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ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Monday decided to serve show-cause notices to the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) chairman and members for their absence from a meeting of the parliamentary body due to which the committee could not get a proper briefing on Monal and La Montana restaurants.

The Senate Standing Committee on Capital Administration and Development Division met at Parliament Lodges with Dr Askok Kumar in the chair and discussed alleged encroachment on state land by the two restaurants.

The committee wanted a complete briefing from the CDA chairman and members planning and estate. However, the CDA officials did not turn up for the meeting.

Committee could not get proper briefing on supposed encroachments by Monal, La Montana restaurants

The committee chairman said notices of the meeting were served to the CDA chairman and members. The committee decided to serve the civic agency’s officers with show-cause notices.

The committee discussed the leases and their terms and conditions of the two restaurants and directed the officers of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), who were present in the meeting, to measure land occupied by both restaurants to ascertain encroachments.

MCI Chief Metropolitan Officer Syed Najaf Iqbal said CDA had leased land to both restaurants and that MCI was formed in 2016 and was only given administrative control of the restaurants only a couple of months ago.

The committee chairman said the restaurants seemed to have encroached on CDA land.

The committee was told that the MCI’s Directorate of Municipal Administration has been collecting over Rs700,000 per month in rent from Monal and Rs51,000 from La Montana.

The committee directed MCI officials to check if both restaurants were being run as per their approved building plans and decided the matter will be discussed further in the next meeting, when the CDA chairman and members will give a briefing.

The parliamentary body also discussed the stalled Margalla Avenue project on the request of committee member, Mir Mohammad Yousaf Badini, and formed a sub-committee to look into the project, which was started in 2012 but has yet to be completed due to a dispute between CDA and the contractor.

The committee discussed the issue of Federal General Hospital, Chak Shahzad in detail and said the briefing by its head, Dr Shahid Ansari, was bogus and ambiguous.

The committee expressed displeasure that the only hospital in the rural areas lacked several facilities and manpower as many doctors’ posts are vacant in the facility.

Dr Ansari told the committee the hospital has been facing acute shortage of anaesthesiologists and gynaecologists. He said there is only one anaesthesiologist in the hospital due to which only elective surgeries are performed.

Dr Ansari said the appointment of health personnel is not a priority for the Federal Public Service Commission, which he said takes two years in making appointments.

Committee member Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said it is alarming that the appointment of health personnel is not a priority for the commission and that the appointments of doctors and health personnel should be made within 90 days.

The committee chairman said a health facility which cannot cater properly to gynae patients cannot be called a hospital. The committee directed that all vacant posts in the hospital should be filled at the earliest.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2018