–Prime Minister Imran Khan’s protocol, protest outside his Zaman Park residence result in massive gridlocks on all major roads
–Eden Housing scam victims protest government’s inaction against scheme owners
LAHORE: With Prime Minister Imran Khan arriving in the city to attend a ceremony in connection with the Punjab government’s first 100 days on Saturday, massive traffic jams on all major roads were witnessed due to the premier’s protocol as well as a protest demonstration held outside his Zaman Park residence.
According to the details, the flow of traffic across the city remained at its worst as a protest against the owners of Eden Housing and the government’s inaction continued outside PM Khan’s Lahore residence.
Canal Road remained blocked for hours and the traffic police could not manage the movement of traffic due to which other roads, including Davis Road, Jail Road, Ferozepur Road and The Mall remained jammed.
On the other hand, due to the 100 days performance ceremony organised by the Punjab government at Aiwane Iqbal, the roads of the area remained choked as well with several ambulances carrying patients also being seen finding ways to reach the hospitals.
Edgerton Road, Mall Road, Jail Road, Kashmir Road and others remained congested because of the protocol of the prime minister, who attended the event.
With the traffic police failing to implement an effective diversion plan and traffic wardens appearing helpless in controlling the situation, the traffic mess was enhanced as the premier visited the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) office on Jail Road as well.
EDEN HOUSING SCAM PROTEST:
As per the details of the protest, hundreds of affectees of the Eden Housing Society scam once again held a demonstration in front of the residence of PM Khan on his arrival in the city.
Eden Housing Developers has been blamed for looting more than Rs13 billion on the name of property selling and purchasing from 10,000 families in the last 10 years. A sit-in had also been staged outside the premier’s Zaman Park residence in September.
With the protesters claiming that their demands have not yet been met and no action has been taken against the culprits so far, they blocked the Canal Road near Zaman Park on Saturday.
Men, women and children held placards and banners inscribed with their demands that included the ownership of their properties in Eden Housing Society, settlement of issues pertaining to their properties, and taking to trial owners of the society for misguiding them.
They appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar and PM Khan to take notice of the issue and highlighted that the case encompassed almost 11,000 houses worth Rs13 billion.
Urging them to help recover their hard-earned money allegedly looted by the group that launched the housing scheme, the protesters demanded that the government bring Eden Housing group owner Dr Amjad and others back from Canada.
Dr Amjad and his two sons had managed to flee the country in April last and travel to Canada as the interior ministry did not put their names on the Exit Control List (ECL) despite a request by NAB.
The protesters decried the government’s attitude and said it was regrettable how false promises were made to them every time they took to the premier’s residence and no action was taken to resolve their problems or against the people who had scammed them.
“We are now recording our protest for the third time but no competent authority has even considered taking the matter seriously. The owners of the society minted money by scamming us and even after 3.5 years of booking we have not been handed any houses or plots,” a protester, Raheela Saeed, said while talking to Pakistan Today.
The owners of the society have left the country but even the National Accountancy Bureau (NAB) is not making any efforts to bring them back, she said and added that they had submitted a number of complaints within the past six years against the fraud but neither NAB, nor the courts, have done anything in this regard.
“We sold our precious belongings to pay the installments and invest in Eden by buying properties there,” another protester Ahmed Elahi Buksh said, adding that they were left with nothing now.
After 5 years of struggle, he said, NAB had taken up the matter and promised them to solve the issue but nothing had been done and all deadlines given by the anti-graft watchdog had expired as well.
“Now they [NAB officials] are saying that they cannot give us any further deadlines.”