LAHORE: “I saved a human life, but I was neither thanked nor compensated for the damage done to my car. On the contrary, I was fined for damaging an electricity pole,” Nauman, who had an accident in Sector-Z of Defence Housing Authority (DHA), told Daily Times.

Nauman is one of many people who have had accidents in DHA, but they soon come to know that apart from the money they have to spend on repairing their damaged cars, the DHA bylaws require them to pay for any damage done to DHA property.

Nauman said, “I was driving fast in Sector-Z a few months ago when a jaywalker came in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and veered off the road. I saved the man’s life, but hit an electricity pole. I got hurt and it almost cost me my life,” he said, adding that while he was in hospital and his family was praying for his recovery, DHA authorities were ‘pestering’ his parents to pay for the damaged pole.

Nauman termed the DHA bylaws ‘unfair and cruel’. He said, “No government or housing authority would treat its citizens this way.” He said his father paid the DHA to avoid being further annoyed, but his family was not happy with the way the DHA officials had constantly pressed them to pay the fine.

Several other DHA residents, especially those involved in road accidents, also criticised the DHA’s rule, terming it ‘cruel’.

Talking to Daily Times, DHA Spokesman Tajammul Hussain said the authority had enforced the bylaw for DHA residents’ safety. “Every society is free to make its bylaws and DHA has enforced the bylaw to make the drivers more cautious while driving in the housing society.” He said the DHA had some of the best roads in the city and people liked to race on the roads. He said the DHA security not only stopped racers, but also made them pay for the damage they had caused to public property for the sake of fun.

Tajammul also confirmed that anyone who would damage poles, roads, greenbelts, footpaths or other DHA property would have to pay for the damage they had done.

“Why should the residents pay for someone else’s mistakes? The DHA is a public residential place and people pay to live here. DHA residents cannot allow people to destroy their (residents’) property and threaten their lives by over-speeding on its roads,” Tajammul said.

He said the DHA administration was quite lenient while charging fines. He said the authority also considered whether or not the person they were charging the fine was at fault in the accident.

Source: Daily Times