ISLAMABAD: The tug of war between the CDA and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) reached a logical conclusion on Tuesday when the federal government placed the former under the administrative control of the mayor.
A notification about the mayor’s new assignment was issued on Tuesday evening. “Besides the post of mayor, I have been given the charge of the chairman CDA,” Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz told Dawn.
Sources said the federal government had the discretion to appoint anyone as the CDA Board member, and according to the CDA Ordinance, one of the members can be made the chairman of the civic agency.
In order to remove any legal lacuna, the government on Tuesday issued two notifications. In the first notification, the mayor was made a member of the board and in the second he was named as the chairman CDA, said an official who requested not be named.
Govt took the decision after the mayor complained that CDA’s bureaucracy was creating hurdles for the nascent local govt
Speaking to Dawn, the mayor said from now onward he would be working with dedication for both the organisations and there would be no tussle between them. He, however, said the process of devolving the CDA departments and employees to the MCI would continue in accordance with the Local Government Act.
“I’m thankful to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for strengthening the local government system in Islamabad,” the mayor said, adding after assuming the charge of the CDA he would pay special focus on different projects, especially the conduction of water from Tarbela, besides improving the sanitation system in the city.
The prime minister was not satisfied with the performance of the CDA and its attitude towards the newly-established local government.
The CDA and the MCI had been at loggerheads over a number of matters pertaining to the transfer of employees and assets.
A few weeks ago, the prime minister expressed dissatisfaction over the CDA performance and also took notice of the power struggle between the two organisations.
During a meeting on August 7, the mayor told the prime minister that the CDA had been creating hurdles for the MCI and in contradiction of the Local Government Act was not ready to hand revenue-generating leisure spots such as Lakeview Park, F-9 Park and the zoo to the MCI.
To this, the prime minister directed the CDA to hand over these entities to the MCI. Following the meeting, the federal government also transferred the then CDA chairman, Maroof Afzal, and the member administration Amer Ali Ahmed.
So far, the CDA has transferred 23 departments along with over 7,000 employees to the MCI.
However, the employees have challenged their transfer in the Islamabad High Court.
The sources said the mayor had informed the prime minister that the CDA bureaucracy in order to derail the local government had been backing the employees to file cases in courts against the MCI.
As a result, the sources said, the prime minister decided to strengthen the local government by appointing the mayor as the chairman of the CDA.
Meanwhile, Minister of Sate for Interior Balighur Rehman informed the Senate on Tuesday that a summary had been moved seeking a non-development budget of Rs10 billion for the MCI.
He stated this in reply to a calling attention notice moved by MQM senators Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and Mian Mohammad Ateeq Shaikh. The MQM lawmakers said the CDA should be devolved to the MCI, adding the local government was the best platform to resolve problems of the citizens.
Published in Dawn September 7th, 2016