RAWALPINDI: The federal government is undecided about extending the tenure of cantonment boards or forming mini boards to run the day to day affairs of the civic bodies in 48 cantonments across the country.
The tenure of elected boards will expire on Dec 9 and new elections will be held after the delimitation of the new wards of the cantonments.
The Military Lands and Cantonments had referred the matter of extending the tenure or forming mini-boards to the federal government.
However, sources told Dawn that the federal government had not responded as yet and remained silent on the issue. They said if the government did not take a decision, it would create problems.
They said for the working of civic body including administrative approval of the development works, building plans, drive against nonconforming buildings and other issues, the board approval was required and presence of mini-board and elected board was a necessary in cantonments.
Tenure of elected boards will expire on Dec 9, new elections to be held after delimitation of new wards
A senior official of the Military Lands and Cantonments told Dawn that mini-board comprising members including civilian and military representative will be headed by station commander.
However, he said under Cantonment Act 1924, the government had the authority to allow the existing members to continue their work till the announcement of next elections.
He said civic bodies of 48 cantonments across the country asked questions about the fate of the tenure of the elected boards but the Military Lands and Cantonment failed to give an answer due to silence of the federal government on the issue.
He said the government also failed to nominate members to start the work on the delimitation of wards for the new election. He said district election commissioners had asked the regional directors of the Military Lands and Cantonments to start the work as soon as possible.
When contacted, RCB spokesman Qaiser Mehmood told Dawn that the tenure of the elected members would come to an end on Dec 9 but there was no formal letter received about dissolving the board.
He said the board would dissolve after the directive of the government and announcement of the new elections from the election commission or formation of mini-board.
Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) Vice President Raja Irfan Imtiaz told Dawn that according to section 15E of Cantonment Act 1924, the elected members would continue function till new election or in case of nomination of their successors.
“There is confusion on the matter. PTI government failed to solve the issue. The government is yet to take a decision,” he said.
He said the CCB board meeting would be held on Thursday and the elected members would raise the issue before Station Commander so the matter could be cleared.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2019