With each passing day, public pressure is mounting on Bahria Town Karachi’ management due to new slab of charges in the Gated- Community project. Although, the mainstream media is shy away to cover the protest but videos and memes are getting viral on social media with sharp intensity. In the last quarter of the 2021, the maintenance and services department of Bahria town has revised the water and maintenance tariff for both the residential and commercial properties, because of given reasons;
- Installation of meters for the measurement and usage of water at residential and commercial units
- Introduction of the system of monthly water billing.
- Upraise in the regular maintenance services in the Town.
Hike in Water & Maintenance Charges
Launched in 2014, as a matter of fact, the Bahria Town Karachi development project is not without its fair share of controversies. In May 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan passed verdicts on the illegal procurement of land for the project and declared all transactions related to sales and transfers as null and void.
The situation remained persistently divisive until March 2019 when the above verdicts were reserved. As the Supreme Court accepted Bahria Town’s Rs 460 billion offer for the Malir district land it exchanged or held, which would be paid over a period of seven years. The ongoing various protests by residents and commercialists of Bahria Town Karachi are being viewed through the prism of above judicial settlement.
However, insiders in Bahria Town management office cite the recent inflation for hike in recent maintenance charges. As all the prices increased, it was getting difficult to maintain the maintenance services in the mega housing scheme by charging the same old prices.
Protestors Complains & Bahria Town’ Flaws
Various residents in circulating videos complain different flaws while criticizing rise in maintenance tariff. A young man in his Vlog said the management of Bahria Town become greedy by raising more than 200% maintenance charges, while there are no enough schools, health facilities and public transport. Another one told initially there were 11 different maintenance services free of cost like gardening, carpentering, besides there was guards patrolling in every street. But now there is nothing free in Bahria Town.
In a recent video, protestors announce that they will not pay these maintenance charges and disclose they have filed a petition in court asking Bahria Town to reverse their decision.
It must be noted the electricity rate per unit in Bahria Town Karachi is already higher than what K-Electric charges in downtown Karachi. Besides, there are no gas connections in the scheme, and residents use gas cylinders for cooking and heating.
Now, What’s Next
Now how the crises would get resolved?
This is not the first time when Bahria Town raised the tariff for allottess. In January 2020 the management hiked 35% development charges but when people protested aggressively, the developer withdrew from the development charges. Last month a lot of dacoities in houses were recorded in the Gated-Community project. But again when residents came out on roads as protest, the Bahria Town increased patrolling and dacoities stopped.
Therefore, as the protest gets intensity day by day and the pressure is mounting on Bahria Town management, it is likely at least the recent increase in maintenance charges, if not water metering, would be postponed for some time.