More misuse of official vehicles at CDA

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Nov 7, 2012.

Islamabad – Plans of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to end the misuse of official vehicles seem to be running into trouble.

On October 22, the CDA had ordered to bring back 291 category-3 vehicles, including 134 double cabins. These vehicles, supposed to be used only during working hours, were being put to private and personal use by some officers. The CDA had decided to form a shared, common pool of these cars, instead of each car being assigned to one official.

All 291 cars haven’t been impounded yet. Moreover, 120 cars have been returned to the officers they were recovered from, according to a senior CDA official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“Some officers have exercised their influence and personal connections to get their cars back,” the official said. “They have again started the personal use of these cars.”

Ramzan Joya, director of CDA’s administration directorate, denied this claim. He said CDA has brought back “a lot of cars.” Joya said he couldn’t remember the exact number of cars recovered, because he has been out of office for the past couple of days.

Some cars, however, have been returned.

“CDA had accidentally confiscated some field cars and had to return them,” Joya said.

Cars belonging to the environment directorates, engineering wing and some vehicles used for the health department’s campaigns were not supposed to be added to the common pool, so they have been given back to the respective directorates, Joya said.

He said the notion that influential officials have resisted the CDA orders is not true, because even cars that were being used by top officials have been recovered since late October .

“Cars belonging to the Planning Wing are in a common pool now,” Joya said. “The vehicle policy will be implemented as it is.”

CDA spokesperson Ramzan Sajid couldn’t confirm the number of cars seized for misuse and put to shared use, either. Sajid did say that bringing back all 291 cars will save CDA Rs47 million in repairs, maintenance and fuel expenditures.

Category 1 vehicles are cars which are being used by Chairman CDA and the CDA board members. Currently, the new chairman has enforced a one-vehicle policy, which means that all the board members including the chairman have returned additional vehicles.

Category 2 vehicles are those cars allotted to officials in exchange for their conveyance allowance. According to CDA’s vehicle policy, officers of grade-18 and above are entitled to category 2 vehicles. The cars are usually 800cc to 1000cc, depending on the grade and rank of the official. The officials can park these cars outside their house and put them to official use, but only official drivers or the officials themselves can drive them.

Category 3 vehicles are strictly for official use. These cars are used to perform the daily outdoor functions of the relevant directorates. These should be parked outside the directorates after office hours.

 

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