| No visible progress made on 14-point roadmap given

by the mayor after his inauguration

 

Islamabad-Mayor Islamabad Sheikh Anser Aziz could do little for implementing his 14-point roadmap for the capital despite the fact that he also served as acting chairman CDA until removed after a court order.

The government also looked least interested in promoting the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad. With no funds at disposal of the mayor, Sheikh had to leave his agenda unfinished and there is still no ray of hope for the mayor to implement his vision, thanks to absence of rules for the local bodies and lack of funds.

Sheikh was elected as the first mayor of the MCI on February 15, 2016. Later, he was given acting charge of chairman CDA.

The MCI, headed by mayor and comprising chairmen of the union councils and others, was established under ICT Local Government Act 2015. It is responsible for executing and managing development plans besides providing, managing, operating, maintaining and improving municipal infrastructure and services including water supply and development of water sources in Islamabad.

Sheikh soon after assuming charge of office of the mayor set a 14-point road map for Islamabad. It comprised construction of Town Hall for the MCI, a cricket stadium and cricket academy, provision of water supply from Ghazi Barotha dam, action against land mafia, elimination of malpractices in government offices and controlling illegal and unplanned housing societies in Islamabad.

Identification of new industrial area in the capital, formation of a solid waste management company, intercity transport system/taxi service, promotion of tourism, removal of encroachments, up-gradation of zoo and development of green areas, parks and existing playgrounds and establishment of an art gallery were other items on the mayor’s agenda. As far as the services are concerned, the Mayor had announced setting up libraries, ensuring environment protection, social care, animal health and welfare besides food safety in the capital.

Background interaction with CDA officials suggested that lack of resources and rules were the major reasons behind the failed local government system in the country.

Lack of interest on the part of the government led to lack of resources and ultimately the local government institutions proved of no utility as far as development and services are concerned, the official opined.

The MCI could do nothing except allotting a plot for constructing Town Hall in ministers’ colony but no funds were available to execute the project. There is no plan for construction of cricket stadium in the capital in sight as well, according to the officials. They said that condition of existing cricket grounds is not satisfactory.

The project for fetching water from Ghazi Barotha dam is still in the pipeline despite lapse of several years. Lack of funds hinders the progress in the much-needed project, according to the CDA officials.

As far as action against land mafia is concerned, there was no progress on establishing CDA’s police station, a much-needed establishment to launch crackdown against the land grabbers. The CDA had two years back prepared PC-I of the project but the file was apparently dumped.

During the past two years, number of illegal housing societies might have increased as before inception of MCI. Lack of will against the illegality is stated to be the only reason for the mushroom growth of illegal societies.

Similarly there is no progress on the issues of waste management, intercity transport, promotion of tourism and removal of encroachment from the city which has ruined the beauty of the capital city.

Meanwhile, the CDA Khanpur Dam Division curtailed water supply due to cleaning and maintenance of left bank canal of the dam which will be carried out from 1st to 10th of February. Resultantly, water supply to Islamabad and Rawalpindi will remain curtailed from 31st January to 12th February from existing 8 million gallons per day to 3 million gallons per day in Islamabad and 12 MGDs to 4 MGDs in Rawalpindi, said CDA officials on Wednesday.