Assets division between CDA, MCI a challenge for new govt

  • New ruling elite will have to create a balance between two civic agencies to run affairs smoothly

ISLAMABAD: The new government, which will take reign at centre soon after the Eidul Azha, will have to settle state of affairs between the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) to avoid further tension between the two institutions.

CDA which has bureaucrats and deputationists at the helm of its affairs and MCI crowded by local representatives vying for already scarce resources and braving pressure from voters of late have come face-to-face after 2018 general elections. MCI with its overwhelming strength of the PML-N headed by Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz was beset with problems and issues ranging from lack of approval of funds to CDA’s failure to hand over control of directorates even after two and a half years.

In a recent episode of a never-ending face-off, as reported by this paper, for resources and power, both the CDA and the Metropolitan Corporation had locked horns over powers of transfers and postings in the corporation by the CDA’s Human Resource Directorate. Ultimately, the MCI had its way and CDA had to take a back step.

It was a notification issued by the HRD Directorate where the additional charge of the director of the Emergency and Disaster Management was given to Muhammad Attaullah, and Ali Ashgjer made deputy director general estate, and Roshan Khan made director for the Labour Relations that sparked the latest battle between the two civic agencies.

Recently, the MCI managed to flex its muscles after approval of special grant worth Rs 14 billion and has been given complete control of pristine assets previously belonging to CDA including Fatima Jinnah Park, Citizen’s Club and the Lake View Park among others. Following the Ministry of Interior notification in this regard, CDA Chairman Ishrat Ali in a board meeting where members of engineering, planning, administration and finance were present.

The simmering conflict seems to be in dire need of intervention by the new government that has clean sweep from the capital. The challenge that lies ahead for PTI is in balancing the powers between MCI, a representative body and CDA, that has run the capital singlehandedly for the past five decades and is not in a mood to part with its powers and pelf.

It is pertinent to mention here that back in June 2016, an official order has been issued to the effect that 23 directorates of CDA have been fully transferred to the MCI and are given under the administrative control of the mayor. The CDA directorates have been transferred partially or wholly along with all rights, assets and liabilities according to the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act, 2015 with immediate effect.

Till date, neither the directorates nor the assets have been handed fully to MCI. Talking to Pakistan Today, Mayor Anser Aziz was of the view that the tussle between CDA and MCI would continue unabated as bureaucrats at CDA have no interest in the city as they have no ownership or stake. “For us, things have been tough. Our funds have not been released since December 2017. The residents are the ultimate victims,” he said.


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