Minister chides civic bodies for poor performance in Rawalpindi

Basharat Raja refuses to discuss issue of pending salaries of WASA workers, sets up committee to revive Gymkhana

An excavator tears down an illegal building in Rawalpindi. PHOTO: AGAH MEHROZ/EXPRESS

RAWALPINDI: Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Punjab Muhammad Basharat Raja has expressed dissatisfaction over performance of all institutions of Rawalpindi regarding city affairs .

He said that warning has been issued to the officers of Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA), Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC)  to improve their performance in 15 days.

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Raja said officers fail to improve their performance will be removed from their seats. “Cases of officers involved in corruption of assets beyond income will be sent to Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE),” the minister said.

The law minister along with Provincial Minister Raja Rashid Hafeez and MPA Wasiq Qayoom Chaudhry chided officers in a collective briefing of all institutions.

Such was the barrage from the two Rajas that no official of the civil institutions got a chance to give proper briefing. RDA Chairman Arif Ali Abbasi and PHA Chairman Asif Mehmood were present at the occasion.

According to sources, Punjab Law Minister Raja said that thousands kanal of land along the Ring Road Project was purchased in the previous government tenure.

Raja said that Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar will make the official announcement of Ring Road Project. He said that the project will have vegetable and grain markets connected to it.

Raja demanding an increase in the pace of anti-encroachment operation, chided civic authorities for allowing illegal constructions on government lands in the first place.

He issued instructions to prepare a beautification plan for Murree Road and to abolish Waste Transfer Station near RDA office.

Raja rejected suggestion of Rawalpindi Waste Management Company managing director to cover this station so as to hide the filth and smell.

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While talking about WASA Union's Chairman Raja Javed's request to grant for salaries, the provincial minister said that nothing will be granted in the current situation, first improve your performance. He expressed displeasure over giving water supply project worth Rs650 million in few specific union councils and said that government officers takes their share by teaming up with contractors like a mafia.

“Petty revenue officials like patwaries have access to homes of ministers and chambers in assemblies, this won't be accepted now. I will obtain a mandate from Punjab CM and if the performance isn't improved then after 15 days, I will ask the commissioner to take a strict action,” Raja said.

He also demanded a survey report on the state of basic health units in Rawalpindi.

Provincial minister announced to organise the market committee from the beginning to restore Rawalpindi Gymkhana and said that public is waiting for change in Rawalpindi.

Land retrieved

Deputy Commissioner Umar Jahangir has said that Forest Department's 6,500 kanal land has been illegally occupied in Takht Pari. Demarcation of the occupied land has been done, he told the meeting.

He said that 800 kanal of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has been retrieved.

According to the DC, government functionaries have illegally occupied the land of some government institutions. Shops and homes have been constructed on the land of ETPB and action against which is underway.

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The DC said a survey by the end of the month will help decide which illegal building will be demolished and which will be regularised on payment of fee.

He told that funds of Rs90 million are required to upgrade Gymkhana and Rs35 million were available in its account. 

Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2018.



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