LAHORE: Almost eight months after the March 25 Supreme Court order restoring local governments in Punjab, Lahore Mayor retired Col Mubashar Javaid was allowed to assume his office on Saturday.

Elected representatives were not allowed to assume their offices by the PTI government since the restoration on different grounds.

On Friday last, the apex court summoned the sitting and a former chief secretary to appear before it on Oct 20 and explain the delay in transfer of power.

Mr Javaid told Dawn he conducted a meeting in his office to review the dengue situation in the city.

He said as per SC direction they would lodge FIRs against those officers or administrators who would stop them from attending their offices.

He said he had asked the finance officer to present details of different expenditures.

“I will also check record of completed and ongoing projects under the local government laws,” he said.

Local Government Secretary Noorul Amin Mengal said the mayor was allowed to attend his office under the SC ruling and no one from the government stopped him.

He said they would have to downsize the councils, town committees and municipal corporations under the Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA) 2019.

Under the PLGA 2019, the Punjab government had carved out nine metropolitan corporations, instead of one, besides 17 municipal corporations, instead of the 11 mentioned in the 2013 act. Similarly, the government slashed the number of municipal committees from 182 to 133 and created 11 more tehsil committees.

The 35 district councils that existed in the 2013 act were also abolished and the 2019 act had created 136 tehsil councils.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2021

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