ISLAMABAD: At a time when the country’s fiscal resources are dwindling, the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) is hemorrhaging millions of rupees each month under the guise of self-collection.
Insider sources revealed that municipal officials are currently engaging in self-collection practices, allegedly fostering corruption at car parking facilities near Centaurus Mall and the G-9 bus terminal.
A special audit conducted in March 2022 uncovered financial embezzlement worth millions of rupees within the MCI.
However, instead of taking corrective action, the entire hierarchy has chosen to remain silent observers.
Although the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) made what seems to be an attempt to auction these sites, it yielded no success.
The details suggest that certain individuals benefit from the self-collection system and are uninterested in transparent auctions, thus deliberately delaying the process.
The most recent attempt in May 2022 by the DMA to auction these sites also failed to generate desired bids.
According to sources, the city management offered the G-9 bus stand and parking space adjacent to the iconic Centaurus Mall to private contractors, with a guarantee of net revenue.
Regrettably, only two firms participated in the open auction, and both submitted bids below the reserved price.
Each site had an annual reserved price of approximately Rs. 100 million, yet the bidders quoted only Rs. 60 million for each site.
Consequently, the auction process failed, leaving the sites under self-collection, a practice already being carried out by DMA staff.
It’s worth mentioning that DMA took possession of the G-9 bus stand on September 8, 2021, and the Centaurus parking space on June 24, 2021.
Instead of conducting proper auctions, municipal officers have opted for self-collection through their staff.
Sources claimed that millions of rupees are being siphoned off every month, and this fact becomes evident when comparing the figures of self-collection with the amounts from previous respective contracts.
They allege that the revenue collected by DMA staff is insignificant, as the number of vehicles has increased, but revenue is decreasing due to substantial portions being misappropriated by individuals with high-level backing.
Despite claims by MCI Administrator Irfan Nawaz Memon to implement electronic entry and exit systems last year, the initiative has yet to materialize.
The sources also attempted to obtain a response from DMA Director Yasir Farhad, sending specific questions regarding the matter but received no response as of the time of this report.
Yasir Farhad, a grade-18 officer from the Office Management Group, is considered a favored officer of former CDA Chairman Captain Noor ul Amin Mengal.
He initially served as Director Staff under Mengal’s leadership before transitioning to the high-profile position of Director DMA.
DMA, initially part of CDA, was placed under the administrative control of the newly formed Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and has since been under scrutiny for mismanagement and financial irregularities.
Source: The Nation