KARACHI: The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) issued warnings and penalties to many of its residents on Friday for “violating” its building control standards by installing solar panels on their rooftops to generate power. On the other hand, the federal government is promoting residents to generate power from renewable sources to reduce their dependence on expensive fossil fuels.
To lessen dependence on expensive imported fuel, furnace oil, and LNG for electricity generation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif authorized a 10,000 MW solar energy project earlier this month. To encourage the use of solar energy by businesses and households, the prime minister eliminated the 17% general sales tax on solar panels.
The DHA residents were taken aback when they discovered that they had previously permitted them to install solar panels and are now threatening to penalize them. Property owners are asked to either repair “the offense” or arrange for it to be regularized. Rashid H. Ansari, a DHA resident, alleged that before “they were advised to use solar panels and suddenly they are being forced to cough up rehabilitation fees that might amount to hundreds of thousands of rupees.”
He continued and said that we obtained their permission before installing the solar panel,”. And, to acquire authorization, we must first have our memberships reviewed or renewed, pay remodeling costs, and receive approval from architects and engineers who are also members of their panel. We must now pay the engineers’ fees, which range between Rs. 100,000 and Rs. 200,000.
The locals call it “DHA’s chaudhrahat.” They have a monopoly, rule over all they manage, and no one is here to question them. Residents are also being punished for putting green garden shade netting to cover their driveways to screen the sun. They claimed that the steel frame they developed for it was the source of the problem.
Furthermore, DHA residents look enraged, alleging that they are not treating everyone equitably and that some people are penalized while others are ignored. We can easily see multiple DHA homeowners who have built kiosks and tents outside their homes to house their security guards, and no one sees or penalizes them.
According to a DHA official who spoke to Dawn News, the authority stated its support for green energy in its 2020 bylaws, which were also posted on the website. The spokesperson remarked that all we are asking is that any new development with solar panel provision mention it in their design plan and have it approved by a structural expert.
Spokesperson added that, consider things from DHA’s perspective as well. We cannot allow everyone to act as they choose because some steel structures for the panels would be too high and others would be as low as your boundary wall. A certain amount of symmetry is also required.