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Criticism and arguments are heard these days in the corridors of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) head offices in Johar Town over various administrative decisions regarding seniority of officials, grant of additional charge of senior posts to junior officers and keeping deserving officials away from important posts.

The LDA administration has also issued tentative seniority lists of 12 confirmed grade-18 deputy directors (DDs) of the town planning wing, two directors (grade-19) and 15 deputy directors of engineering wing.

According to the list, the DDs (confirmed in grade-18) are Shakil Anjum Minhas, Nadeem Akhtar Zaidi, Khalid Mehmood Sheikh, Naveed Ahmad Bhatti, Ghulam Asghar, Tariq Mahmood, Faisal Masood, Ms Ayesha Mutahir, Dr Azhar Ali, Mr Ali Nusrat, Mr Shafqat Niaz Kung and Ms Bushra Khalid.

Similarly the DDs of engineering wing as mentioned in the seniority list are Muhammad Ijaz, Husnain Baqi, Saifur Rehman, Suhail Rasheed, Rai Zahid Zafar, Mudassir Tanveer, Israr Saeed, Aslam Pervaiz, Muhammad Iqbal Javaid and Mazhar Husain.

The list of the officials, who joined the LDA on deputation in the past in various wings as directors, deputy directors etc is yet to be issued.

“It is a dilemma that deserving people are always deprived of their rights in Pakistan. And if you see the officials’ posting status in LDA, it is really surprising and disappointing,” an official said.

While quoting examples, he said an officer of Grade 17, who joined the LDA on deputation a few years ago, continues to handle three posts simultaneously -- director (commercial), director (town planning-1) and director (town planning-3). Similarly, another official in the same department holds two slots.

“The LDA administration should have appointed confirmed grade-18 DDs as per seniority against two additional offices/ jobs held by a grade-17 officer since it lacks grade-19 director,” he added. He said similarly there was no grade-19 director in engineering wing. As a result, the posts of directors are being held by grade-18 officer. But in this case even, seniority is not being considered.

“Mr Khalid Alvi, DD who recently retired. continues to work under his junior official Israr Saeed for a long time. Mr Ijaz Kausar, who also retired recently, also worked under Saeed and there are also some officials who were senior to Mr Saeed but worked under him. The official was of the view that LDA’s senior officials (director general and additional directors general) must consider seniority lists while making decisions about entrusting someone with additional charge of important offices. They should also keep this in mind while promoting and appointing someone to important slots.

Last week’s review meeting on the Greater Iqbal Park Project revealed that about 60pc work had been completed.

The meeting was presided over by Parks and Horticulture Authority Director General Mian Shakeel.

Work on the project was launched in January. It expanded on 120 acres and involved construction of a lake on 4.5 acres, restoration of monuments, food courts, museum, theatre walkways, dancing fountains, train etc.

“We have almost completed grey structures after various civil works,” Mian Shakeel said. He added that finishing work had been launched and would take a few months. – khalidpak284@yahoo.com

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2016