Performance Of Local Govt KP In First 6 months of 2020
The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have always shown immense maturity in politics and they always take the sanest decision while casting their votes. Since the 1st ever elections in Pakistan, this province never reelected a party for a consecutive 2nd term because it would fail to deliver what it promised. It was the General Elections of 2018 when the proud citizens of this province reelected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for the 1st ever 2nd consecutive term to govern their province. This is the living proof that the party delivered what it had promised.
Satisfying the aware people of KP is no easy task and revamping the dead Local Government system was the magic card PTI played to win its people’s hearts. With time, the department began to flourish by shaking off its dead weight of unwanted legal shackles as it introduced the amended Local Government Act, 2013. Soon, the department took a supersonic flight and startled people with its potential. Consistently working towards its aim, it buffed itself up by empowering its associate departments and systematically raising the bar for itself with every passing day. However, there were still some faltering matters where the department was bound to retrieve from excelling due to political opposition from the then Federal Government of PMLN.
In 2018, when the people elected PTI for the federal government, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Local Government Department also buckled up for a long-awaited revamp. People of KP were also looking up to the department as it had succeeded in igniting the flame of hope in the hearts of the general folk. With the federal government at its side, KP Local Government took a fresh start and began to reach people on a grass root level and discover the root causes of many local issues. With the revised leadership, it began evolving at an unprecedented rate. People started to see vivid changes, and for the first time in history, they felt proud of their right to vote. The year 2020 has been amazingly bright for the department. It can now engage people on a very personal level and understand the fundamental hurdles that the predecessors were unable to locate or resolve.
KP Local Government Department became a symbol for enforcing government orders and decisions for the public's betterment. It took up the challenge of mass awareness through hybrid campaigns for cleanliness like Mujhse Saaf KP, where the public was taken onboard. People understood the government's message that to stay clean, they will have to become responsible stakeholders. The department adopted a new approach and involved every public field in playing its part. From students to office employees – everyone was made part of the campaign. Such behavior from a government department was unprecedented where the minister and his office were directly accessible to the people.
The department reported its highest number of successful complaint resolutions on the Prime Minister’s Citizen Portal. The satisfaction ratio on the portal jumped from 44% to 59% in the first three months of 2020. This was one of the first significant impacts witnessed as a result of the revised leadership for the ministry. People began to realize that their problems were prioritized by the government and that it is appropriately responding in real-time. The Number of escalated complaints on behalf of the department also dropped from 57 in January to only 9 in March of 2020.
Pleasant surprises for the people kept coming as a zero-tolerance policy was promised and delivered for non-serious employees of the department. Evidently, two legal advisors for TMA were rusticated in Mardan for working as ghost employees. WSSCs across the province had an untapped potential going to waste for a long time. Recently, their whole structure has been revised, and the organization is practicing duties in double shifts across the major WSSCs in KP. A digitalized integration also became a part of their organizational skeleton as the entire financial records, along with the payroll and HR sections of the WSSCs are now paper-free.
With the streak of projects initiating and being swiftly implemented, all the functionaries of the department continue to evolve. In line with the directives issued from the Prime Minister’s office regarding assisting the construction industry, the department has successfully initiated 15 units of “One Window Service” for the industry. With the increasing need for high rise buildings in the major cities of KP, a designated window for such buildings is also a part of the initiative. Now the applicants do not have to wait for months to get approvals for their building plans. The entire process has been shrunk to a single-window operation, and the waiting periods for certain approvals have been reduced from 2 months to as little as ten days only.
The biggest housing society (after completion) Regi Model Town was sidelined for decades due to different political and legal disputes. KP Local Department decided to focus on resolving all the disputes and took every concerned department on board. For this purpose, the security agencies, Law department, infrastructure departments, and every other concerned department was brought to the discussion table, and as a result, the Peshawar Development Authority HQ is soon going to shift to RMT. This smart decision will not only fast track the completion of RMT, but it will also allow the current building of PDA to be used for commercial purposes. The building has hundreds of rooms and can be used as a potential infrastructure facility by different private sectors.
Special initiatives have been taken since January of 2020 to up the game of horticulture in the province. Consultants were hired to professionally assist TMAs across KP to improve the conditions of different potential horticulture sites. The initiative also includes uplifting the public parks, gardens, and recreational spots and increasing their beauty. The project has yielded immense positive results as different parks across KP have started to get reshaped, and public appreciation on every platform is the living proof of the success of the initiative. It is yet to complete its initial run of 1 year, and already, the results are very promising.
