The Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) is said to have given local government (LG) offices and community centres to police and others on rent. The buildings fell vacant after the LG system was wrapped up in 2008, nazims and councillors from Hayatabad told The Express Tribune on Sunday.
In 2002, the Musharraf-led government allocated buildings for the union council nazim and councillors. These properties were used for public offices and community centres for the residents of Hayatabad. However, in the new system, the union council was further divided into village and neighbourhood councils.
A neighbourhood councillor in Hayatabad, requesting anonymity, told The Express Tribune, “PDA has illegally rented the Phase-V community centre to a non-government organisation, while the Phase-II community centre has been given to police for a check post.”
He added, “PDA has also rented other community centres and local government offices, including the building of Grafs Wedding Hall opposite Swan restaurant, a ladies club in Phase-V and a wedding hall in Phase-II.”
Meanwhile, naib nazim for Phase-IV and V Imran Salarzai told The Express Tribune when they were not allocated offices, they met PDA officials and authorities and requested them but were turned down.
The nazims of five neighbourhood councils then decided to establish a makeshift office in a tent in protest and to carry out routine office work. “We have set up the camp to protest against the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government which has not even released our salaries,” he said.
He added that 83 major and more than 500 petty matters have been resolved since last week in the makeshift office. Salarzai maintained they attested eight marriage certificates, 15 birth certificates, six death certificates, besides verifying 12 Zakat and school admission forms.
K-P Minster for LG Inayatullah Khan pointed out a committee has been formed under the supervision of PDA director general and the local government. However, he refuted the claim of council members that the PDA rented out offices and community centres.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2015.