ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) Development Working Party (DWP) will meet on Thursday (tomorrow) to discuss hiring of a consultant for constructing a slaughterhouse in Islamabad.

Sources said if approved, the consultant will conduct a feasibility study as well as the detailed designing and construction of the project. The consultant will also explore options of public-private partnership, the sources added.

The capital lacks a slaughterhouse to provide certified meat to its residents.

Around a decade ago, the CDA had decided to build state-of-the art slaughterhouse but could not make a headway in this regard. It changed proposed sites thrice before allotting a five-acre plot in I-11/4.

In the meantime local government elections were held in Islamabad in November 2015 and the project being a municipal service went into the domain of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI). Like CDA, the MCI too failed to take any practical step.

CDA’s development working party to decide on hiring consultant

However, sources in the CDA said for the last many months, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Ali Nawaz Awan and CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed have been pushing the relevant officers to complete file work of this important project.

They said the project fell in the domain of MCI, but CDA will bring it before its DWP meeting as a special case to approve PC-II for hiring a consultant.

“Though we know this project does not fall in our domain, as a social service we will carry it out and once constructed we will hand it over to the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) of the MCI,” said an officer of the CDA.

Talking to Dawn, Ali Nawaz Awan said the slaughterhouse was imperative for Islamabad whose over 2.2 million population had to purchase uncertified meat as butchers had no government-owned facility for slaughtering.

All Pakistan Jamiatul Quresh Meat Welfare Association President Khurshid Qureshi appreciated the special assistant and CDA chairman for taking interest in the project.

“After a long wait, we are hopeful of having a slaughterhouse in Islamabad,” he said, adding that at present, butchers slaughtered cattle in private slaughterhouses or in their homes.

“I do agree, we are not selling certified meat, but we make the best possible effort to ensure that hygienic meat is sold in Islamabad,” the association’s president said.

He, however, said the association would strongly oppose any move of public-private partnership as it was the responsibility of the government to construct and run the slaughterhouse. Mr Qureshi said instead of auctioning the facility, the DMA should run it and charge fee from the butchers.

“I cannot understand why CDA is looking towards public-private partnership despite the fact that it has billions of rupees from the auction of commercial plots. Why is it shy of spending roughly Rs700 million on the slaughterhouse project,” he added.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2020