PESHAWAR: The women residents of Peshawar’s old residential locality University Town have opposed imposition of hefty membership fee and monthly subscription charges for University Town Club, formerly known as University Town Ladies Club.

They have asked Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to stop the elite groups from taking over the facility meant for general public.

It is pertinent to mention here that the club was a common facility built with the money of the property owners and residents of University Town decades ago when the township was being developed. Currently, the town committee is managing the affairs of the club.

Since the construction of the club, the residents paid nominal fee to use the facilities provided therein, such as walking track, tennis lawns and squash court.

Ask CM to stop elite groups from taking over the facility

“It is significant to mention here that the club is a public gathering place meant for use of the residents of University Town, and is not a specialised/ private entity like Diner’s Club, to serve the elite,” said a letter sent to chief minister by the residents of University Town.

It said that all the residents of University Town were not wealthy people but they also include middle class, students and working class people. Levying the high membership fee of Rs30,000 per person and monthly subscription by TMA committee were unjustified, it added.

The letter said that club was built and maintained at the cost of residents of University Town and it should remain for the benefit of the residents and landowners of University Town and not for public at large or specific class. It added that heavy membership fee and monthly subscription fee should not be imposed to ensure all women members, who enjoyed the facility, could continue with their healthy activities.

A banner of town municipal administration says that members belonging to University Town will have to pay Rs30,000 membership fee while the outsiders will have to pay Rs50,000.

“This is unbelievable. This is more of a park than a club. There are two lawns and a track on which women walk because this park has a boundary wall. There is gym that has been lying closed for a year,” said some of residents of the area, requesting not to be named.

The residents of University Town, especially women, have no such facility where they can go and enjoy walk on track or play some sport to remain healthy. “We cannot afford to go to expensive gyms or walk on the road,” said Sana Ijaz, a working woman, who resented imposition of high membership fee.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2020

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