By Usman Khan
ISLAMABAD, May 29 (APP): The maiden local government of Islamabad is all set to start delivering social and civic amenities to the residents of the Capital City.
Both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor were enthusiastic about their responsibilies, hoping that the city would lead the other cities and towns by example in settting standards of good governance.
The incumbent PML-N government decided to empower the people of Islamabad and announced first ever local government elections in the city which were held on November 30, 2015.
Pertaining to the situation in Islamabad the step of holding first ever election of local bodies in the Capital can have many positive impacts. The LG system has provided a platform for Islamabadites to use this opportunity and ask for a better standard of living or socializing environments.
LG is a medium to end the ‘sole authority or power holders’ and the first ever local government bodies will definitely bring about changes for the well-being of the people of Islamabad who elected their candidates to be part of this system. It will ensure the process of centralized decisions and it will help in solving most of the problems locally faced by the residents of the Capital.
The LG bodies will be able to bring about the right amount of money to fulfill the requirements and necessities faced by people. Democracy is flavoured for people of great thoughts, freedom, and enlightened souls.
The responsibility is shared and collaborative and with the same purpose to empower people through their own local government system, the newly elected Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz has vowed to focus on the issues relating to civic amenities for the residents of the Federal Capital during his tenure.
In an interaction with APP, he said that provision of basic civic facilities to citizens, particularly overcoming scarcity of water, health and sanitation issues, are the top priority of Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC).
He said that a main pipeline would be laid to Ghazi Brotha Dam to meet the water requirement of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi for next 50 years. He said it was the vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to beautify the Capital on international standards and added the Mayor’s team would do their best to realize the objective.
The Mayor said the local government institutions would be easily accessible to public so they could serve them in an efficient and effective manner. About transport facilities to the citizens, he said the IMC would run busses on the routes connected with the metro stations.
Replying to question, Sheikh Anser Aziz said the local government would expand the Marghazar Zoo, besides upgrading parks for the provision of recreational facilities to the residents.
Playgrounds in the city, especially those which remained neglected by the CDA, would be improved so as to ensure sports facilities to youth, he said and added that the IMC would introduce a proper Taxi Scheme in the Capital for providing a good transport facility to the people.
To a question about health facilities, he said four small hospitals would be constructed in the city. He said almost 11,000 employees of various departments of the CDA would be placed at the disposal of IMC.
Sheikh Anser Aziz said a proper solid waste management system would also be introduced for disposal of garbage and its recycling to generate electricity. He said the sanitation staff would be divided among the Union Councils for their appropriate utilisation.
Deputy Mayor Islamabad Ch. Rifat Javed also expressed his commitment to serve the masse.
He said main problems in various areas would be identified with elected representatives there and utmost effort would be made to resolve them.
He said they had been assigned the responsibility to serve the people and it would be accomplished at every cost. “We will ensure success of this system through service to people and by resolving public complaints on priority basis,” Mr Rifat maintained.
He said there would be team work in the IMC and joint efforts would be made to tackle the problems like water scarcity, lack of housing units and development of tourist resorts around the Capital.
The Deputy Mayor said since the local government institutions could easily be accessed by the public and that was why they could serve them better.
He said the sanitation staff would be divided among the Union Councils for their proper utilization.
Residents of Islamabad have now the power to rule and make their own decisions through their own local government and their dream has become true in the PML-N led government, he maintained.
After introduction of the LG system, a democratic order is also to be judged on the degree to which it involves its citizens in decision making and is responsive to its demands.
The local government is more accessible, more sympathetic and quicker to respond to local needs. As there has been local level government available in Islamabad, it is hoped that decentralization of power at the grassroots level will lead to better provision of social and civil services.