Bahria Town workers stage highway protest
December 09 2018 12:57 AM


Traffic was blocked on the “superhighway” between Karachi-Hyderabad as Bahria Town staff and contractors staged protests yesterday over non-payment of dues.
They ended the protest after six hours following negotiations with police and provincial authorities.
It is feared that more than 45,000 employees of Bahria Town, a private housing society, may face delays in receiving their salaries.
Contractors are also not getting paid, and various contracts worth millions of rupees have been cancelled.
Traffic has been blocked on both sides of the superhighway due to the protests.
The protesters have also blocked the link road to the National Highway from Kathore, Gadap.
Bahria Town residents, contractors, builders and employees are part of the protests, as are family members of overseas Pakistanis who have invested in the development.
The protesters have appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and Prime Minister Imran Khan to resolve the issue.
Bahria Town employees and contractors also staged a rally in Tauheed Commercial area in Defence.
Bahria Town, a privately-owned real estate development company which operates across the country, is facing a severe financial crisis after the Supreme Court’s verdict regarding the sale and purchase of property in Bahria Town Karachi.
In May this year, the apex court barred Bahria Town from selling or allotting land in the Bahria Town Karachi project, as it struck down the shady allotment of land to the company by the Sindh government through the Malir Development Authority (MDA).
In a 2-1 verdict, the bench hearing the case directed the National Accountability Bureau to file references against those responsible for legal violations.
On Friday night lights at Bahria Town were turned off due to the financial crisis faced by the real estate developer.
More than 55 industries connected with the construction sector, including cement, brick, tiles and wood factories, are closing down.
Millions of labourers employed in these factories may lose their jobs.
The developer’s promise of creating 100,000 jobs may also not be realised.
All restoration and development work has come to a halt.
For work to continue, Bahria Town desperately needs funds, which have been stalled following the Supreme Court decision, leading to all its projects being suspended.
Many overseas Pakistanis have invested in Bahria Town real estate, amounting to approximately $20bn.
Around 165,000 members of the Bahria Town fear losing their life-long savings.
In addition, millions of people who receive free meals from the dastarkhwans operated by Bahria Town.
Thousands of people who cannot afford expensive medical treatment also receive free care at Bahria International Hospital.

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