The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration and the Metropolitan Corporation (MCI) are at loggerheads over the control of weekly bazaars as the latter has refused to hand them over to the local administration.
Last month, the ICT administration through an official letter requested the CDA to hand over the administrative control of the four weekly bazaars in Sector I-9, H-9, G-11 and G-6.
The letter said under the ICT Agriculture Produce Market Ordinance 2002 and the ICT Agriculture Produce General Market Rules 2014, a market committee of the local administration was supposed to run the bazaars to have a check on the agricultural products.
The bazaars were established by the CDA and following the local government elections their administrative control was devolved to the MCI.
At present the directorate of municipal administration of the MCI is managing the bazaars.
The ICT had requested CDA Chairman Sheikh Ansar Aziz, who is also the mayor of the city, to hand over the bazaars to the ICT market committee.
Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz rejects ICT administration’s demand for handing over of the bazaars
Following the letter, the vendors of the bazaars staged several protest demonstrations, asking the mayor not to accept the demand.
“In response to the letter, we informed the ICT administration that under the Agriculture Produce Market Ordinance 2002 and the ICT Agriculture Produce General Market Rules 2014, there was no question of (ICT administration) getting administrative control of the bazaars,” the mayor told Dawn.
The weekly bazaars are one of the main income generating sources for the cash-strapped MCI. Officials in the MCI said a couple of years ago the ICT administration had also tried to get control of the weekly bazaars.
They claimed that the agriculture ordinance had nothing to do with getting control of the bazaars.
“Some officials of the ICT are trying to get control of the weekly bazaars but we will not allow them to do so,” said an official of the MCI, who requested not to be named.
In the letter, the ICT administration argued that under the ordinance the administrative control of the I-11 fruit and vegetable market had been handed over to the market committee, adding it was the mandate of the market committee to also run the Sunday bazaars.
The ICT administration had said retailers in the vegetable market would be moved to the weekly bazaars in order to restore the status of the wholesale market.
When contacted, ICT Director Agriculture Lubna Ghayas told Dawn that according to the agriculture market ordinance the committee was authorised to supervise the business of agricultural products such as vegetables, fruits, chicken and fish in Islamabad, including the weekly bazaars.
“On Friday, the CDA/MCI informed us that they are not going to hand over the control of the bazaars to us. We will again take up the issue with them. How they can negate the agriculture ordinance,” she said, adding earlier the CDA had agreed to hand over the control of the weekly bazaars.
Meanwhile, employees of the CDA/MCI staged a protest demonstration at the main CDA building against the transfer of assets and employees from the CDA to the MCI.
Addressing the protesters, CDA Employees Union general secretary Chaudhry Yasin said they would resist the handing over of the weekly bazaars to the local administration.
Abbasi, Kashif. Capital admin, MCI at loggerheads over weekly bazaars. Dawn, January 16, 2017.