KARACHI: Employees of Bahria Town on Saturday blocked the Super Highway while protesting non-payment of salaries, causing inconvenience to those travelling to other parts of the province.
Protestors claimed that 5,000 workers have not been paid salaries for the past six months and overtime compensation for four months. The protestors pleaded to the chief justice and the prime minister to take notice of this issue.
Estate agents and investors of the housing scheme also staged a protest in the Defence Housing Authority area of the metropolis and announced they will move towards Bahria Town Karachi.
Some investors, who have paid instalments over the previous five years, questioned the fate of their life savings and urged the government to protect their investment.
Bahria Town is facing a severe financial crisis the real estate developer’s inflow of cash is in the control of the Supreme Court.
It is feared that over 45,000 employees of the Bahria Town may face delays in their salaries. Contractors are also not getting paid and various contracts worth millions of rupees have been cancelled.
Over 55 industries connected with the construction sector including a limitless number of cement, brick, tiles and wood factories are on the verge of collapse and are closing down.
Millions of labourers employed in these factories may lose their jobs. The promise to create 100,000 jobs by the organisation may also not be realised.
All restoration and development work has come to a halt. For work to continue, the Bahria Town desperately needs funds. These funds are awaiting the SC’s verdict. Till then all projects of the Bahria Town will remain closed.
One of the biggest supports to Pakistan’s failing economy is the business community and the remittances by overseas Pakistanis who tend to invest mostly in properties.
There is an investment of approximately USD20 billion in this industry. Inflow of cash is essential to run the economy and risky economic conditions could scare potential investors and create distrust.
Around 165,000 members of the Bahria Town, who were satisfied with their decision to invest in the project, are also worried about losing their life-long savings. There are also millions of people who get free meals from the dastarkhwans operated by the Bahria Town.
Thousands of people who cannot bear expensive medical treatment get free care at Bahria International Hospital. In addition, the Bahria Town also invests in causes such as house rent for the needy, ration and all other areas of volunteering to ensure that it lives up to the aspirations of the Pakistani people.