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Nisar’s grand plan for Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, June 20: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday announced an overambitious plan for Islamabad promising even such facilities which do not fall under his domain.

The list of promises also included decisions which were already enforced in the federal capital.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Nisar also looked ambitious to bring the Capital Development Authority (CDA) under the purview of his own ministry from the Cabinet Division which currently oversees the civic agency.

Asked if the CDA was being put under the interior ministry, he just smiled neither confirming nor denying it. However, Secretary Interior Chaudhry Qamar Zaman told Dawn: “No step is being taken to take over the CDA.”

The minister’s announcements for the capital city included launching of a mass transit/metro bus service, computerisation of land record and police stations, construction of roads and flyovers, removal of security barricades, toll plazas and campaigns against traffic violations and beggary.

“We want to make Islamabad a model city through better planning and enforcement of already existed laws,” the minister said.

METRO BUS SCHEME: The minister said he had directed Chief Commissioner Islamabad Jawad Paul to immediately chalk out a plan along with the administration of Rawalpindi for launching the metro bus service. It may be noted that a number of public transport schemes had been planned for Islamabad in the past but none of them could be implemented due to bureaucratic hitches and financial constraints.

WATER SUPPLY SCHEME: The minister said a project would be launched to overcome the persisting water scarcity in the twin cities. He did not say how the scheme would be financed.

Previously, a Rs47 billion plan was made to draw water from the River Indus but the scheme could not be commissioned due to financial constraints.

COMPUTERISAION OF POLICE STATIONS: Three months have been given to the local administration to computerise police stations. “The police stations will be registering E-FIRs besides maintaining a central database,” he said.

LAND RECORD: Mr Nisar also directed the officials concerned to computerise the ICT land record in six months.

It may be mentioned that the process of computerisation of land record is already in process and its central office has been established at Bhara Kahu.

TRANSFER FOR OFFICIALS: The minister ordered preparation of a list of officers in both the ICT and CDA administrations so that those who have completed their tenure of three years could be transferred.

REMOVAL OF BARRICADES: The minister announced his decision to remove unnecessary security barricades in the federal capital. “At least, those on the exit points should be removed with an immediate effect,” he said.

TOLL PLAZAS: He also ordered removal of toll plazas in Islamabad, adding the residents of twin cities should be exempted from road tax. “We will remove toll plazas when their existing contracts are completed. In the first step, the Golra toll plaza will be removed by the end of June.”

He said an e-tag system would be introduced for the residents of the twin cities so that till the abolition of the toll plazas they can travel without hassle as special lanes would be dedicated for them.

TRAFIC VIOLATIONS: The minister ordered launching of an operation in three days against non-registered vehicles and under-age drivers.

He said media campaign would be launched to improve traffic and restore sanity on roads. “Murree Road, Islamabad Highway from Koral Chowk to Faisal Chowk and Jinnah Avenue (Blue Area) will be made model roads where lanes would also be introduced for heavy and light traffic,” he said.

He suggested that a facilitation centre should be housed in a designated area such as the Convention Centre for the issuance of licences, domiciles, driving licences etc. “I will ask Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for usage of the Convention Centre for this purpose,” he added.