Friday October 07, 2022

New commissioner likely to hold the reins tight in capital

August 18, 2022

Islamabad : The Establishment Division transferred the Commissioner of Lahore, Capt (r) Muhammad Usman, and posted him as the Chief Commissioner, Islamabad Capital Territory. Capt (r) Usman assumed charge of his new office on Wednesday, August 17.

The Grade-21 officer of PAS (Pakistan Administrative Service), Amer Ali Ahmad has left his office as the Chief Commissioner Islamabad adding rich credentials and contributing remarkable performance to the development of the Federal Capital City.

Capt (r) Usman, a Grade-20 officer of PAS (Pakistan Administrative Service) has replaced Amir Ali Ahmed, a Grade-21 officer from 25th Common, who held the position of Chief Commissioner and Chairman Capital Development Authority since 2019.

This will be the first time in his career that Capt (r) Usman is coming to Islamabad to serve. Keeping in view his previous record as Commissioner Lahore, where he reportedly did a lot of development and rehabilitation work one expects him to hold the reins tight in Islamabad as well.

However, he would be required to go an extra mile to match or come close to the records of development and management set by the outgoing Chief Commissioner-cum-CDA chairman.

Amer Ali Ahmed, son of the well-known bureaucrat, Saeed Mehdi, who was the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while in office as Chairman of the CDA has set such records which would be hard to maintain if not surpass. So, there are tough times ahead for the new CDA Boss!

Amer Ali Ahmed took over the charge of Chief Commissioner in November 2018 and later in 2019, he was given the Charge of CDA chairman for 3-months, which continued till 2021 when the necessary legal amendments were made, enabling him to hold both offices at the same time.

When Amer Ali Ahmed took over the charge of CDA as Chairman the Authority was running into Rs7 billion losses every year. And the time he left charge of his assignment the CDA has Rs32 billion in its kitty.

During his tenure in office, the CDA launched and completed a number of major projects including transforming the Srinagar Highway a signal-free avenue from the Convention Centre inter-section right up to the new Islamabad Airport. Other projects include the Rawal Chowk fly-over, the G-7-G-8 underpass, the 7th Avenue-Srinagar Highway flyover, and the PWD Underpass on Islamabad Highway.

In the public transport system, the 'Orange Line’ bus service from Faizabad to the new Islamabad International Airport, the Green Line, Blue Line, and Red Line bus services on the routes where people faced acute transportation problems were also launched over the last four months’ time.

In the Environment Sector, the CDA launched a number of initiatives to restore the green cover of the federal capital as well added to its beauty. The parks were rehabilitated, green belts were improved and gravelled walkways with lights were developed, inviting people to start a healthy life.

The Wetlands project on streams and brooks running down from Margalla hills to Rawal Lake was launched to arrest water pollution in Rawal Lake. In consultation with SPARCO, the CDA launched a 100 recharge wells project to prevent sub-soil water level depletion. Out of 100, 40 of these re-charge wells have already been completed.

During his tenure, the CDA not only upgraded the Capital Hospital of the Authority but also added a new block with 200-bed capacity.

The ‘Facilitation Centre’ for public with one-window operations to resolve their issues was also launched in Sector G-7 and for the issues related to lands, plot transfers and other related matters a Help Line ‘1819’was launched for general public and they were not required to visit the CDA offices and wait in long queues.

So, the task for the new Chief Commissioner-Chairman CDA, Capt (r) Muhammad Usman would be an uphill one. Capt. Usman has been a distinguished career officer of PAS and has served as Deputy Commissioner in many districts before becoming Commissioner Lahore Division.

It is hoped that Capt (r) Muhammad Usman will settle in the saddle quickly and will take both Islamabad and the CDA forward from where he will hold the reins.