'CCBs performance unsatisfactoryÂ' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘CCBs performance unsatisfactoryÂ’

SWABI, Feb 5: Majority of the 550 Citizens Community Boards (CCBs) in the district have failed to achieve their objective of developing community through executing welfare projects for people.

“The CCBs are only involved in construction of roads and streets, and ignoring public welfare schemes,” sources told Dawn here on Monday.

An official said the CCBs were doing nothing else than carrying out construction schemes, and that too with substandard material.

The sources said that Rs20 million was available with the district government for the CCBs, while Tehsil Swabi and Tehsil Chota Lahor had separate funds for these bodies.

The local government provides project-based, cost-sharing support to the CCBs, established by former or incumbent local government members in their respective union councils.

The Devolution Trust Community Empowerment (DTCE) had run a campaign calling for the formation of CCBs and proper utilisation of funds. The DTCE also provided funds to union council nazims for creating awareness among people about CCBs and its functions.

In each union council, 25 per cent of the funds are allocated for CCBs which cannot be diverted to any other sector.

According to rules, every union council would have 10 CCBs, each comprising 25 volunteer members.

The sources said that the district and tehsil governments preferred their favourites while forming CCBs.

“In fact, the local bodies’ representatives are more interested in achieving personal objectives rather than paying heed to welfare activities,” they added.

Insiders said that tehsil council of Swabi had withdrawn funds allocated for a CCB, which was against the local government laws. The concerned CCB had moved Peshawar High Court against the move, they added.

Established under the Local Government System, the CCBs are run by a group of non-elected citizens to enable the community to develop through various welfare initiatives for the handicapped, the destitute, widows and orphans. However, insiders said these outlined objectives could hardly be achieved.

“Officials and district governments lack experience of working alongside the citizens at the lower level,” said an official.

“The establishment of CCBs was not an easy task. We had to literally beg of the people to come forward and become members of these bodies,” he said.

However, the sources said that some CCBs only existed on paper and availed funds.
Source: Dawn
Date:1/6/2007