PTI vows to strengthen ‘toothless’ MCI

  • Metropolitan corporation failes to resolve people’s woes amid tussle with CDA

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after bagging all three seats from the Capital has set its eyes to bring substantial changes in ‘toothless’ Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), which is ruled and reigned by now imperilled Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Reportedly, Asad Umer, MNA-elect and PTI’s candidate for finance minister in the new government, has recently demanded that Islamabad mayor and deputy mayor resign since they’ve failed to resolve the basic issues of their people.

On the contrary, the local leaders of PTI, which ranks second in MCI, eye towards new legislation in lower house where now their party is in majority to rout mayor, as they are silently lobbying to gather enough numbers in MCI to launch a no-confidence motion against the mayor.

Pakistan Today scrutinised MCI’s past performance to figure out its failures and successes during the last two years. The first ever civic agency of capital comprising of local representatives had little, short-lived successes to boast about while the list of failures is a long one as they have failed to resolve the perennial issues of citizens like water woes, public transport, environment protection, sanitation and sewerage disposal, maintenance and provision of amenities in old and new sectors.

MCI’s dilemmas can be understood from a single fact that for the first time, the civic agency got funds was mere weeks before the National Assembly completed its tenure. A total of Rs10 billion were issued for the stalled development projects of MCI related to water supply, sanitation and beautification of capital.

It is pertinent to mention here that during the last two years, the ultimate price for the tug-of-war between bureaucratic high-ups and elected members was paid by the denizens in shape of deterioration of infrastructure, poor service provision, and delays in completion of infrastructure projects.

Another failure of MCI was failing to establish Islamabad Building Control Authority which was to oversee the present building control section of Capital Development Authority’s (CDA)  directorate of planning and design. The  groundwork, documentation and feasibility report in this regard had been completed years back.

Despite the fact that the campaign was personally spearheaded by the Mayor, it failed to materialise.

First ever Islamabad mayor, Sheikh Anser Aziz, who also served as CDA chairman for a period of 15 month, had dreams to develop and beautify the city as a whole, however, according to him, he faced huge resistance from CDA.

“There are many examples in the past that CDA officers were locked, blackmailed and coerced by the union men. However, with political man like me on top, who had the backing and roots, it wasn’t possible. We had our might as well,” he said while talking to Pakistan Today, adding that he staunchly believes that there is only one way out, which according to him was the merger of CDA and MCI.

While the future government of PTI has to deliver on Herculean tasks, its true test would be to rid Capital of its many problems – the most pressing being water scarcity.

Talking to Pakistan Today,  MNA Asad Umer vowed to bring new legislation in assembly to empower and enhance the scope of MCI. On the other hand, leader of opposition in MCI, Ali Nawaz Awan, termed the MCI a ‘toothless entity’ that needs a complete overhaul.

It is yet to be seen how PTI plans to bring substantial changes in PML-N dominated MCI and with its mayor being the loyalist of first cadre of PML-N and a personal friend of Mian Nawaz Sharif.