MCI members decry undue interference, delays by CDA

  • Members also hit out at Interior Ministry, district admin to create hurdles

ISLAMABAD: The 26th meeting of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) was dominated by ruckus as members allege undue interference by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in its domain, the district administration’s role in denying MCI to auction cattle market, and bureaucratic hurdles by the Ministry of Interior Affairs here on Wednesday.

The members didn’t spare mayor and chief metropolitan officer as they criticised their role in not confronting the Interior Ministry and Ministry of Finance who have failed to transfer the assets from CDA to MCI, particularly the Interior Ministry that has kept the file of rules of business, schedules of the establishment and transfer of powers from MCI to CDA and returned it back after spending months citing 16 points to be revised.

The Finance Ministry too was targeted for its failure to allocate funds to MCI for various projects. It is pertinent to mention here that MCI right now has to ask CDA for its finance including salary of its staff and other expenditures. Despite having six items on agenda that included approval of previous meetings, division of assets, monitoring and supervision of environment staff, encroachments in Saidpur village, detail of income sources and expenditures and detail of budget allocation during financial year 2018-19, the meeting was dominated by issues pertaining to encroachments, water woes, FIR on a UC chairman.

During the meeting, the members demanded that the deputy commissioner be made to appear in person before them to give answers. They demanded that since it was the power of MCI to establish cattle markets how come district administration is establishing cattle markets. The members alleged that CMO Syed Najaf’s sympathies lie with CDA officers as despite court orders and passage of the Islamabad Local Government Ordinance, CDA is reluctant to handover assets and Ministry of Finance is withholding its budget for the past two years.

The meeting also discussed the responsibilities given to the elected representatives to monitor the progress of the environment staff. The meeting unanimously supported the monitoring system and said that in order to maintain the green character of Islamabad and removal of wild bushes and grass, the environment wing would be made more efficient and active because keeping city clean and green is among the responsibilities of elected representatives.

The session unanimously approved the enhancement of TAB vaccination fee which is charged from eateries and workers engaged in the business of production of edible products from Rs 30 to Rs 150. The House also discussed the encroachments made by the restaurants in Saidpur Model Village and decided that in the next session, complete details to be presented before the House so that comprehensive policy could be evolved.

Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz briefed the House about the current water situation and said that in the wake of recent rainfalls the water level in the Simly Dam has increased substantially while underground water levels also increased due to which extraction of water from tubewells has also increased. He said that when MCI was established only 50 out of 192 tubewells were operational, however, MCI worked on war footing basis and now 150 tube wells were supplying water properly while repair and maintenance of remaining are in progress.

The mayor said that the water supply from the Simly Dam has been increased to 30mgd from 24mgd. He said that efforts were being made to get budget from the federal government so that MCI could be made functional in a true sense.