Summer side-effects: CDA bracing for forest fires on the Margallas

Summer side-effects: CDA bracing for forest fires on the Margallas

20 May 2013

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Pakistan — ISLAMABAD– As summer kicks in, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is gearing up to counter forest fires in the Margalla Hills National Park area which are a seasonal certainty. The civic agency’s Emergency and Disaster Management (EDM) Directorate, which deals with such cases, has been placed under Member Environment, Ahsan Ali Mangi.

During his tenure as EDM Director, Mangi not only streamlined the affairs of the directorate that resulted in better performance but also introduced ‘The Islamabad Fire Prevention and Life Safety Regulations 2010’.

In another development, it has been decided to bring back several officers of the directorate, who in the absence of any command and control system, got themselves posted to other directorates.

“During the past two years around 65 firemen, who were appointed against technical posts in EDM directorate, got posted in other formations of the authority,” a senior official of the directorate said.

Ammaduddin was appointed as Deputy Chief of the directorate on contract basis but he managed to regularise his service and currently is Deputy Director Estate Management, informed the official, adding he was appointed on the most technical post keeping in mind his expertise in the field.

Mohammad Akram, a grade-18 fire and rescue specialist, was appointed Commandant Fire Directorate but is presently serving in the Capital Hospital. Similarly, Muhammad Iqbal, who was appointed as a physical training drill inspector at CDA’s Fire and Rescue Training Academy is working as Deputy Director Enforcement of the Authority.

“It was due to weak control over the directorate that a large number of technical and professional staff quit,” a senior official said.

However, Ahsan Ali Mangi while talking to The Express Tribune expressed the hope in restoring the dignity of one of the most criticised directorates of the authority. “I took over charge two days ago. The directorate has been given to me to streamline its affairs,” Mangi said.

He said retrieval of services of technical and professional staff had been taken at institutional level. “The authority is in a process of devising policy in this regard and as soon it will be conveyed to us and we will implement it,” Mangi stated.

“CDA will take effective measures to make the directorate fully functional in line with modern techniques to prevent and mitigate effects of disasters, natural calamities and emergencies, especially fires,” CDA Chairman Tahir Shahbaz said.

A press statement issued by the public relations directorate of the authority said the CDA chairman had directed members of environment and administration to take steps for early retrieval of services of technical staff of EDM directorate currently serving the other directorates.

The statement further said that the chairman showed his displeasure and concern over actions taken against the rules and policy in the past where many firemen managed to get posted out of the EDM directorate.

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