LAHORE - With the purpose to resolve the longstanding issue of overlapping of municipal functions among various departments, Punjab Government is going to amend recently passed Punjab Local Government Act 2013, TheNation has learnt.
Realising the fact, though quite late, that performance of same function by various government functionaries is creating confusion not only among officials but also in general public, the government has decided to clearly define responsibilities of all municipal service providing bodies in major cities.
Punjab Chief Minister has recently constituted a committee, headed by Minister for Local Government and Community Development Rana Sanaullah Khan, to examine various operational/maintenance issues relating to traffic lights, sewerage, drainage, parking and other allied matters among departments like LDA, CDGL, TMAs, Wasa, communication and works and traffic police. The minister, however, passed on the responsibility to a sub-committee headed by secretary LG&CD that submitted its recommendations on Thursday to make these a part of PLGA2013 by making necessary amendments.
Majority of the proposals are aimed at strengthening the Metropolitan Corporation Lahore and municipal corporations in other major cities by cutting to size respective development authorities. The committee has come up with the interesting idea of relieving development authorities of the responsibilities of provision of water and drainage of sewerage by placing water and sanitation agency under the control of metropolitan/municipal corporations.
The committee has also proposed assigning the tasks of management of parking lots, traffic signals and streetlights, transport provision to citizens and operation and maintenance of development projects to metropolitan/municipal corporations, relieving different institutions like LDA, TMAs, CDG and C&W department of these responsibilities.
To enable metropolitan/municipal corporations to fulfill the responsibility of operation and maintenance of projects, O&M cost will be made part of the PC-1. Concerned staff will be taken on board right from the inception of any mega project to ensure smooth transition. To provide fiscal space for better traffic management, amounts of fine collected for violation of traffic rules will be given to metropolitan/municipal corporations.
Metropolitan/municipal corporations will perform garbage disposal function and desilting of storm water drains through solid waste management companies. Giving another blow to the power of development authorities, the committee has proposed constitution of building control authorities in Lahore and other major cities. As such one body will perform building control function instead of TMAs and development authorities.
Maintenance of parks, including those in the approved schemes of development authorities, will be the responsibility of Parks and Horticulture Authority.
The development authorities, however, will continue to perform development activities to augment the metropolitan/municipal corporations effects.
The task of preparation of master plan for major cities will be given to development authorities. Commissioner Lahore will be member of governing body of LDA and deputy commissioners in other four major cities.
The committee has also proposed re-introduction of district and divisional coordination committees to resolve trans municipal bodies issues.