282 corruption inquiries pending against CDA officials

The News

ISLAMABAD: Ever heard of an organization with nearly 300 inquiries pending against its employees simultaneously on charges of corruption, malpractice, favoritism and theft? Capital Development Authority (CDA) is the one.
Yes, Capital Development Authority, the civic agency tasked with giving the federal capital a regular facelift, has the unenviable distinction of initiating and then sitting over no less than 282 cases of corruption and official malfeasance, without any decision reached on any of them cases for years.
This notoriety has been achieved despite the fact that the Authority has been supervised by the chief executive of the country for 10 years [from Shaukat Aziz to half tenure of Nawaz Sharif].
Years of oversight and lackadaisical monitoring of the Authority’s day-to-day matters have resulted in rafts of files [containing serious allegations of official abuse and corruption] gathering dust for years.
A list of such inquiries available with The News showed that these inquiries were pending against the officials involved in corruption of billions of rupees but due to pressure from political quarters and some mafias, no action was being taken.
A CDA official confided to this correspondent that these inquiries were just the tip of the iceberg, as cases of mega corruption involving billions of rupees remained in racks and were not reported to any forum including the Parliament. He gave an example of allotment of farmhouses in one day during the PPP government.
He said when Musharraf government, on the recommendation of a powerful chairman CDA, gave this organization in the administrative control of the Cabinet Division, corruption and irregularities increased manifold, as the minister of this organization was PM and he never found time to look into its affairs.
A list provided by the CDA to parliament showed that presently 282 inquiries are pending with the CDA and some of the inquiries have been pending for the last ten years and the inquiry panel/person couldn’t complete its findings for one reason or the other.
The reasons given for pendency of such inquiries are very interesting. In some cases, record is not provided, accused or inquiry officers have been repatriated to their parent departments, record is with FIA so inquiry couldn’t be completed and common reason is case was pending in courts of law.
Another reason was that the competent authority didn’t agree with the finding of inquiry officer or that the report was submitted to the competent authority and decision is awaited for over two years or so.
According to details, the Estate Wing responsible for allotment of plots leads in number inquiries against its officers, as 133 cases have been pending for the last three years or so.
Then come the Administrative and Finance Wings where the number of pending inquiries is 41. The Engineering Wing is third, as 38 inquiries are pending and environment wing with 38 inquiries, remained lowest (all initiated in last one year).
Here are few cases, which were registered in 2013 but the results are still awaited. One example is that 22 bogus plot files were created and allotted to people in different sectors. Construction of a residential complex in F-10 Markaz is also being inquired by the CDA but at a snail’s pace.
Then two inquiries regarding commercial complexes in F-7 Markaz (Jinnah Super) at plot no 19 and 13p and plot no 1 on F-6 Markaz (Super market). Here one shop costs Rs50 million to Rs80 million or even more. Similar are the stories in Industrial Area or residential sectors like F-11 etc.
On the other side, the CDA has totally failed to provide civic facilities to the capital residents. Even safe drinking water is not available despite the fact Islamabad is close to two major water reservoirs (Tarbela and Mangla).
The CDA never through of providing safe drinking water or even changing 50-year-old water supply lines forcing the residents to consume contaminated water or to opt for expensive bottled water.
When contacted, spokesperson for CDA said the current management, led by Chairman Amir Ahmed Ali, had started completing inquiries.
Giving details, he said 43 officers had been de-notified on charges of illegal appointment but they obtained stays from court. He said under the new policy an officer not completing an inquiry within one month would be served with a termination notice. In this regard, five termination show-cause notices have been issued, he added.

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