ISLAMABAD: After the federal government allocated money, each member of the local government of the federal capital will be provided with Rs5 million to launch uplift schemes in their respective union councils.
This was disclosed by the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz on Tuesday during a session of the corporation. The corporation had met for its 35th session at the Pak-China Friendship Centre in Islamabad on Tuesday with Mayor Aziz in the chair.
During the meeting, the house first approved the minutes of the last session of the corporation.
The mayor said that during the ongoing financial year, each member of the corporation will be allocated Rs5 million for carrying out uplift of basic facilities and to initiate new projects of public welfare in their respective union councils.
He further said that thanks to the allocation by the federal government, additional development initiatives would be undertaken in the city.
The mayor further said that they were working to provide water connections to those who had filed applications apart from helping set up the Rescue 1122 emergency services in the rural areas of the city.
Moreover, a fire brigade and sanitation services will also be provided to the rural areas of the Islamabad Capital Territory. Tenders in this regard, Aziz said, will be issued soon.
He further said that four sewerage treatment plants are being installed in the rural areas of the city.
Earlier, Aziz congratulated all IMC members on completing three years as the inaugural, elected local government of the federal capital.
He went on to brief the house over their accomplishments during these three years.
Aziz pointed out that the IMC tried to do its best even though it was a new organization and found itself hamstrung in more ways than one amid less than favourable circumstances.
He hoped that with the passage of time, the hurdles they have faced will be removed and the performance of the IMC will be further improved so that residents could benefit from the fruits of the local government system.
The much-trumpeted plan of installing four sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the federal capital may take another year as the authorities concerned have yet to acquire land for the facility.
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in its recent meeting had given a green signal to complete the Rs3.51 billion project in two phases, an official of the IMC said on Tuesday.
A decade ago, the idea of setting up four STPs in the outskirts of Islamabad had been floated by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to filter the water falling into the Korang River and Rawal Dam, exposing residents of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi to hazardous waste water.
The sources said it was agreed in the meeting that the IMC would establish only two treatment plants in the first phase while the remaining would be set up later.
The Planning Commission of Pakistan had then asked the IMC to complete the land acquisition, operation and maintenance process on priority and ensure the release of funds for the project at the earliest, they said.
The IMC had subsequently written to the CDA to allocate land for all of four STPs.
IMC officials said that they were still awaiting a response from the authority.
Sources said that the civic agency was supposed to evaluate the status of the marked lands and if the designated area was privately owned, it would facilitate the IMC in purchasing such land.
To a query, they said the work was put on the fast track to complete this long-awaited initiative, adding that the Supreme Court was also pursuing this matter and directed the departments concerned to execute the project in a timely manner.
A CDA spokesperson confirmed that the agency had received the corporation’s request, adding that both the departments were jointly working on the proposition.
The plants are to be installed at Bari Imam, Lower and Upper Shahdara and Simly dam but have been stalled for the past eight years due to bureaucratic hiccups and some technical issues.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2019.