islamabad - Amidst allegations of mismanagement and financial irregularities, the emergency and disaster management (E&DM) directorate of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) seems far away from preparedness to tackle any manmade or natural calamity.

Vehicles procured for fire extinguishing have been transferred to central pool, many of the fire vehicles at the directorate are out of order, while life safety items including foaming for liquid fire fighting, carbon dioxide for extinguisher filling, dry chemical powder, gas masks, hose reels and pipes, helmets, fire suits and fire cutters are of substandard quality, reveal the documents exclusively available with The Nation.

So much so, the officials responsible for stock and inventory are reluctant to share details with their high-ups of what they have in stores and what kind of resources they have in stocks to reduce of risk of life and property in case fire erupts in a city building.

According to a letter written by the additional director E&DM, the transport officer at CDA’s fire headquarters seems reluctant to provide the information regarding preparedness of the authority to deal with a calamity and disaster after the high-ups at the E&DM directorate observed that the operational fire vehicles etc are in compromised condition. They believe that around 17 vehicles are off the road due to maintenance issue. The transport officer is unable to provide the requisite information to the high-ups despite repeated reminders so that they could conduct ‘emergency preparedness audit’ in the light of available resources which is necessitated within the meaning of CDA Building Standards for Fire Prevention and Life Safety, 2010. The letter said, otherwise, lives of hundreds and thousands of valued residents of Islamabad are at stake.

The letter written by the additional director E&DM to the transport officer on May 30, 2016 expresses concern that the vehicles have been parked merely because there is no oil/filter change in time etc. “Moreover, the status of category-III vehicles, ambulances and motorcycles and their fuel usage, utility and deployment is also in question,” the letter read.

The high-ups have sought the information as total fire and rescue vehicles aboard, number of vehicles off-road, vehicle–wise sheet of first to last repairs for the year 2015-16, cause of inaction/pendency stage/evidence of narrative, utility plan of category-III vehicles, number of ambulances, their utility and control, fuel conservancy for the year 2015-16 for E&DM vehicles, vehicles procured for fire but transferred on central pool and transport staff, mechanics and drivers on-board. But the high-ups could not find reply to their queries despite repeated reminders to the transport officer, the sources in the CDA said.

Interestingly, DG Civic Management Ghulam Sarwar Sandhu on June 2 directed the additional director E&DM to discuss the issues with the undersigned and in the meanwhile not to issue any further letter in this regard.

The sources in the directorate said that there were massive mismanagement and financial irregularities in the affairs of E&DM store with regard to stocktaking, dismantled material and quality and standard of highly critical life safety items due to which the officials are reluctant to share details of the inventory with the high ups.

They said the directorate recently procured digital cameras of substandard quality with no warranties, no brandings, no varieties and no features whatsoever.