA locality would cost Rs750 million but only much to our surprise, we learnt through the media that the DHA has made an expense of Rs2.5 billion, which is a matter of concern to all of the residents.

Contradicting recent statements of the DHA, Siddiqui also clarified that the Defence residents’ associations were never consulted, briefed, or informed beforehand by the DHA on the issue of levy of refurbishment charges on the DHA residents.

Source: The News