Dawn News

ISLAMABAD, Dec 9: A parliamentary committee has decided to take the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to court for ignoring the citizens of Islamabad in recruiting its employees.

“I am going to the court to seek justice for the locals,” PML-N MNA Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry from Islamabad told Dawn after chairing a subcommittee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on the Cabinet on Friday.

What infuriated him and other members of the subcommittee was the revelation at the meeting that there was not a single local among the 1,066 employees that the CDA has recruited since 2008.

All the jobs - of Grade 1 to 18 - went to the residents of the four provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Punjab got the biggest share, followed by Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata.

“We know from which specific region or city most of the people were appointed in the CDA,” the MNA said without naming any place.

The subcommittee asked the CDA officials what criterion was followed for recruitment during last three years. The officials had no answer, nor to the question why outsiders were given jobs, but none from Islamabad.

Asked in which court he will file the case against the CDA, Dr Fazal said: “I have to consult my legal advisor about that.”

MODEL VILLAGES: Later the committee grilled CDA officials for the lack of basic civic amenities in five model villages in the federal capital. It urged them to utilise resources on the uplift of these localities on the outskirts of Islamabad.

CDA declared several outlying areas of Islamabad as 'model villages' in 1985 to ease the housing problem that influx of people had created for the city managers. But basic civic amenities were largely ignored and are still not available in them.

These model villages are Humak Town, Rawal Town, Margalla Town, Shahzad Town and Farash Town.

CDA's record shows 16,340 houses have been built in these model villages with a total population of around 100,000.

CDA officials informed the committee that they have sought amendments in the 50-year-old ordinance that created the city to expand its municipal limits to bind the CDA to provide civic services in the model villages.

“We cannot extend these services to the model villages unless we are empowered through legislation,” a senior official of the CDA said.

Although the five habitations are called model villages, CDA has developed them on the lines of residential sectors in the federal capital. Except for a few of them, the model villages are exempted from municipal taxes and so the CDA does not provide civic services to them.

CDA's Member Planning Tahir Shamshad apprised the committee that since 1985 the authority had spent more than Rs130 million on the maintenance of model villages. A new development package of Rs20 million has been prepared for the uplift of the model villages.

In 2002 the CDA prepared a PC-I for extending basic amenities to the residents of model towns but the Planning Commission said that unless the Ordinance of 1960 was amended, the CDA could not spend its money there.


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