Upper Chitral district yet to become functional

CHITRAL: The newly-created district of Upper Chitral is yet to be made functional after its separation by the Board of Revenue in November, 2018.

Though the posts of deputy commissioner and support staff were created in March this year, district officers of other departments, including police, could not be posted as yet. The first DC took charge on My 1, 2019.

The people of Upper Chitral have complained that a situation of uncertainty and administrative vacuum exists in the new district where no district officers of various departments are available to facilitate the residents.

PPP district president of Upper Chitral, Amirullah Khan, said that the bifurcation of Chitral had created problems as in case of emergency like rains and floods the situation could be unmanageable.

He claimed that the government had created the new district without proper groundwork. He said that the new district had been announced in a public meeting by then chief minister Pervez Khattak in presence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in November 2017.

Mr Amirullah said that the infrastructure required for a new district secretariat was yet to be constructed in its headquarters Booni. Thus, a huge sum of money would be needed to establish offices in rented buildings and on purchase of official vehicles and other paraphernalia.

A retired government officer said on condition of anonymity that as per rules the officers of one district could not exercise powers and authority in other district without proper authorisation.

He said that there were certain departments like education, health, agriculture, food, fisheries, accounts, finance and social welfare which had district officers while in some others district officers were yet to be posted.

“It is questionable action on the part of an officer of a department to exercise authority in other district where the very post is nonexistent as it is yet to be created by the competent authority,” he said.

However, Mr Amirullah said that there was no problem for departments whose divisional heads could carry on their administration as before. Upgradation of the tehsil headquarters hospital, Booni, to DHQ hospital status is also imperative to facilitate the people.

Sources in the health department said that the THQ hospital in its present shape could not be upgraded due to its poor physical infrastructure and lack of the needed facilities and staff.

District development advisory committee chairman Wazir Zada, when contacted, said that the situation would improve altogether as proper allocations would be made and posts sanctioned after the passage of the provincial budget for the next financial year.

He claimed that Upper Chitral would be made a model district where all modern facilities would be provided to the people by the PTI government as promised.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2019

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