Public appalled at local government’s priorities : District nazim’s new office
District Officer (Planning) Mushtaq Tariq told Dawn that the nazim’s office building would be constructed at a cost of Rs8.2 million by end of June this year. He said the offices of the district nazim and naib nazim were already functioning in the district council building, but the Punjab government had planned to construct a new office for the nazim and his staff. All nazims would have separate offices across Punjab.He said the construction had been started after the approval of the district council. The officials, he said, initially approved a car porch in front of the office’s main gate but at a later stage they cancelled the porch construction when more than half of the work on it had been completed.The amount spent on the porch construction thus went down the drain, he deplored, adding that the incomplete porch structure was still there in front of the district council’s building main gate.Sources said a commission mafia was in pursuit of minting money from this project as it did with various district government departments. They said Vehari was the first district which would have a separate office for nazim.On the other hand, social circles have taken exception to the government for wasting resources on such projects and ignoring the basic problems like availability of medicines in the government hospitals, provision of potable water and many such facilities.District Naib Nazim Muhammad Yousaf Kathalia, however, defended the decision saying a separate office for the nazim and his staff was necessary because of overcrowding in the district council building. He said the staff and record of the nazim’s office would be betteraccommodated in the new office and he would also have an opportunity to perform better.He, however, had no satisfactory answer to the wasteful expenditure on the porch.Mr Kathalia denied any mafia’s operation in the district and said the project was accorded approval on merit by the district council.