RAWALPINDI: Commissioner Saqib Manan on Tuesday asked the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) to immediately prepare the master plan of the garrison city.

He issued the directive during a visit to the RDA offices. RDA Director General Saif Anwar Jappa and other officials briefed him about reforms and development works being carried out by the authority.

Mr Jappa also informed the commissioner about development projects to be launched in the current fiscal year, including Rawalpindi Ring Road, Leh Nullah Expressway, Katcheri Chowk remodeling and extension of parking plaza at Fawara Chowk.

A senior official of RDA told Dawn that the commissioner was worried about the absence of the city’s master plan and asked the civic body to immediately start work on it, so a proper planning for development projects could be made.

He said due to the absence of a master plan civic bodies in the city and cantonment areas carries out different works and had different rules and regulations.

“Three former commissioners of Rawalpindi in the last four years including Saqib Zafar, retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood and Noorul Amin Mengal, had directed the RDA to start work on the master plan but the civic body failed to carry out any work,” he said.

He said there was no expert on metropolitan planning in the RDA without which it would not be possible for the civic body to make the master plan of the city. He said the local administration was also facing problems to handle issues of metropolitan planning and traffic engineering due to the absence of experts.

Meanwhile, during the meeting, the commissioner directed to start the projects as early as possible.

He also visited the One-Window Operation Centre at the RDA and checked its working process and directed the officials to speed up the work and solve problems of the general public.

Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) officials gave a briefing about the working of the agency. The commissioner directed them to generate more revenue and also increase the water tariff. He said bold steps should be taken for sustainability and stability.

Wasa officials informed the commissioner about less funding from the provincial government to launch water supply projects. They said electricity tariff had increased manifold but the government was noty allowing the civic agency to increase water charges.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2022

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