Islamabad zoo taken away from CDA ISLAMABAD: The tug-of-war between the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) over the control of Marghazar Zoo, Lake View Park and F-9 Park ended on Monday after the prime minister ordered CDA to hand over control of these facilities to the IMC.
Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz had overtly criticised the CDA for not handing administrative control of these three income-generating facilities to the IMC. He had said in the past that CDA had devolved all broken and dilapidated public parks to the IMC and was reluctant to hand over the income generating ones.
On Monday, the prime minister chaired a meeting to discuss the issue between the civic agency and the newly-formed corporation, which was attended by the State Minister for the Capital Administrative and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Mayor Aziz, CDA Chairman Maroof Afzal and CDA Member Administration Amir Ahmed Ali.
Arguing his case, the mayor told the prime minister that the three facilities should have been devolved to the IMC as per the Local Government Act, sources privy to the meeting said.
Rawal Lake, F-9 parks also devolved to IMC, mayor says corporation will come up with own policies
PM Sharif then asked the CDA chairman about the Local Government Act and after hearing both sides, directed the CADD minister and CDA to hand over administrative control of the three leisure facilities to the IMC.
The CADD ministry also issued a press release, saying that CDA has handed over the administrative control of the zoo and the two parks to the corporation.
In the statement, the CADD minister is quoted as saying that the facilities have been delegated to lower levels of administration to strengthen the hands of the local leadership.
CDA has been often criticised recently for not running the zoo properly and more so because of the six animal deaths over the last six months. The civic agency has also received criticism for the deplorable conditions under which Kavaan, the lone elephant, is made to live.
CDA was all set to outsource management of the zoo to a private entity through the controversial Design, Build, Operate and Transfer initiative. The city managers spent Rs6 million on advertisements calling for expressions of interest from local and international firms.
Sources say no international firm had submitted an expression of interest, though four local ones did, which were being scrutinised by the CDA.
But after the prime minister’s intervention, the CDA no longer has a role in the project.
“On the directions of the prime minister, we have been given three recreational facilities today and we will be running the zoo and the two parks,” Mayor Aziz said.
When asked about CDA calling for expression of interest for upgrading the zoo, the mayor said: “We will not continue with the project and will make our own policies.”
The mayor said that the prime minister had also allowed the IMC to set up an independent Building Control Section for regulating buildings in Islamabad.
A CDA officer Dawn spoke to said that though the Local Government Act called for the three recreational facilities to be devolved to IMC, some officers in the civic agency had been reluctant to hand them over.