ISLAMABAD: The top officers of Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) Environment and Parks Directorate, accused of embezzlement of Rs16.2 million in parking fees of Lake View Park, were tried and punished by courts but the civic agency has not only failed to take proper action against them but has also failed to retrieve the money embezzled by the trio.
According to documents available with Pakistan Today Deputy Director (Parks) Irfan Azeem Khan embezzled Rs8.125 million, Director Asif Majeed embezzled Rs6.5 million and Manager Parks Muhammad Zubair embezzled Rs1.6 million.
As per the official order issued on November 17, 2015, the above mentioned CDA officers were found guilty of misconduct/inefficiency/corruption and misuse of powers thus causing a huge loss of Rs16.250 million to the national exchequer.
The CDA chairman had imposed penalties of stoppage of increment for one year against the two defaulting officers and a major penalty of time scale demotion by three increments with recurring effect against one officer. In addition to the above-mentioned penalties, the loss of Rs16.250 million would be recovered from the defaulting officers in different proportions in case it was not recovered from the contractor through decree passed by the Civil Court, Islamabad.
It is pertinent to mention here that the civic agency has failed to recover the said amount from the concerned officers till date. As per rule 7 of Appendix-2 of General Financial Rules (Vol-I), in all cases of fraud, embezzlement or similar offences, departmental proceedings should be instituted at the earliest possible moment against all the delinquents and conducted with strict adherence to the rules. There is no legal bar to the holding and finalising of such proceedings even against a government servant who is being prosecuted in a criminal court.
The dedicated parking areas for customers, general public and traders in major markets and marakiz of Islamabad are routinely given to private contractors on a contractual basis where they charge customers and maintain the parking slots. However, the failure of the civic agency to properly auction these parking spaces has resulted in encroachment by car dealers to the extent that parts of G-11, G-9, G-8, Blue Area and other markets and marakiz have become no-go areas for general public due to lack of parking space and encroachments on pavements.