ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has kicked off the new year with two steps likely to make life easier for residents looking for quick answers to frequently asked questions and solution of problems.
The first is their upgraded website which provides quick access to CDA by-laws and standard operating procedures for land and building issues. It also allows residents to check their property tax bills, water and allied charges and Park Enclave installments online. However, the website does not have an online payment mechanism for these charges.
The website upgrade plans were presented to the CDA chairman at the end of October. CDA spokesperson Ramzan Sajid said the website was revamped to make it user-friendly. “We will continue to make more additions to the website as we go along.”
CDA’s helplines are also available on the website’s homepage. Residents can use the “Ask CDA” section to submit their inquires.
In addition to the bylaws and procedures, the “Resource Centre” tab also has a Frequently Asked Questions section, which mostly lists the documents required for transfer of property and approval of building plans.
Some measure of transparency is introduced through the publication of CDA board meeting agendas and minutes. The upgraded version of the website has an easier-to-navigate page for the CDA’s organisational structure.
The new homepage layout was introduced this week. For example, CDA began posting the agenda and minutes of CDA board meetings to the previous website around November. The meeting minutes are not updated on time though; no information for December board meetings is available on the website.
Sajid said the upgradation was completed “in-house” by the authority’s computer directorate.
Computer Complaint Cell to be restored
The second step is to facilitate registration and keeping track complaints for which the civic agency decided to restore its Computer Complaint Cell (CCC) during a board meeting on Tuesday.
The directorates’ inquiry offices will be linked with the CCC to centralise the complaints registration system and enable officials to monitor the process. A senior CDA official said Chairman CDA Tahir Shahbaz decided to restore the CCC to address residents’ issues.
CCC was established in CDA’s directorates in 2004, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Technology to facilitate people to report their problems. However, CDA could not run the centralised system and gave it up after two years. Another CDA official said that former chairman Kamran Lashari floated the idea but CDA could not maintain the system. It’s important to first train CDA employees to operate the system, he added. “It’s a recurring issue: millions of rupees are spent on projects but CDA cannot maintain them, resulting in huge losses.”
CDA Spokesperson Ramzan Sajid confirmed that the CDA chairman has decided to restore CCC. The system will be start functioning after a report is submitted by member finance in the next meeting. He said that system was dysfunctional mainly because it was difficult to link up hundreds of directorates with the CCC. The system will be upgraded and a call attendant will forward the complaint to the concerned directorate and also give a tentative timeframe for resolving the issue.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2013.