YMCA ground turning into a parking lot?
Karachi, June 20: The mysterious appearance of banners inviting the public to park their vehicles at the protected amenity plot of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) has spread a wave of panic among the Christian minorities.
The DIG traffic department has denied that it has converted the plot into a charged parking space. Whereas when the mobile number mentioned on the banner was called the person who picked up claimed that the charged parking was set up by the owner of the YMCA ground, whereas the ground is an amenity and can be owned by no individual.
Protesting the move, Pakistan Minority Front Chairman and former Sindh MPA Michael Javaid has announced that a mass campaign would be launched throughout the province against the establishment of a charged parking at the ground. "Influential people, including some belonging to the current government, are involved in the illegal occupation of the protected YMCA ground, but we will not allow them to do so and will fight for the recovery of our ground," he said.
Javaid also alleged that Provincial Minister for Minority Affairs Dr Mohan Lal despite belonging to the minority community, is not supporting Christians on this issue but when Lal was contacted, he bluntly rejected to comment on the issue.
Historical records reveal that during the British era, the government allocated different plots to different communities living in the city. The YMCA ground was given to the Christian community, the Muslim Gymkhana was given to the Muslims and the Hindu Gymkhana was set aside for the Hindus of the city, so that every community can organise social gatherings and religious programmes in peace.
The attempt to occupy this historical piece of land is not new, as in the past some influential people have successfully grabbed the land and are running a marriage hall as well as a hall for setting up exhibitions on the premises. Recently, the traffic department has acquired some portions of the ground so that towed vehicles can be brought and parked here till the owners arrive and claim their cars after paying a fine. "We were using an empty plot close to the Artillery Ground but we shifted here due to security issues, but not before taking permission from the owner," said DIG traffic department's Khurrum Gulzar.
The officials tow an estimated 8,000 motorbikes and 1,000 cars daily from Zone no 1. Each car is charged Rs 600 while a motorbike is charged Rs 300 under the MVR rules, but usually the fine ticket is not issued and traffic officials do not charge the actual amount.
Ironically, the new location, which replaces the plot near the Artillery Ground due to security reasons, is located just adjacent the Sindh Governor's House.
When the man, Shabir Siyal, whose number graces the banner, was contacted, he said that the monthly parking charges for a car are Rs 1,500 and for a motorcycle is Rs 500. He also went on to assure this scribe that the parking at the YMCA ground is safe. When he was asked about the legal details of the arrangement, he expressed his ignorance on the issue, saying that he was just looking after the parking and was not aware of who exactly owned it.
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Lecturers' appointment case
Karachi: The Sindh government still undecided and unable to solve the issue of appointment of lecturers had no defence before a division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC), which was perturbed over non-implementation of its orders, here on Friday.
When a contempt plea filed by 336 candidates selected and recommended by the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) but still denied of posting orders came up for hearing, Additional Advocate General Sindh Sarwar Khan told the bench that steps are being taken to implement the orders of the court and a summary has been moved to the education department. He also informed the bench that the government has filed an appeal before Supreme Court of Pakistan. The bench again observed that in the absence of any interim order or stay, the provincial government needs to implement the orders of the SHC. AAG Sarwar Khan, unable to satisfy the court, had no other option but to seek more time. The bench allowed the request with the direction to AAG to submit a report by next date of hearing fixed as June 30.
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18 students caught cheating
18 students caught cheating: Eighteen students appearing in the higher secondary school, first year papers of the Pakistan Studies, and additional zoology private and regular were caught and reported for cheating. According to a BIEK press release, the Chairman of the board paid a surprise visit to the examination centres and during his inspection, 18 students were caught involved in unfair means. The News
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