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ISLAMABAD: The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has not made any progress on its 100-day plan to improve the capital, which it prepared on orders from the prime minister.

An MCI official who asked not to be named said: “We have failed to achieve our targets.”

Under its plan, the MCI was to renovate 50 parks, launch a beautification drive, landscape roundabouts and carpet roads in all the sectors in the capital. It would also clean all 15 nullahs, place waste containers in markets, fix streetlights and landscape Kashmir Highway, Faisal Avenue, Jinnah Avenue, D-Chowk and the I-8 and I-9 interchanges.

However sources said that the MCI only managed to carry out some minor works.

Planned works included renovation of parks, landscaping, streetlight and road repairs

Other than F-9 and the Lake View Park, all the parks in the city are in shambles. Most of the city’s 36,000 streetlights are dysfunctional, and all 15 nullahs – most of which start in the Margalla Hills – are filthy and contaminated.

Sources said the residents of the capital are perturbed by the MCI’s performance and have registered complaints with the Prime Minister’s Office’s recently launched Pakistan Citizens Portal. More than 400 complaints have been registered related to streetlights alone.

With the lack of renovation work in parks, which according to the capital’s master plan dot all the residential sectors, they look more like deserted fields that a recreational area. Roads and pathways too require repairs.

The aforementioned civic functions used to fall under the Capital Development Authority (CDA), but since the MCI was formed in 2016 they were placed under the corporation’s administrative control. But due to indifference from the last PML-N government and the current PTI one, the MCI has not received any development funding.

Meanwhile the funds the MCI generates from its various municipal services it is unable to spend because of its incomplete rules.

Chief Metropolitan Officer Syed Najaf Iqbal admitted that the MCI had failed to achieve most of its targets, attributing the situation to a funding shortage.

“While setting the 100-day targets we were hopeful that the government would release funding, but nothing happened,” he told Dawn, adding that eight meetings have been held on these matters.

“Just today, we held a meeting on parks-related issues,” he said.

Mr Iqbal claimed that some of the plan’s targets were achieved. The MCI cleaned nullahs in E-7 and other areas, automated five tubewells and carried out some minor repairs, he said.

He said the MCI has now decided to spend the funds it collects through the Directorate of Municipal Administration.

“We have over Rs400 million in our accounts, so we have decided to utilise these funds as we recently adopted the CDA’s financial regulations for three months,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2018