Erstwhile KP civic bodies: Rural staff waiting for adjustment
PESHAWAR, Feb 16: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has yet to decide the fate of hundreds of employees of the erstwhile tehsil and town municipal administrations in the province, who served in the rural areas before becoming redundant due to revival of the old local government system, according to the relevant officials.
The officials told Dawn on Saturday that under the Local Government Ordinance, 2001, there was no distinction between rural and urban areas in the provision of civic facilities, including sanitation.
They said after the revival of the old local government system lately, the facilities being provided to rural areas were withdrawn and the employees working in rural union councils lost justification to stay within district councils as there was no provision for their job in the old system.
The officials said under the circumstances, the administrations of Peshawar Municipal Corporation and municipal committees in rest of the province were left with no option but to absorb these employees.
However, they added, the administrative heads of these civic bodies had expressed their inability to adjust such employees due to overstaffing and financial crisis.
The officials said most of the civic bodies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, especially the erstwhile Town-1, Peshawar, had been facing financial problems for a few years for being unable to generate funds from their own resources.
They said these bodies mostly relied on the annual financial support given by the government.
The officials said adjustment of hundreds of employees would aggravate the financial crisis of the municipal corporation and committees.
They said the rural and urban areas were bifurcated after the enforcement of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act, 2012 on Jan 1 of the current year.
According to them, the Act’s enforcement led to creation of district councils and municipal corporation in Peshawar and municipal committees in all 25 districts of the province.
The officials said on May 8, 2012, the provincial assembly had passed the law pertaining to revival of the old local government system but the law was enforced seven months later without preparation.
They said since the law’s enforcement, the local government and rural development department had been slowing working on the establishment of the municipal corporation, committees and district councils.
Several senior officials of the department told Dawn that they had yet to prepare list of employees to be adjusted to the municipal corporation and committees from rural union councils falling in district councils.
They said the administrative chiefs of the civic bodies in urban areas had conveyed their concerns to the department regarding adjustment of the sanitation staff in municipal corporation and committees.
The chief of a municipal committee said the government had recruited a large number of people for different positions in civic bodies particularly the sanitation staff.
He said surplus employees had become a financial burden for civic bodies.
“I am struggling to pay salary to the existing employees. Now tell me how I will pay salary to those to be shifted from the district council,” he said.
A senior official in district coordination office of Peshawar said the sanitation staff would be adjusted in Peshawar Municipal Corporation.
He said if the corporation refused to absorb them, then there were some semi-developed areas in the limits of Peshawar district council, where they would be deployed.