Denizens, business community suffer while MCI, CDA rifts deepen


-markets inundated with encroachments desperately await city managers attention 

ISLAMABAD: The infighting between Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has left the city’s denizens and business community suffering at the hands of encroachers inside markets and marakiz, poor maintenance of public amenities and dilapidated infrastructure, Pakistan Today has learnt.

The lack of provision of basic amenities like parking, roads, clean pavements and footpaths, filter plants, and public toilets in major markets of the capital including Blue Area, F-10 Markaz, F-8 Markaz, G-10 Markaz, I-8 Markaz and others have irked both the denizens who frequent these markets as well as the business community. The main markets are slowly turning into ruins due to the absence of these basic amenities.

According to sources, unresolved issues between the old guard, CDA, and the newly-established MCI are behind the neglect of the capital’s markets. These issues include the pending court cases of CDA’s employees against their merger with MCI coupled with the recent decision of CDA’s high-ups to ask back for 20 formations previously given to them including health services, Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA), sports and culture, engineering, geological laboratories and other formations.

Last month, the capital’s foremost civic agency was put under the Ministry of Interior as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) new government had decided to disband the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD).

Interestingly, the infighting between different entities refuses to waver even though the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Capital Police, MCI and CDA work under the same ministry now.

On the other hand, the rampant corruption, massive scams, mega scandals, multiple investigations and overall inefficient performance by capital’s foremost civic agency has been in doldrums since the times of Kamran Lashari, a decade ago.

The MCI, since its inception has locked horns with the CDA multiple times over the distribution of assets and finances. The MCI decries of being treated unfairly, however, the high-ups in CDA seem in no mood to part with the power, pelf and privileges they have been accustomed to.

Both the CDA, which has bureaucrats and deputationists at the helm of its affairs, and the new entrant MCI, crowded by local representatives vying for already scarce resources and braving pressure from voters of late, have come face to face after the4 2018 General Election.

The MCI, with its overwhelming strength of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chairmen headed by Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz, close friend of Mian Nawaz Sharif and ardent loyalist of PML-N, is beset with problems and issues ranging from lack of approvals for funding to not being handed complete control of directorates by CDA even after two and a half years of its incorporation.

It is pertinent to mention here that the precarious situation of MCI persists as PTI, after bagging all three seats from the capital, has set its eyes to bring substantial changes in the corporation. The stage had been set by Finance Minister Asad Umer, who has recently demanded that Islamabad Mayor and Deputy Mayors hand in their resignations since they failed to resolve the basic issues of their people.

Whether such changes will bring in a change in the lives of denizens and the business community is yet to be seen.