RAWALPINDI: The provincial government has declared Rawalpindi as a metropolitan city and changed the status of Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) to the metropolitan corporation.
The district council stands suspended and property tax is expanded to 24 union councils which were rural areas in the past.
After delimitation for local government elections under Local Government Act 2019, the number of union councils increased from 46 to 70 while 24 rural areas have been converted into urban areas.
Under the new law, Rawalpindi having population of more than 1.5 million will be declared a metropolitan city.
The old union councils are: Ratta Amral, Dhoke Ratta, Hazara Colony, Dhoke Mangtal, Dhoke Hasu, Fauji Colony, Bangash Colony, Khayaban-i-Sir Syed-I, Khayaban-i-Sir Syed-II, Dhoke Naju, New Katarian, F-Block, Saidpur Scheme, Eidgah, Dhoke Babu Irfan, Pindora, Satellite Town, Asghar Mall, Qayyumabad, Dhoke Kashmirian, Dhoke Ali Akbar, Sadiqabad, Afandi Colony, Muslim Town, Khuram Colony, Chah Sultan, Dhoke Hukam Dad, Amarpura, Kartarpura, Banni, Imam Bara Mohalla, Mohanpura, Dhoke Dalal, Ganjmandi, Waris Khan, Purana Qilla, Shah Chan Chiragh, Millat Colony, Dhoke Khabba, Dhoke Farman Ali, Chamanzar Colony and City.
District council stands suspended, 24 rural union councils included in metropolitan corporation
The new union councils added to the city are: Sharial-1, Sharial-2, Sharial-3, Khanna Daak-1, Khanna Daak-2, Gangal, Chaklala, Rehmtabad, Kotha Kallan-1, Kotha Kallan-2, Morgah, Kalial, Adiala, Dhaman Syedan, Dhamial, Mohri Ghazzan, Lakkhan, Chak Jalal Din-I, Chak Jalal Din-2, Girja, Banjial and Ranial.
Earlier, these areas were included in the district council, comprising rural areas, but after the new delimitation the 24 union councils have been declared as urban areas where residents will be paying taxes with effect from Nov 8, 2019.
A senior official of the district administration said the previous PML-N provincial government had declared 12 of these union councils located along the old airport as urban areas just to provide civic facilities to them and impose property tax on the residents.
However, under the new delimitation taxes will be imposed on the residents of the union councils which have been declared urban areas. They will also be provided civic facilities like water, sewerage system etc.
He said after the election, the metropolitan city would have a lord mayor and three deputy mayors. He said the revenue of the civic agency from the 70 union councils would increase and would be spent on the development of the city.
Meanwhile, after a notification issued by the Punjab government, Commissioner Saqib Zafar took charge as the administrator of the Rawalpindi Metropolitan Corporation and Deputy Commissioner Saifullah Dogar as the administrator of Rawalpindi Tehsil Council.
All the rural union councils are merged into Rawalpindi, Gujar Khan, Daultala, Taxila, Kahuta, Murree, Kalar Syedan and Kotli Sattian tehsils.
When contacted, the commissioner said the status of RMC had been changed after which the government would be able to develop all rural areas. He said development funds would be spent equally in all the union councils.
The government has also started work to bring all civic bodies under one logo to remove lack of coordination among them.
He said sanitation, beautification, plantation and other services would be carried out by the administration under the logo of the provincial government.
Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2019