New officers take over CDA management

ISLAMABAD, Oct 15: With the appointment of Syed Mustafain Kazmi as member planning on Monday, the change of Capital Development Authority (CDA)’s top management has completed.

Other than Mr Kazmi, the new officers are member administration Munir Ahmed Chaudhry (Office Management Group), member finance Azhar Ali Chaudhry (Commerce Group), member environment Dr Kazim Niaz Khan (District Management Group), member estate Shaista Suhail (DMG) and member engineering Sanaullah Aman (CDA).

An official in the Establishment Division told Dawn: “Mr Ahmed Chaudhry and Mr Azhar Ali earlier worked as joint secretaries in the ministries of national heritage and commerce, respectively.” It will be tough for both the officials since they have been given the charges of the key positions for the first time, he observed.

Dr Niaz, who was previously working in the Economic Affairs Division, has no specific experience to handle environment-related matters. However, the post of member environment has stayed with DMG officials for the last many years.

He said Shaista Suhai was the only officer likely to be instrumental in plugging land-related issues since she had also served in the CDA as director land in the past.

“Ms Suhail has already started working on computerisation of the CDA land record,” said the official. Both Mr Kazim and the member engineering Sanaullah Aman are officials of the CDA.

“All these officials have no controversy attached to their careers and this is the reason for their selection,” asserted the official.

The current reshuffle, according to another Establishment Division official, was made with the consent of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.

The official added that the steps were in line with the policy of the government to contain increasing corruption and ensure better governance in the organistaion.“This change was primarily because of the Blue Area commercial plots scam which landed the former senior management of the CDA, including its former chairman Farkhand Iqbal, in hot water,” observed the official.

Prime Minister Raja Ashraf on August 30 blocked the auction deals after press reports said the 12 commercial plots, each measuring 1,333.33 square yards, in F-8 and G-9 greenbelts, which are an extension of Blue Area, had been committed to 11 pre-qualified bidders. The civic agency had placed an advertisement on July 20 to sell the 12 plots.

Since the 11 bidders were the only buyers to turn up at the auction held in August, many CDA officers felt the situation would help the bidders dictate lower prices.

“The planning department is the most powerful since the member approves the layout plans of new housing schemes, issue no-objection certificates to housing societies, manages building by-laws, approves new residential units and even handles issues like the issuance of licences for kiosks,” said a senior CDA official.

He said the member planning had to tackle the issue of over 1,200 housing units which were commercialised by the owners during the last four years.

Commenting over the role of the planning wing in bailing out the authority from its current financial crunch, he said: “Member planning also has to ensure new revenue generating schemes by introducing even commercial and industrial policies. Besides, he has to devise a strategy to address the residential needs of the city.”

The official said a number of new residential sectors like Park Enclave, D-12, E-12 and others could not be completed mainly because of the poor planning and financial depletion of CDA reserves over the last one decade.