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March 15, 2016

Locals to get timber permits within 60 days


March 15, 2016

Time-bound public service

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to allow the provision of timber to the locals for construction of houses as time-bound public service.

The government also launched a campaign to integrate the working of Public Services Commission to the newly-inducted local governance institutions in the province.An elaborate awareness campaign has been designed to educate the local councillors at all tiers of the local governance on the 15 services notified by the provincial government to be delivered in a stipulated time period.

The awareness campaign was necessitated by the nature of the notified services as most fall in the ambit of their public duty as elected representatives.

While chairing a meeting on March 3 to take up the issue of ban on tree-cutting in all kinds of forests, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak directed the relevant departments that in public sector buildings, including schools and hospitals, the use of wood materials in doors, windows and ventilators should be avoided and instead aluminum and steel should be used to conserve and protect forests in the province.

According to the letter of the Chief Minster’s Secretariat to the departments concerned, he directed that the issuance of permits and provision of wood to the locals for construction of houses, by the respective Forest department authorities within 60 days should be made mandatory.

The chief minister also directed that issuance of permits and provision of wood to the locals should immediately be made part of the public services as envisaged in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Services Act 14.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Public Services Commission has initiated necessary action in this regard. Through a letter on March 11, it coordinated with the Forest, Environment and Wildlife Department to notify ‘issuance of wood permits to a citizen for construction of house’ as public service under section 4 (3) of the Right To Public Services Act 2014.

It is going to be the 16th public service that would be provided in stipulated time period by the respective department. The previous time-bound public services include registration of the FIR (first information report), domicile certificate, “fard” (land record), birth and death certificates, examination in hospital emergency and outdoor patients department (OPD), issuance of learner, issuance and renewal of driving licence, verification of arm licence, Zakat funds (dowry) release to local committee, water connection, building plan, provision of potable water and garbage waste disposal.

According to the documents shared with The News, a marked improvement in the service delivery, particularly those notified under the Right To Public Services Act, has been witnessed after the fresh awareness campaign for the recently-elected councillors, district administration, and village and neighbourhood councils’ secretaries to familiarize them with the Right To Public Services law and working of the commission.

Seminars for the councillors in Swat and Nowshera have already been organized to acquaint them with the new law and time-bound delivery public services notified under it.Last year, 90.68 percent of the citizens were provided the requested public services within the stipulated time. Only 9.32 percent of the citizens were provided the services they sought beyond stipulated time.The commission had to intervene and initiate action in around 40 cases where the citizens could not get timely relief.

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