MULTAN: Multan Tea House has been serving as a place for literary circles where they could sit together and chat while having tea and snacks. Opened in 2014 on the instructions of the provincial chief, the spot has been a source of attraction for writers, intellectuals, poets and people from different walks of life.
However, lack of funds and apathy of the government has ripped this place of its charisma which was once thronged by a large number of people.
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Multan Tea House is riddled with problems. Gas load-shedding and unpaid electricity bills are a few to name.
Owing to the financial constraints, gas connection of the place has been disconnected, while electricity dues amounting to Rs0.5 million have not been paid. These problems have badly affected activities that take place in Tea House.
Owing to the situation, several writers, intellectuals have demanded of the government to take notice and address the issues.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, literary figure Shakir Hussain Shakir said, “It is difficult to carry on activities related to literature in Tea House due to non- availability of funds and lack of interest of administration.” He added, “Gas connection was disconnected due to unpaid bills of five months.”
Writer Raziuddin Razi said, “Three month salaries of workers have not been paid due to scarcity of funds.” He maintained, “The poor workers of Tea House are unable to make ends meet which is affecting their family and social life.”
Moreover, the situation has come to an extreme that even in the cafeteria of Tea House, there is nothing available except tea, he said.
While protesting against the scenario, members of Tea House demanded the government to take notice of the situation and make efforts to rescue Tea House from the current crisis.
They said Punjab government was concentrating on special projects but it has neglected those associated with literature. They said funds should be provided to resolve the critical economic issues of Tea House.
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Meanwhile, Multan Tea House General Secretary Khalid Masood Khan said, “I have been sincerely working for the members of the tea house. I have been asking for donations not for my own self but for the Tea House.” He told the members that soon a joint session of all members would be organised to redress the grievances of members.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2016.
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