PHA residents to pay for civic amenities

ISLAMABAD, June 23: The residents of 1,600 Pakistan Housing (PHA) apartments in the capital city have been asked to pay up to Rs2,000 as a monthly fee for availing of basic amenities, Dawn has learnt.

The PHA has some 3,100 apartments across the country and all the residents have to pay the new fee to be charged under the head of civic services.

The PHA used to construct these apartments and sell to the federal government employees on an ownership basis.

According to a copy of the notification issued by the PHA management, the residents of B category houses having three bedrooms will have to pay Rs2,000, C category with two bedrooms Rs1,500 and two-bedroom D category houses Rs1,000.

The commercial area shop owners will also have to pay Rs1,000.

The services offered by the PHA include maintenance services for electrification, plumbing, sewage, sweeping facilities and overall cleanliness of the scheme area, proper and regular maintenance of water tanks and provision of security.

The PHA management, according to the notification, will also impose Rs100 monthly fine in case any resident failed to pay the bill.

“The no objection certificate of the management services wing, which will provide civic services, will be made mandatory for transfer of PHA flats or shops to the new owners,” said the notification.

A resident, Syed Haider Ali, said: “Water is hardly available in PHA, G-11 sector, which shows that the authority is not paying proper attention to the civic needs of the residents.”

He said the PHA residents’ societies were providing the residents with garbage collection facility, electricity bills for lampposts, security, besidesmanaging the green areas and the residents pay them Rs400 to Rs500 per month.

He added that it was quite strange that the PHA management had decided to charge Rs1,000 to Rs2,000 from the residents for the services already managed by its residents’ societies.

Hafza Inam, another resident of PHA G-7 apartments, said charging such a high amount on a monthly basis was unjustified.

“There is acute water shortage in the flats and the PHA management recently informed me that to meet the water needs of the residents every apartment owner should contribute Rs10,000 for installation of a tubewell,” said Ms Inam.

“Is this not unjustified since we have bought these apartments for over Rs6 million and now we are being asked to pay an additional fee for the provision of basic enmities which is the job of the Capital Development Authority and the PHA
management,” said the resident.

However, when contacted, PHA’s assistant director (legal) Khawar Javed Cheema said: “We have imposed the fee for the provision of civic facilities on the request of the residents since we have received a number of applications for improvement
of civic facilities at the PHA apartments.”

He said the management would be providing best utility facilities to the residents at their doorsteps.