ISLAMABAD: The Establishment Division has cleared to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) that only Islamabad domicile holders fall in the category of ‘locals’, paving the way for the civic agency to hire over 900 sanitation workers.

The CDA had initiated the sanitation workers’ recruitment process in November last year by advertising the vacancies in the press for hiring over 900 locals as sanitation workers and 16 loaders.

Sources in the CDA said the process came to a halt the same month after politicians from Rawalpindi city objected to restricting the positions to residents of Islamabad only.

The civic agency could not go ahead with the recruitment process and wrote a letter to the Establishment Division seeking its guidance over the word ‘local’. The division has now informed the civic agency that a local means the domicile holder of Islamabad only.

“Yes, Establishment Division has removed the confusion. They have informed us that only residents of Islamabad fall under the definition of ‘local’,” said CDA spokesperson Syed Asif Raza on Monday.

He said now the CDA would complete the process of recruitment soon.

Last year, the CDA had invited applications for the posts of sanitation workers and conducted interviews of shortlisted candidates, but it did not issue appointment letters.

According to sources, the vacancies were meant for local residents and the CDA had also mentioned in its advertisement published in national dailies on Nov 5 that only ‘locals’ could apply for the 950 vacancies of sanitation workers and 16 of truck loaders.

However, they said political leaders from Rawalpindi demanded a share in the jobs for people belonging to the garrison city on the ground that residents of the twin cities were locals.

On the other hand, CDA in July last year had decided to end the culture of hiring private sanitation workers and directed recruitment of permanent workers.

The CDA management had also decided that the practice of hiring machinery on rent should be stopped and the authority should purchase its own machinery.

The CDA has yet to procure the necessary machinery while the ongoing contract of rented machinery is going to expire next month.

In February 2021, the CDA cancelled a contract for maintaining cleanliness and collecting garbage after an inquiry report pointed out that the contract was awarded in violation of rules. After cancelling the contract, the CDA referred the case to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Under the project, which was worth Rs650 million per year, the contractor was supposed to ensure cleanliness and collection of garbage, using its own machinery and deploying a workforce of 1,200 sanitation workers.

After the contract was cancelled, the CDA in July last year awarded a new contract against Rs510 million for hiring machinery only for one year while CDA is paying salaries to private sanitation workers.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2022

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