KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued notices to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC), and others on a petition of DHA residents for the imposition of additional charges for water supply through tankers.
Naeem Sadiq and other petitioners said the CBC is charging residential houses between Rs2,886 and Rs108,219 and commercial units between Rs4,040 and Rs61,612 as annual water tax.
They said the SHC has already adjudicated the issue concerning water supply and the CBC’s responsibility, observing that in case of failure, the board may disentitle itself from charging, claiming or collecting water tax from residents.
They also said CBC has not installed water meters and the board is continuously charging water tax according to the size of the property, contrary to the quantity of water being consumed.
The CBC is meeting roughly 30% of the residents’ water needs and charging onerous levies and additional costs against the same, the petitioners said.
The petitioners said that all the residents of the DHA and the CBC are burdened not only with onerous charges by the board but they are also not being provided sufficient amount of water.
They said the CBC has failed to provide five water bowsers a month and instead provides — against an additional charge of Rs750 each — only two water bowsers, which are also not being supplied regularly.
The petitioners requested the court to declare the additional charges in the form of Rs750 a bowser being collected by the CBC from the residents, who are already paying the annual water tax, as contemptuous and a violation of the SHC’s judgment.
They also requested the court to restrain the cantonment board from levying any form of monetary charge for the supply of hardship bowsers on the residents.
After the preliminary hearing of the petition, subject to its maintainability, an SHC division bench headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi issued notices to the DHA and the CBC to file their comments on the petition within four weeks.