Blackout continues at CDA offices


The Capital Development Authority (CDA) which is planning to establish an exclusive 100 mega watts (MW) power plant for the city has not yet been able to restore the power supply to its offices that was disconnected by the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) on September 4.
Mandated to run the developmental affairs of the federal capital, the CDA seems to be overpowered by the IESCO that had disconnected the power supply to its offices for non-payment of Rs. 1.75 billion dues.
Both the CDA and the IESCO had been at odds since long over reconciliation of accounts, but every time the authority had to suffer power disconnection as it had no funds to clear the dues.
In the recent past, the IESCO also disconnected power supply to the Pak Secretariat and the Foreign Office as the electricity bills of these buildings were not paid by the CDA. However, it was restored after partial payment of dues but the basic issue lingered on.
On the contrary, the CDA Chairman Farkhand Iqbal had claimed before the media and the parliamentary committees to have resolved the power issue of the CDA, but a gigantic and noisy power generator installed close to his office refutes all his claims. This facility had been costing around Rs. 200,000 a day to the cash-strapped civic body.
The CDA chairman, who had constantly propagated an ambitious project of a multibillion rupee exclusive power plant for Islamabad, is yet to address the question as to how it would be executed amidst the severe financial crunch being faced by the department.
However, he recently admitted his failure to recover around Rs. one billion from the IESCO on account of property tax, water tax and rent of the power installations including electricity poles.
He said that the CDA had repeatedly asked the IESCO to reconcile its accounts with the authority but they never came up with any solution. In a press conference, also attended by the Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa at the CDA headquarters, the chairman hinted at disconnecting water supply of WAPDA offices and colonies if the payment was delayed anymore.
Each time the two departments clashed, the complainants had to face the brunt of this dispute between the CDA and the IESCO as they had to wait for weeks to get even a fraction of work carried out by the civic agency.