-From dilapidated infrastructure and lack of maintenance to poor service delivery, the civic issues of Islamabad await CDA, MCI
ISLAMABAD: The capital and its denizens are paying the price of the seemingly endless infighting between the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) over manpower, assets, transfer of directorates and powers as issues of dilapidated infrastructure, absence of maintenance and poor service delivery of basic amenities await the attention of both civic authorities.
However, the recent episode where CDA Chairman Afzal Latif refused to transfer twenty key directorates to MCI and Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz while demanding that CDA be disbanded and merged with MCI all together has dashed the hopes of citizens of either of the civic agencies taking on their responsibilities anytime soon.
Since June, 2016, despite an office order being issued for 23 directorates of CDA to be fully transferred to MCI and given under the administrative control of the Mayor Anser Aziz, little progress has been made on ground as the two municipal agencies under the Ministry of Interior have failed to resolve serious issues of service delivery that include sanitation, water supply, illegal slums and deteriorating amenities.
The failure of city managers is visible in many sectors of Islamabad in general, and in sectors G and I in particular where the lack proper waste disposal and heaps of garbage reek for weeks because MCI has outsourced the clean up job to private contractors. Although the sanitation directorate under the environmental wing is responsible for sweeping, cleaning and transportation of solid waste along with door-to-door garbage collection, garbage drums routinely overflow near many localities.
Presently, the sanitation directorate of MCI is trusted with providing sanitation services only to the municipal limits of Islamabad that include Zone-I. Islamabad has a total 5 zones out of which only Zone-I has been fully developed. It primarily comprises of established sectors i.e E, F, G,H and I. With the MCI given power of sanitation, all five zones have come under its domain.
Secondly, the CDA was formed for a special purpose to plan and develop the capital in an eco-friendly and sustainable fashion, however, the organisation has failed to fulfill its core purpose. The mushroomed and steady growth of slums and failure to stump the new ones in the capital’s vicinity and main sectors speak volumes about the top civic agency’s performance.
Furthermore, the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) has to deal with one of the most pressing issue for residents of Islamabad; encroachments and illegal occupation of land.
In order to put an end to such practices, a joint demarcation by ICTA and CDA revenue staff to determine exact nature and quantum of land under illegal occupation is still underway and far from over in many rural areas like Bani Gala, Jamali, Pandora, Senior Chitral, D-12,C-15/16, E sector and other parts of city. Once the exercise is completed, CDA/MCI plans to fence its own land properly. Despite various operations by civic authorities the growth of katchi abadis, dhabas, car wash stations and shops by land grabbers continue at a steady pace.
It is pertinent to mention that the rifts between MCI and CDA directly affect the capacities of both civic agencies as the problems of the capital have diversified over the last few years due to an increase in population, migration of affectees of natural and manmade disasters in rural and urban areas of the capital territory.