While the government is trying to get 37 retired officers to vacate official residences in GOR-I, two junior officers residing in the area have no fear of eviction even though their seniority level does not allow them to reside there, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Capt (retd) Rai Mehmood Ahmed, District Management Group (DMG) officer, now in BS-19, had been allotted 17-A, Aikman Road in 2009. Ahmed was a BS-18 officer when he was given the residence. He had served as staff officer to Mehmood then chief secretary and was surrendered to the federal government by Nasir Mehmood Khosa when he replaced Mehmood. Since January 2011Ahmed is serving as an additional secretary in the Literacy Department.
Another junior officer residing in GOR-1 is Capt (retd) Muhammad Khurram Agha. Former chief secretary Najibullah Malik had allotted Agha, who at that time was an additional secretary (welfare) in the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) in BS-19, 12 Golf Lane in 2009. Agha is now serving as Multan commissioner.
Under the allotment policy, houses in GOR-I can be allotted only to officers in BS-20 and above or to an administrative secretary.
The government has recently revised its allotment policy after negotiations with the Punjab Civil Secretariat (PCS) Officers Association, who had objected to the old policy calling it biased in favour of DMG officers.
Under the new policy, an officer will have to vacate the residence after two years of being posted in the federal capital. Earlier DMG officers, were not required to vacate the residence until they got a residence in the capital.
There are a 161 houses in GOR-I, 28 houses of those are at the disposal of the Lahore High Court (LHC). Certain houses have been turned into government offices, 5-Club Road, 7-Club Road and 9-Club Road. Some are designated residences such as the chief secretary’s house, the DCO house and 15 are allocated for ministers and advisers to the chief minister.
The allotment policy, which was revised in 2010, states that a retired officer will not be allotted a house. An officer can retain a house for eight months after retirement while an officer posted out of the province can retain his residence for two years.
To enforce the policy, the Punjab government has allotted 37 houses in GOR-I, under possession of either retired or out of province officers, to either BS-20 grade officers or those working as administrative secretaries in provincial departments. However, a junior officer, Ali Tahir, the cousin of former additional chief secretary and curent senior member of the Board of Revenue Sami Saeed, has also been accommodated.
A senior officer of the S&GAD, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the CM made allotments to junior officers in GOR-I. The CM can relax any policy to accommodate any officer beyond the entitlement, he added. He said these officers are currently in service and may become eligible after promotion to the entitled grade. He added no one had raised any opinion regarding cancellation of allotments.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2011.
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