They would have been fired with water cannon, tear-gassed, baton-charged and what not, if they were residents of a slum or middle class area, but the residents of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) were spared from manhandling for gatecrashing a cantonment board office or office of its chief executive officer and smashing its plants before it in presence of huge contingent of police.
When all is said and done, this cannot be ignored that they did all this for they were in pain for four days because of lack of electricity and accumulation of water before and inside their houses after drainage system was choked.
Residents of DHA gathered before the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) office on Monday at 11:30 am to record their protest against negligence and incompetence of the authority over failure to clean rainwater in streets and drainage system. Around 12:00 pm, they forcibly opened the front door after one of the women protestors had already climbed into the building premises.
K-Electric had refused to restore electricity supply to the areas where water was cumulated for they feared that it could spread electric current. In one such attempt to restore the power to the areas, a worker at a tea shop was electrocuted.
A protestor said they could charge them more taxes, but they should be seen working to facilitate people of the area. He said they thought they were officers and they needn’t to do anything. However, he said, they should be held accountable.
One demonstrator said he had lost valuable items worth one million rupees but he was not seeking compensation for that rather he wanted the CBC to clear the road of water as cars could only float on streets in such a situation, hence they were bound to their houses.
A woman said leg of her maid was fractured when she fell in a ditch. She said her house was not affected from the water, still she wanted to support people of her area, therefore she decided to attend the protest.
The protestors were angered that the CBC failed to make proper civic arrangements despite collecting huge taxes.
DHA Karachi in an official statement said, “Much before the onset of ongoing monsoon season complete desilting and cleaning of drain was carried out. Perhaps nature had greater challenge for us, as against our sustenance capacity of 207 mm rain in 24 hrs the current spell was 235 mm in 12 hrs (more than double).”
Armina Zaman accused that the CBC officials were corrupt and they were not ready to listen to the woes of dwellers of DHA. She said they should compare their performance with the performance of DHA Lahore. A protester claimed that the DHA did not let its auditing be done.
The DHA residents demanded resignation from the CEO.