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Fight for control of CDA, ICT

ISLAMABAD, July 9: The bureaucracy is gearing up to block transfer of administrative control of the civic authority and the local administration to the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), Dawn has learnt.

“We have been directed by Senate`s Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat and Inter-Provincial Coordination that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration should work under the administrative control of CADD,” said a senior official of the federal government, on condition of anonymity.

Currently the ICT administration is working under the administrative control of the Interior Ministry while the CDA is looked after by the all powerful Cabinet Division.

But the official added that since the matter has been taken up by the Senate committee, powerful bureaucrats in the interior and cabinet divisions are not interested in the move.

The newly established division is already looking after several leftover departments after devolution under the 18th amendment. Currently it is taking care of the departments of health, education, – hospitals, schools, colleges, special education in the capital – social welfare, culture, livestock, population, youth affairs and tourism.

The official said the new division, directly working under the prime minister, would soon have six to eight joint secretaries, two additional secretaries besides a federal minister in three months time because of its expanded work.

Previously the CDA worked under the administrative control of Interior Ministry when it was headed by Faisal Saleh Hayat during the tenure of Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf. Mr Hayat now heads the federal ministry of housing.

At that time the main reason to put the CDA under the interior ministry`s control was to ensure coordination between the civic body and the local administration, especially for getting encroached state land vacated with the help of police and magistracy.

During Mr Hayat`s tenure, the CDA chairman enjoyed additional charge of chief commissioner Islamabad. However, the civic body was given under the control of Cabinet Division by Lt Gen (retired) Hamid Nawaz, former caretaker interior minister.

Senator Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a member of the committee on Cabinet Secretariat and Inter-Provincial Coordination, backed the suggestion of giving the authority and the local administration under the new division.

“Though I was not part of the last meeting, we will recommend to the government that CDA and ICT should not work under interior and cabinet divisions.”

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