AHMEDPUR EAST-Tehsil Municipal Administration has illegally allotted worth Rs10 million land of Ladies Park Ahmedpur East for the construction of nine shops.

The TMA did not get published advertisement in national and regional print media for auction of the land. Earlier, it had demolished 11 shops situated at the eastern gate of Mehmood Park for the construction of a dual-carriage way. After the passage of a few days of the TMA action, the shopkeepers constructed new shops and a canteen in the Ladies Park. An official of TMA informed The Nation that earlier these shopkeepers were giving Rs6,800 each as monthly rent to TMA while now the monthly rent has been increased to Rs12,000 per shop.

The official revealed that the TMA administrator has given approval to allot land of Ladies Park for the construction of new shops by using his authority. He denied the allegations of kickbacks.

The Ladies Park was constructed two years ago in Mehmood Park with an estimated cost of Rs2.6 million while its beautification had been damaged due to construction of new shops and canteen. The citizens have expressed their grave concern over the allotment of the land without an auction. They stated that TMA is facing financial disorders nowadays.

PML-N District Vice President Rana Shahid Rafique has alleged that Rs 3.2 million has been taken as bribe for the allotment of land to the shopkeepers. He demanded Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif should cancel the allotment of land to the shopkeepers, and said that proper proceeding be adopted.

Billions of rupees property of TMA Ahmedpur East has been allotted to former councillors, influential locals and politicians, even an hotel was allowed to open its gate on the premises of Mehmood Park, the only recreation park of the city.

Similarly shopping plazas have been constructed on the land of Mehmood Park. Local people urged Commissioner Bahawalpur Saqib Zafar and DCO Bahawalpur to look into the affairs of TMA.

Meanwhile, the retired employees of TMA are knocking the doors of courts due to delay in the payment of pension/ gratuity and the authorities of TMA are facing contempt proceedings in different cases. The most distressing issue is that 21 employees of TMA have been retired from service but their gratuities are yet to be paid.

The position of monthly salaries of the employees is quite deplorable because one salary is being paid to the employees after two months. Due to this situation, poor sanitary staff does not work properly, resultantly sanitary conditions in the city has been worsened.

Traders and citizens have staged several demonstrations against TMA authorities. They chanted slogans against them demanded to launch a cleanliness campaign in city.