LAHORE -  After getting a nod from the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab Local Government and Community Development (LG&CD) Department has started taking steps to resolve the longstanding issue of overlapping of municipal functions among various departments, The Nation has learnt.

The department had forwarded a summary to the Punjab CM, seeking approval for placing specific municipal function under control of one department to end duplication and confusion and for making necessary amendments in the Punjab Local Government Act 2013 to add provision for constitution of the District Coordination Committees (DCCs).

The CM agreed to the proposed assigning of specific functions to various departments and initiation of proceedings to amend relevant clauses of PLGA-2013.

As performance of same function by various departments was creating confusion not only among officials but also in general public, the government decided to clearly define responsibilities of all municipal services providing bodies in major cities.

The chief minister had constituted a committee, headed by Provincial Minister LG&CD Rana Sanaullah Khan, to examine various operational/maintenance issues relating to traffic signals, streetlights, sewerage, drainage, parking and other allied matters among departments like LDA, CDGL, TMAs, WASA, Communication and Works and Traffic Police. The Minister, however, passed on the responsibility to a Sub Committee headed by Secretary LG&CD that finalised its recommendations which were sent to the chief minister for approval.

The approval of proposed changes has now strengthened Metropolitan Corporation Lahore and Municipal Corporations in other major cities by cutting to size respective Development Authorities. The government has relieved Development Authorities from the responsibilities of provision of water and drainage of sewerage by placing Water and Sanitation Agency under the control of Metropolitan/Municipal Corporations. It has also assigned the tasks of management of parking lots, traffic signals and streetlights, transport provision to citizens and operation and maintenance of development projects to Metropolitan/Municipal Corporations, relieving institutions like LDA, TMAs, CDG and C&W Department from these responsibilities.

To enable Metropolitan/Municipal Corporations to fulfill the responsibility of operation and maintenance of projects, O&M cost will be made part of the PC-1. Concerned staff will be taken on board right from the inception of any mega project to ensure smooth transition. To provide fiscal space for better traffic management, amounts of fine collected for violation of traffic rules will be given to Metropolitan/Municipal Corporations.

Metropolitan/Municipal Corporations will perform garbage disposal function and desilting of storm water drains through solid waste management companies.

Giving another blow to the power of Development Authorities, the government has approved constitution of Building Control Authorities in Lahore and other major cities. As such one body will perform building control function instead of TMAs and Development Authorities.