DHA elections raise residents’ hopes of participatory decision-making | Pakistan Today

DHA elections raise residents’ hopes of participatory decision-making

LAHORE: How will the new DHA Residents’ Association solve residential problems and increase the say of residents in DHA administrative matters is the question residents are asking with the DHA Residents’ Association 2011-2013 elections scheduled for December 5 (Sunday).
With electioneering at full throttle, DHA is set for free, fair and impartial elections with 6,000 members of the association expected to actively participate. Election Commissioner Group Captain Tayyab Siddiqui assisted by Arshad Ali Mirza and Professor Mubasher Gora have received the nomination papers from all the potential candidates for the slots of President, Vice President, General Secretary, Joint Secretary, Finance Secretary and Information Secretary.
A number of people have also submitted their nomination papers to vie for 52 members for the Executive Body. Rohail Ikram ul Haq is contesting for office of President, Col (Retd) ZI Farrukh for Vice President, Azam Nasir Ch (senior journalist) for General Secretary, Col (Retd) Mian Asad for Joint Secretary, Mian Tabassum Ali for Information Secretary and Chaudhry Naseer Ahmed is running for the candidature of Finance Secretary.
All candidates are likely to be elected unopposed as no candidates have been pitched against them. A similar outcome is expected in the candidacy of Executive Body in DHA Resident Association. The Annual General Meeting will also be held on the December 5. After the meeting, outgoing elected body (2008-2010) would hand over the charge to Election Commission to conduct the elections.
The newly elected body would replace the outgoing governing body. DHA residents have vowed to continue their struggle to have more “say” in the decision-making process of the society to address the problems facing the residents. They declare the annual general meeting and the election of the DHA Residents Association a milestone for a brighter future and the establishment of a sense of goodwill for the community.
Involvement in by-law formulation: A DHA resident association official briefed Pakistan Today the issues facing DHA residents were the ratio of property tax, water drainage problems (especially during the rainy season), the lack of footpaths in some sectors, security issues, school fee hikes, the lack of public transport and health facilities.
He said that the biggest challenge the residents were facing was that DHA administration did not involve all stakeholders when making by-laws for the authority. Another official said that residents wanted to feel ownership by aiding the DHA in the decision-making process. The Walton Cantonment Board should spend at least 80 percent of the revenue they collect on the DHA, adding that the board collected at least two-thirds of its revenue from DHA residents.
He said the board did not even spend 25 percent of its revenue on the DHA. Open courts for DHA sectors:Some members of executive body members also urged the administration to hold separate open court-type sittings for every sector of the DHA.
They said the DHA only had a suggestion box outside the main office, adding that the box did not provide the residents much say. Fahad Khan, a resident of Y block said that the previous residents association had spared no effort to work for the welfare of the residents and added that the association was a registered organisation to represent over 6,000 residents across the DHA.
“The DHA Resident Association was set up in 1982. It came into action first in Phase I of DHA and soon spread in all phases gaining popularity among the residents due its proactive role in ensuring coordination between the dwellers and administration of DHA.
It holds a monthly meeting where residents’ problems are compiled and submitted to DHA in to get grievances redressed at the earliest,” he added. Before its functioning, he said there was no concept of choosing elected representatives for the association in the past, adding that his governing body had been the first to organise proper elections. He said the association had not been allowed to aid the DHA
in making decisions about the authority’s by-laws despite repeated requests. He said no law making process was considered credible without the involvement of all stakeholders, because the laws were meant to facilitate those whom they applied to.



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