ISLAMABAD: The Mayor of Islamabad Shaikh Ansar Aziz has inaugurated another office of Chairman in Union Council (UC)-10 of Kirpah on Saturday, but still many UC chairmen are waiting for same facility and working in absence of permanent offices.
The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) was divided into 50 UCs before the local bodies' elections in December 2015. The first challenge for the elected setup was to find out the places from where they can operate in addition to their core issue of unavailability of budget.
Unfortunately, the first ever Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) is still struggling for the release of funds from finance ministry committed by the federal government since last one year, but the issue of the offices of its members has been partially resolved through temporary arrangements.
Soon after the local government elections, only 12 UC buildings were available and these all were present in rural areas of the city while people's representatives from urban side were no place to even sit.
A member of MCI Sardar Mehtab while talking to the Daily Times has said, "It was decided in a meeting of the MCI, that UC chairman can take buildings on rent for the establishment of their offices and an amount of Rs 50,000 in rural areas and Rs100,000 in urban areas was decided for rent."
Without mentioning exact number Mehtab generically commented, "In my view, most of the chairmen has now established their offices in urban areas as mostly are being adjusted in the sectoral enquiry offices of Capital Development Authority (CDA)."
When contacted with an insider of MCI, he said, "The formula of 'might is right' is being implemented in MCI as Mayor of Islamabad has issued Rs10 million to nine UC's chairmen for repair work in their offices." A notification issued by Maintenance Division-II of CDA in this regard stated that the said funds has been issued for repair and renovation of enquiry offices in different sectors. The notification further added that the released amount would be reimbursed to civic body after allocation of budget to MCI, the Daily Times learnt.
Furthermore, this fund will be used for the renovation and repair of the offices of UC's chairmen including UC-32 of sector G-8/3, UC-33 of sector G-8/1, UC-41 of sector I-9, UC-42 of sector I-10/1, UC-43 of sector I-10/2, UC-24 of Rawal town and Model town, UC-35 of sector G-9, UC-36 of sector G10 and UC-40 of I-8/2.
"Providing UC's offices in rented buildings or in CDA's enquiries may be a temporary solution of the problem, but the matter needs a full-fledge policy in this regard and the same can be easily approved as the Mayor is also working as Chairman CDA", a senior official commented on the condition of anonymity.
However, during his address today in Kirpah, Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz said that MCI is working as a team to resolve long standing issues of all union councils without any discrimination.
He said that for the first time in the history of Islamabad MCI has been formulated after local bodies election, due to this reason some difficulties and hindrances are been faced however all respectable members of MCI will work as team for the success of this system.
He said that he has personally started visiting all union councils so that all long standing problems being faced by the residents could be resolved. He said that all members of MCI would be dealt equally.
On this occasion, Deputy Mayor MCI, Chaudhry Riffat Javed, opposition leader in MCI Ali Nawaz Awan and elected Chairmen and Vice Chairmen, Councilors of different union councils were also present.