Capital Development Authority (CDA) is facing administrative and financial complications to serve 0.8 million people living in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Out of this 0.8 million people, 0.5 million belong to the rural population. According to news sources, out of the total area of 225,000 acres allotted to Islamabad Capital Authority, CDA currently serves only half of it.
The shocking part of the report is that the area which has been the centre stage for CDA is the developed part of the city. The rest of 50% comprises of the underdeveloped and rural area where more than half of the Capital Territory’s population lives. The details revealed that out of the 1.4 million population of ICT, CDA is offering municipal services to only 0.6 million people and the rest of 0.8 million people are being brutally ignored because there are supposedly some legal and financial constraints restricting CDA to expand its municipal area.
Since the rural area in ICT is under the control of ICA Administration, CDA is legally bound to not offer municipal services to the people living there. Those who are of the view that CDA should take over the entire ICT, believe that CDA has enough funds and manpower to manage the area fairly as it has sold tens of thousands of acres of land to private developers in Zone IV.
Zone IV has 10 union councils of ICT and CDA has allowed construction of housing societies on 70,000 acres of land there. According to sources, CDA has generated an amount of Rs 10 billion by allocating that land to private developers but when it comes to offering basic services, legal and administrative complications stop CDA. To offer the services to the ignored rural area in ICT, CDA would require the services of another 1400 personnel in addition to availing sanitation services on contract.
The Section 15-A of CDA Ordinance 1960 suggests that the Authority is obligated to perform municipal services within specialized areas, which are mostly the developed ones. The Government of Pakistan extended the areas in Jan, 1999 after Islamabad Highway became part of the municipal limits of the CDA. The Government has been extending the period ever since and the last extension expires on 20th Aug, 2012. CDA officials have made clear that any addition in its municipal areas would be an unbearable burden for the Authority as it is already facing serious financial and administrative constraints.
According to estimates, funds worth of 1,000 million per year would be required to cover the ignored areas and provide the infrastructure needed for its development. While the revenue expected from the area is around Rs 300 million. CDA is believed to be facing serious financial crises to manage the current expenses and is not in a state to take over the entire ICT. Plus it is the discretion of the Federal Government to extend the area of CDA’s operation. In case the area limit is extended by the Government of Pakistan, the CDA will handle the municipal task in different phases.
CDA plans to cover the Shahzad Town, Kuri Tarlai, Alipur Farash, P&V Scheme No. 1 & 2, Humak Town, and Industrial Triangle Khhuta in the first phase. Chak Shahzad, which mainly consists of CDA projects, is likely to be notified as the municipal area. The approximate area of projects and schemes in Chak Shahzad is 5600 acres, most of it is developed or is in the process of development. In this regard, CDA asked for Chief Commissioner Islamabad’s consent back in 2006 and is still looking forward to the response from the Commissioner’s end.