RAWALPINDI: An inquiry has been launched into development schemes that were started in the last one year in Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) during the tenure of former commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatha as administrator of the city areas.

After the rigging allegations in the general elections by Mr Chatha, an investigation team from the provincial government visited the RMC offices and checked the record of development schemes.

A senior official of the RMC told Dawn that the commissioner was appointed as the administrator of the civic body after the local government completed its tenure in 2022 and in the absence of an elected mayor he was empowered to launch development works.

He said the investigation team checked the record of the development schemes and asked about the authority who approved them and whether the standard operating procedure was adopted or not.

He said the civic body had prepared a report about the development schemes with approval letters from the concerned authorities. The RMC launched development schemes from funds generated by the civic body on its own.

The official said work on the Pirwadhai general bus stand, a library and other projects had been launched after the approval of the administrator. He said details of funds and other spending had been provided to the provincial government.

Another official of RMC told Dawn that the investigation was not concluded and the civic body had to provide details of the building plans approved in the last one year and revenue details sought by the Punjab government.

He said the RMC had to inform the government and the anti-corruption watchdog about its total income and the expenditure in the last one year.

He said the civic body had been asked not to launch further development schemes in the city without the approval of the new provincial government. He said the new government would be formed in a week or two and RMC had prepared all records and will send it to Lahore next week.

When contacted, Chief Municipal Officer Amjad Hussain Chaudhry admitted that an inquiry had been launched and the civic body provided all details to the team who visited the RMC offices.

He said in the absence of an elected mayor and other representatives, the administrator had the authority to launch work where it was required on the demands of residents.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2024

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