Early local govt elections demanded

CHITRAL, April 24: Speakers at a press forum here on Tuesday urged the government to hold the local bodies polls in the earliest as its absence multiplied the civic problems. Representatives of district bar association, all political parties, tehsil municipal administration and other stakeholders discussed in length the hardships faced in the establishment and functioning of citizens community boards (CCBs). It was found that the CCBs were the best tools given in the Local Government Ordinance 2001 to solve the petty issues of infrastructure on local level and it provided the masses a fair opportunity to their social integration. The speakers regretted that the inherent corruption in the government machinery did their best to abort the success the devolution plan and its by-products in the form of CCBs and it was solely due to this reason that people failed to benefit of it. They said that 25 percent of the development budget of the three tiers of local government from district government to the union council administration but this fund was utilized for the community driven projects in very rare cases. They eulogized the role of Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment (DTCE) for streamlining the CCBs in the nooks and corners of the country by strengthening the stake holders. The DTCE has also established seventy number of village and neighbourhood councils (VNCs) in the fourteen union councils of Chitral tehsil in its first phase which had helped the villagers to carry out the projects of small rural development on micro scale through community participation. Those who addressed consisted of Maulana Sher Aziz, M.I. Khan Sarhadi advocate, Sher Aga, Niaz A Niazi, Iqbal Hayat, Abdul Ghafar, Zahiruddin and others.–Zahiruddin]]>

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