Regarding the recent levying of its refurbishment charges on home and property owners, the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has said that it is seeking the cooperation of residents in its hour of need.

“Most DHA residents belong to an affluent segment of society and are in a position to pay the new charges in four easy installments. DHA expects that the residents will demonstrate goodwill and accept the new move with a positive spirit for the overall betterment and prosperity of the area,” said the DHA spokesman in a statement on Friday.

The statement reiterates the DHA position that Defence residents’ associations were informed about the refurbishment charges before its imposition. The residents’ associations, despite the number of meetings since then, have never opposed these charges, it added.

The statement said that recently, the DHA has levied a one-time refurbishment charge on open and constructed plots purportedly because of a financial impasse it faces – the Authority spent three to four billion rupees on refurbishment and renovation of the depleting civic infrastructure of the developed phases of DHA.

This has been done solely to maintain the infrastructural efficacy of Defence. The charges also include a cost of Rs2.7 billion incurred on laying of a modern drainage system in DHA on war footings to obviate chances of any flooding in the area during the monsoons.

The statement added that after spending a huge sum of money to rescue the prestigious housing enterprise from becoming a slum, the DHA finds itself in a difficult financial position. The statement clarified that in order to overcome the financial crunch, the governing body of DHA has very reluctantly approved the imposition of refurbishment charges.

The statement said that DHA, being a development agency, does not receive any kind of taxes from its residents unlike the CBC which is a municipal organisation. The DHA on the contrary spends money out of its own exchequer to maintain good civic infrastructure and an exclusive living environment in the locality. The statement asserts that the DHA neither gets grant-in-aid from the government or any other agency whatsoever.

The criticism of laying drains in the middle of the roads is uncalled for as owing to various civic services along both sides of the roads, there was no other practical engineering solution except to make drains in the centre of the roads, the statement said. It added that the slopes of the roads will, however, allow the rain water to flow down the drains with gravitational force.

Source: The News