The Government of Sindh repealed the Local Government Ordinance and re-introduced the commissionarrate system with great expectations. However, six months down the road, it appears as if the system is headed for an ultimate collapse. It seems no homework was done for the new system. As a result, there is still great confusion about the execution of different functions. Ironically, the provincial government is moving at a snail’s pace in assigning functions to different functionaries in the districts. Secondly, the provincial government posted the existing DCOs in the divisional headquarters as commissioners of their respective divisions.
This proved ineffective as these commissioners are attuned more to the functions of a DCO/DC rather than to those of commissioners. They have rendered the DCs of the divisional headquarters ineffective and are even perusing every document which originally is addressed to the DC. They remain incommunicado with the other DCs of their divisions by dint of the fact that some DCs are even senior to the commissioners. Additionally, just a few months ago they were counterparts and now the relation has converted to senior and junior. Thirdly, and most importantly, the DCOs were used to commission work orders of the works and services department, health, education and agriculture. Now that these departments got independence from the DCOs, they being the same persons who have turned commissioners, are still looking to these departments for the same financial shares. As a result the M&R work could not be started despite the fact the current financial year is going to end very soon. Lastly, the second tier of the LGO, namely the taluka municipal administration (TMA) still exists. The minister for local government is too touchy about its abolition, owing to the fact that he would lose a monthly income of more than seven million rupees which he gets from the administrators of TMAs.
In view of the above, I strongly believe that the system would never work if the current status quo is maintained. There is a dire need for replacing all the commissioners and DCs in Sindh. The new officers will assume charge with a mentality different from those of DCOs. It must be remembered that it is an election year and the government has to go the extra mile in ensuring an efficient service delivery.
UMER MANZOOR MALIK,
Karachi, May 24.