Not interested? Officers sent home for neglecting census duties

Published: March 17, 2017
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Soldiers walk with an official (L) from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics as they arrive in a residential area to collect information for a census in Lahore on March 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Soldiers walk with an official (L) from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics as they arrive in a residential area to collect information for a census in Lahore on March 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: The Punjab government has suspended the secretaries of 17 union councils (UCs) for not showing interest in census duties on the first day of the population count.

The Punjab Local Government and Community Development (LGCD) also issued show-cause notices to three more UC secretaries for remaining absent or leaving their duties early.

The official orders available with The Express Tribune show the government has suspended UC-102 secretary Tahir Tanveer, UC-107 secretary Mehmood Butt, UC-113 secretaries Muhammad Rafiq and Muhammad Yasir, UC-124 secretaries Shahbaz Butt and Muhammad Qasim Azeem, UC-185 secretary Mushtaq Raza Bhatti, UC-109 secretary Shahbaz Aziz, UC-106 secretary Muhammad Abbas, UC-240 secretaries Muhammad Qasim Shah and Muhammad Adeel, UC-68 secretary Mehar Muhammad Afzal, UC-3 secretary Sikandar Hayat, UC-269 secretaries Muhammad Mansha and Muhammad Arshad, UC-140 secretary Tariq Mahmood and UC-58 secretary Qamar Javed. Show-cause notices were issued for UC-114 secretaries Asghar Ali and Abid Ali and UC-226 secretary Nawaz.

Two control rooms have been activated in Lahore for round-the-clock monitoring of census activities. Punjab Census Commissioner Arif Anwar Baloch said people could register their complaints on telephone numbers 042-99263182, 99263175, 99263173. Citizens can also register complaints with the local government department control room on numbers 99213380 and 0301-8543959.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed commissioners and deputy commissioners of all 36 districts to ensure transparency and authenticity in census activities. The government has also established divisional control rooms in eight divisions of Punjab.

Special duties have been assigned to commissioner offices’ staff in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur divisions. Strict action has been proposed against civilian census staff not fulfilling their duties.

Speaking to reporters, Lahore Deputy Commissioner Sumair Ahmad Syed said the government had suspended the 17 officials, who were not performing census duties. He also visited various neighbourhoods with other senior officials to inspect household survey activities and inquired the citizens about the performance of census staff.

The Lahore district has been divided in 184 census charges, 867 circles, 6,746 blocks whereas the Lahore Division has been divided in 289 census charges, 1,624 circles and 13,626 blocks.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2017.

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