It was this leadership for the department that showed with its actions how the rule of law is upheld. With stout support from KP CM Mr. Mahmood Khan, the department has also shattered the strongholds of unenthusiastic employees by issuing transfer orders of nearly 50 such employees (BPS 11 to BPS 19). These orders brought new and young employees to the fronts who are giving their valuable input to the department. The transferred employees have been given a fair warning by the ministry to get their affairs in line as the ministry is strictly upholding its promise of zero tolerance for negligence.
People are witnessing KP Local Government Department as an actual enforcing body for government orders as DC offices across KP have been exceptionally assisted by the department to fight the war against polio. Village secretaries from the entire KP joined hands with the DC-lead polio teams and are continuously carrying out door to door campaigns to eradicate polio at its grass root level. The village secretaries have been utilized as a strong working unit as they have been lead to make notable contributions in implementing directives from the ministry and administration.
TMAs across KP have also gone to new limits in performing their duties with passion and responsibility. The department acknowledges that KP has the highest potential in tourism across Pakistan and has always kept the maintenance of such spots on high priority by working tirelessly both on and off the screen. The famous river in Swat under Mingora Bridge was polluted with sewerage and artificial waste for decades, and the scenic beauty of the city was diluted. TMA Swat took up this daunting challenge and is cleaning the site on a daily basis. With the help of the CM office, sewerage treatment plants are under process in populous cities like Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, and famous tourist destinations like Abbottabad and Mingora.
The department’s performance became visible enough, and international communities reached out as well to give their input. Community Driven Local Development (CDLD) from Europe returned to join hands with the department once again. The department has also received contributions from various international bodies like the Islamic Development Bank and King Abdul Aziz Program as assistance in the fight against Covid-19. This clearly signals towards a better performing department – one that has the trust of people.
When the CoronaVirus hit the world, the Local Government department was the first to respond to fight the virus. It stood firmly on the frontlines against the virus and performed its responsibilities. Be it spraying the entire TMAs with disinfectants or providing 100s of public handwashing points across the province with special water; the Local Government has taken every step necessary and possible to ward off the virus as much as possible. The department once again utilized the VC secretaries and made awareness announcements about the virus and different government initiatives. An astonishing –more than 460,000 – announcements have been made so far to aware the people about the virus, and the process continues. They have also been the helping hand for the dissemination of relief funds for Corona hit families from the PM’s Ehsaas Program.
The passionate employees of KP Local Government did not even hesitate to go beyond their job descriptions in helping the local people. In Italy, where the relatives of the deceased were reluctant to go near the dead bodies of their loved ones in fear of contracting the virus, and the army was burying the dead bodies in mass graves, KP local department employees performed the last rituals of the people killed by the virus and arranged proper burials for the dead ones. Such respect and humility have not been witnessed anywhere else.
The department is also in close contact with the health department and is continuously monitoring its own strategies for handling the situation. Various quarantine zones have been established on an emergency basis across the province, and excellent facilities have been provided to the quarantined patients. While utilizing billions of rupees for maintaining the province, the department has pulled off an impressive feat on the sides. It carried out more than half a million cleanliness activities in a short span of 60 days. TMAs across the province teamed up with the rescue department and WSSCs to clean the province in order to tackle the upcoming dengue season in advance. In April, the international survey agency Gallup released its survey of how the Pakistani people see their provincial governments when it comes to handling the Corona situation. 90% of KP folks were fully satisfied with how the government was handling the virus situation.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government has evolved from a saggy and dragged down department into a stallion that knows its terrain. It has become the beacon of hope for the people by setting examples in the shortest span of time possible – mere months. Even with a lockdown situation across the country, the department is outdoing many departments in performance delivery, and public feedback is the living proof of this claim. For the people, it has turned out to be the new phenomenon in public service, and they are confident that the ministry has all the potential required to deliver – even in challenging situations like the current ones. With public trust, passionate functionaries, and honest leadership, the department now has the potential to change the face of the entire province, and it is well on its way to doing so.
Information about these initiatives on Twitter can be easily found under #LocalGovtKP