PESHAWAR, Feb 9: Absence of proper infrastructure is hampering work at the recently-revived Peshawar Municipal Corporation and Peshawar District Council, according to the relevant officials.
The officials told Dawn on Saturday that the two civic bodies in place since the old local government system’s revival 40 days ago had been struggling to function properly as their current offices were too small to accommodate staff.
They said most public complaints about sanitation, drinking water and other civic facilities went unheard because by and large, the relevant staff had yet to be provided with offices.
Some PMC offices have been set up in a Shami Road bungalow, while the rest are in the building of the erstwhile Town-1 building adjacent to Bacha Khan Chowk. The distance between the two places is around two kilometres.
Similarly, the main PDC office has been set up in the erstwhile Town-IV building, which is unable to offer space to the council’s all branches.
An official said the local government and rural development department was to blame as it didn’t prepare itself and others for the post-LG system revival situation.
He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Bill, 2012 was passed by the provincial assembly on May 8, 2012 and enforced on Jan 1, 2013 and in this light, the department had ample time to find buildings for PMC and PDC, adjust their employees and decide on resource distribution, but it failed to do so.
During a visit to MCP offices, this correspondent saw many members of staff sit out in the sun.
They said they had no rooms to perform duty as the building had limited space.
A senior official said most of MCP staffers returned home without doing anything in absence of offices.
“Tell me how one can do duty when there is no office,” he said.
Visitors to the premises said by and large, their complaints about civic facilities remained unresolved under the circumstances.
When contacted, MCP administrator Javed Amjad said work at the corporation would streamline once the deputy commissioner’s office moved away.
He said the DC office would be shifted to the former Town-II building, while renovation of that building had been begun and would be completed within two months.
PDC chief coordination officer Shahid Khattak told Dawn that search for a proper building to establish the council offices was underway.
He said a government girls’ college had been established in the building, where the PDC offices were established before devolution in 2001.