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RAWALPINDI: The Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) spent Rs320 million of the annual development programme on the upgradation of two schools.

The civic body has five schools in its jurisdiction but it spent all the ADP funds on the upgradation of one high school at Lalazar to the college level and a primary school at Sabzazar to the high school level. However, the other three schools located at Jhanda Chichi, Dhoke Chiraghdin and Tahli Mauri still have no buildings of their own and are running in rented premises.

After utilising the funds, the CCB approached the PML-N elected members to arrange funds from the federal and provincial governments so that it could launch development schemes in its 10 wards.

But the elected members expressed their inability saying the provincial government had refused to provide funds for more projects.

“The provincial government is focusing on the completion of pending projects such as the orange train before the general elections,” an elected member of the CCB told Dawn.

He said the CCB had received Rs220 million from the Punjab government for the constituency of NA-56. Development projects were launched in five wards of the CCB on the recommendations of former MNA Hanif Abbasi.

“Two months ago, Mr Abbasi proposed schemes for the five wards falling in NA-56 worth Rs320 million. Another MNA of the ruling party, Malik Abrar, also launched Rs300 million works in a few wards in NA-54. All these works were executed by the Public Works Department,” he said.

“The CCB spent the funds on two schools on the directives of the military lands and cantonments department,” he said.

The elected member said they had suggested procuring land for the construction of buildings for the three schools so the monthly rent would be saved and the students would get permanent school buildings.

Another elected member was of the view that the federal government should monitor the schemes in the cantonment areas so that bureaucracy could not ignore the areas inhabited by low income group people. He said there were three basic problems in the Chaklala cantonment: shortage of water, sanitation and absence of space in graveyards.

“In the coming summer, the shortage of water will increase as there is no plan to increase the capacity of storage tanks and install tubewells in the civilian populated areas.”

He said bureaucracy was running the affairs of the cantonment board while the elected members had no authority to take decisions for the welfare of the residents.

The post of cantonment executive officer is vacant for over two months after the transfer of Asif Mir to the military lands and cantonments department. As a result, important decisions are pending approval in the civic agency, he added.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2018