Islamabad-The tug of war between chairman and officers of Capital Development Authority (CDA) over powers is not subsiding and tension continues to progress with each passing day.

Those at the helm of the affairs and supposed to resolve the problems being faced by the residents of the capital are coming forward as part of the problem instead of solution.

The residents had hoped that with the introduction of local government system in the capital, their problems would be resolved at their doorsteps but the operational mechanism at the authority is getting more and more politicized and the visitors’ difficulties are as much as it were before the introduction of local government system in Islamabad.

In the latest turn of events, Chairman CDA Sheikh Anser Aziz removed Director Public Relations Asim Khichi from his post just three days after his posting on Monday, allegedly for not surrendering vehicle the former intended to hand over to a deputy mayor. The Establishment Division, through a notification on September 6, 2016, had given additional charge of Chairman CDA on part-time basis to Sheikh Anser Aziz, mayor Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) under sub-section 2 of the section 6 of the CDA ordinance 1960.

Asim Khichi has been repatriated to his parent department, Public Information Department. However, the government’s decision has been challenged in a court of law.

The sources in the CDA said Aziz as Mayor MCI first got rid of then Chairman CDA Maroof Afzal, then Member administration and Member planning respectively to fill the posts by his blue-eyed.

In what seemed to be a state of complete confusion and mess, Sheikh Anser Aziz as chairman CDA on September 23, 2016 in an order surrendered the services of Waseem Ahmed Khan, Chief Metropolitan Planner Lahore Development Authority (LDA) then posted as Member Planning and Design CDA, to the Establishment Division. The services of Waseem Ahmed Khan are no more required in CDA, he said in the order and placed him at the disposal of CADD with immediate effect for further repatriation to his parent department, LDA. Same day, through an Office Order, Asad Mehboob Kiani, DG (Design) BS-20/Chief Officer Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) was allowed to look after the work of the post of Member (Planning and Design), CDA in addition to his own duties until further orders in the interest of the authority.

However, the Cabinet Secretariat (Establishment Division) issued a notification on the same day with the approval of the prime minister, the competent authority, to extend deputation period of Waseem Ahmed Khan as Member Planning and Design in CDA for one year w.e.f. August 22, 2016 to August 21, 2017 on standard terms and conditions and until further orders.

The tug of war between chairman CDA and bureaucracy did not stop here.

On September 26, 2016, the notification of Establishment Division dated September 23, 2016, whereby the deputation period of Waseem Ahmed Khan, then posted as Member Planning and Design in CDA Islamabad, was extended for one year w.e.f. August 22, 2016 to August 21, 2017 on standard terms and conditions was withdrawn ab-initio.

He was then repatriated to his parent department, LDA. The sources in the CDA said that the saga was an outcome of the tug of war between the chairman and bureaucracy in which the chairman had the last laugh.

In the coming days, a series of transfer/ posting was unleashed in the authority by the chairman in which even the officials could hardly find where to report. The CDA management on September 8, 2016 issued an office order to affect transfer/posting of 64 officers collectively; however, same day a corrigendum was issued in respect of the five officers.

October 7, 2016, an office order was issued for the transfer/posting of 151 officials of the authority. The decision was taken to get rid of the ‘corrupt officials’ in the Land Directorate. Those transferred from the directorate included 18 senior assistants, 39 sub-assistants and 53 LDCs.

The action was taken on the complaints of corruption in the directorate. On October 20, 2016, an office order was issued for the transfer/posting of three officers in ‘interest of the authority’s work.’ The frequent transfer/posting at the authority has badly affected the performance of the officials and the visitors find it difficult to contact the relevant person in the directorates.

So much so, the CDA administration, On October 7, 2016, issued an order, directing its officials to keep away from media. “It has been observed with great concern that despite clear directions from higher authorities, sensitive, important and, in various cases, incorrect information regarding different directorates is being disseminated to the unauthorised persons, press and media. It is therefore directed that all reporting to the press shall be carried out through directorate of public relations and designated focal persons,” the order read.

Sources in the CDA told this correspondent that campaign against nonconforming use of the residential units and encroachments has come to a halt with the increasing interference of the elected representatives to please their voters. “Whenever, we plan an operation against nonconforming use or encroachments, the elected representatives start requesting us to favour their voters,” said a senior officer at the authority. He observed that the things have become politicized at the authority with the introduction of local government system and continuing tug of war between the chairman and the bureaucracy. He said labour union is equally responsible for politicizing the affairs at CDA. Giving an example, he said the union office-bearers are so powerful that six office-bearers close to General Secretary Chaudhry Yasin of CDA Labour Union were transferred from MCI to CDA along with posts in blatant disregard to all norms and practices. The six staff members were transferred ‘in the interest of Authority’s work and until further order’ from MCI-controlled directorates to CDA-administered directorates. These were Sub-Assistant Asad Mehmood, deputy general secretary of CDA union who was transferred from Emergency and Disaster Management Directorate to Parliament House Directorate; Sub-Inspector Muhammad Sarfraz, deputy general secretary of the union who was transferred from Directorate of Municipal Authority to Enforcement Directorate; Malik Akmal Shahzad was posted from Sanitation Directorate to Parliament House Directorate; Ahmed Ali, Supervisor from Water Supply Directorate was transferred to Enforcement Directorate; Nasir Khan, driver, and Muhammad Naeem, operator were transferred from DMA to Planning Wing and Water Supply Directorate to Parliament House Directorate respectively.