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Rawalpindi: Projects in the doldrums: RT nazim claims DCO choked development funds

RAWALPINDI: Rawal Town Nazim Sheikh Rashid Shafique on Monday alleged that the district coordination officer (DCO) had choked Rs120 million annual development funds of Rawal Town Council (RTC) and threatened that if the funds were not released immediately, the town council would not approve the budget 2009-2010.

Talking to Daily Times, Shafique said that several development schemes had come to a halt due to choking of funds. He said a special meeting of RTC would discuss the matter on Dec 23.

In what appeared to be a charge sheet against the district administration, Shafique, a nephew of former PML-Q leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, claimed that about two years back the Rawal Town Municipal Administration (RTMA) had released an amount of Rs 40 million to the district administration for construction of a slaughterhouse, but the latter was still sitting tight over the project causing a loss of Rs 1.2 million annually to the RTMA.

“The RTMA has rented land from Pakistan Railways (PR) at Rs 0.1 million per month, and if the district administration fails to construct the slaughterhouse, the RTMA will have to pay Rs 0.1 million to PR every month for nothing,” he said.

Shafique said that the former Punjab government had provided funds for construction of slaughterhouse and former railways minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had rented out land to the RTMA. He said the RTMA had requested the city district government to build the slaughterhouse, as it had no previous experience of constructing such kind of buildings.

“At present, instead of naib nazims, the PML-N MPAs and MNAs are not only releasing development funds, but they have also stopped the projects launched by the PML-Q naib nazims,” he alleged.

He said unavailability of funds had led to the suspension of a number of RTMA projects. He said the provincial government was out to pack the local government (LG) system but doing so was no easy job, as it involved legal complications.

Contrary to Shafique’s claims, DCO Imdadullah Bosal said that the allegations were libelous and carried no foundation, as no development work had been stopped in the town.

He said according to the Punjab Government orders all the towns had to send their development schemes to DCO to avoid duplication of work, as it had come to the notice of the district administration that two different civic agencies started work at one place at the same time.

He said the District Development Committee (DDC) comprising Town Municipal Officers (TMOs), EDO Finance, EDO Physical Planning and engineers would now vet the projects and give go ahead.

“So far, we have received only one scheme of worth Rs3.5 million, which is meant to build the boundary wall and the main gate at the offices of RTMA. If we receive more development schemes, these would be launched after approval by the DDC,” DCO Bosal said.

Source: Daily Times

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