ISLAMABAD: The fate of the Geo-Spatial Technology Wing of Capital Development Authority (CDA) is likely to be decided at a meeting of the authority on Wednesday (today).

The wing was set up by the planning wing under a two-year project in 2022 and it was supposed to work on facilities with an emphasis on e-governance, automation and digitisation of business process of the organisation.

According to CDA documents, the primary objective of the project was to enhance the IT infrastructure and insertion of skilled professionals through establishment of the wing.

“A unified web-based platform would be developed keeping in view the possible requirements of CDA by incorporating high resolution satellite imagery and GIS database to transform the CDA from an e-governance based organisation to g-governance based organisation.”

Geo-Spatial Technology Wing was set up under a two-year project in 2022

A former member planning was the project director. In November last year, the wing was put under the administrative control of the member Technology and Digitisation, but a new director was not appointed.

Three vehicles were also procured for the wing and currently one of them is under its use.

Sources said the planning wing wanted to keep the project intact as town planners believed it was vital for planning issues.

In the meeting to be held with the CDA chairman in the chair on Wednesday (today), they will plead that the project should not be wrapped up.

Those who are in favour of the project say it should remain part of the planning wing as the project was technical in nature and it can’t be handled by technology and digitisation wing.

“The technology wing has no knowledge of handling work of town planners, surveyors and other technical staff so it should be part of the planning wing,” said an official of CDA.

He said the project could benefit from the application of remote sensing and GIS technologies as a major step in moving from e-governance towards g-governance.

High-resolution satellite imagery of 0.5/0.3 metre along with aerial imagery of specified areas (as per the requirement of CDA) will be acquired by Suparco on a quarterly basis.

The imagery will be used for mapping of Islamabad’s land cover classification mapping etc.

Another officer, who is in support of wrapping up the project, said work of the wing could be carried out by a third party through outsourcing after paying much less amount.

“Instead of spending millions of rupees on scanners and other equipment and paying salaries to dozens of staff, including their perk and privileges, we can get such work done through contract,” he said and added that now organisations instead of creating new wings were relaying on outsourcing to save finances.

The official said the project as per its PC-I was supposed to end in June this year after completing its two-year term.

He, however, said the matter would be decided by the CDA chairman on Wednesday (today), adding before taking any final decision the chairman will hear both the sides and will decide the matter in the interest of the CDA, not of the two wings.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2024

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