Sanitation director draws flak for lack of cleanliness

IMC meeting approves multifold increase in trade licence fees


Iftikhar Chaudhry January 17, 2020
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The members of Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) accused the sanitation director of being part of the mafia responsible for dumping garbage in every nook and cranny of the federal capital.

The members further claimed that the official provoked the sanitation workers to go on strike in the last days of December.

At the outset of the 45th monthly IMC meeting led by Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz on Thursday, the IMC members criticised the IMC Sanitation Director Sardar Khan Zimri on the degeneration of the cleanliness condition of the federal capital and accused him of being part of a mafia. The members asserted that the official has allegedly colluded with the contractors who were dumping garbage at every nook and cranny in Islamabad.

The sanitary contractors lift garbage from one place and dump it another, instead of hauling it outside the city to the waste disposal site, they said.

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They added that the director did not even bother receiving their calls and claimed that Zimri backed the protests by the IMC sanitation workers who were demanding pay before Christmas.

The IMC members reminded that paying sanitation workers was the responsibility of the private contractors engaged by the corporation.

These contractors, in collusion with Zimri, gobbled the payments and did not release the salaries of the workers. Eventually, when workers went on strike, the government paid them from its coffers.

The council demanded immediate removal of the director and replacing him with a competent officer.

Zimri, responding to these allegations, said the sanitation department lacked adequate manpower and equipment. It was not possible for them to perform duties simultaneously in rural and urban union councils (UCs), he said.

The director said that the tenders for the cleanliness system would be released on January 28 and hoped that things would improve after that. However, the IMC members carried on bashing the director following which he left the meeting.

Meanwhile, Mayor Aziz formed a special committee for the provision of equal cleaning facilities to rural and urban UCs.

Charges increased

Summaries regarding increase in the charges of various commercial facilities were approved unanimously in the meeting.

Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) presented a summary suggesting increment in charges of birth and death certificates fees.

The fee for birth and death certificates was increased to Rs300 from Rs110. For filing application for the registration process after a year, the charges were increased to Rs600 from Rs230 whereas after five years, Rs1, 200 would be charged instead of Rs680 for issuing a birth or death certificate.

A summary regarding the hike in annual fees for trade licences was presented and approved by the members. Under the new scheme, the licences were split into three categories A, B and C corresponding to their locations.

The A category included areas of sectors E, F, G, Blue Area, Diplomatic Enclave and Saidpur Village whereas Sector I was placed in category B. The C category included all other commercial areas on IMC land.

Under category A, the annual trade licence fee for five-star hotels was increased to Rs240,000 from Rs25,000 while for three-star and four-star hotels, the charges were hiked to Rs120,000 from Rs12,000.

The restaurant and food outlets with the air-conditioning facility will be charged Rs200,000 as trade licence fee annually instead of Rs25,000, whereas those without this facility, would now pay Rs25,000 instead of Rs5,000 which was being charged earlier.

The annual revised trade licence fee for dry cleaners and beauty parlours in category A areas will be Rs100,000. The annual charges for hair salons located in category A and B areas would be Rs24,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.

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Ten-bed private hospitals and drug stores under category A would be charged Rs50,000 annual trade licence fee, while private healthcare facilities with up to 50 beds would pay Rs1 million under commercial charges.

The revised annual fees for wedding halls and catering services will be Rs200,000 per year instead of Rs75,000.

Trade licence fee for different production units like flour, ghee, oil, biscuits, jellies, filtered water, soft drink have been increased to Rs200,000n from Rs30,000 per year.

Fuel filling stations including petrol pumps and CNG stations would now pay Rs100,000 in annual fees whereas private hostels would pay Rs50,000 instead of earlier rates of Rs25,000.

The revision in advertisement rates was also approved in the session and it was also divided into three categories.

The annual fees for flex face signboard of ordinary quality were increased to Rs100 per square foot up from Rs20. Advertisers using illuminated boards will be paying Rs200 per square foot. Publicity on moveable floats will attract licence fee of Rs140,000. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2020.

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