Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Two bureaucrats appointed to head split DCC

EC rules out poll within 90 days
The government Sunday appointed two senior bureaucrats as administrators for the newly split Dhaka City Corporations under the new rules passed in parliament last month.
An official announcement said Director General of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) Khorshed Alam Chowdhury has been appointed administrator to DCC North while additional secretary to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education Khalilur Rahman was given the responsibility of DCC South.
Both of them belong to BCS 1982 batch administration cadre and now are of the rank of additional secretary to the government.
Their appointments completed the division of the decades-old single entity of DCC headed by its last elected mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
It also coincided with the dawn-to-dusk hartal enforced by the BNP in the capital Sunday to protest against the rushed government move to split the DCC despite political and public criticism.
Meanwhile, chief executive officer of the now-defunct DCC Md Abul Kalam Azad has been posted to the primary education ministry as additional secretary.
Earlier, state minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanak Sunday told reporters that the government will appoint two secretary-level officials as chief executive officers (CEO) for DCC North and DCC South for conducting its activities smoothly.
“We will also appoint secretaries for the two corporations soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, the LGRD ministry sent a letter to the Election Commission (EC) on Sunday requesting the Commission to hold the election to the bifurcated DCC within 90 days.
“The government will extend necessary support to the EC for holding the polls,” Nanak also said, adding that they would sit with the existing DCC employees and staff to assure them that none will lose job.
Talking to The Independent, new administrator of the DCC North Md Khalilur Rahman said that he will join his new position after receiving the official order from the authorities concerned.
“I will try to perform my duty properly as per requirement of the people of the city,” Khalil added referring to the challenges ahead of him.
Official sources said the DCC South will continue to have its office at the Nagar Bhaban in downtown Gulistan area. For the DCC North, there will be temporary offices at Gulshan Mayor House and Banani Community Centre.
On November 29, parliament hurriedly passed a bill to split the DCC into two entities despite protests by the opposition and DCC employees.
Meanwhile, DCC officials whose services were put under the new DCCs, are working round-the-clock to formulate an organogram for smooth functioning of the two units.
“One of the major challenges is to depute the existing officials and staff of the defunct DCC to the two bodies,” a high official told The Independent on condition not to be named.
He said another problem relates to the existing residential facilities for the DCC staff, mostly located in old Dhaka. Only the official quarters are located in North Dhaka in Banani, he said.
Meanwhile, Election commissioner Muhammed Sohul Hussain on Sunday said it will not be possible to hold elections in the two units of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) within 90 days under the present election commission (EC).
“The tenure of the present EC will expire in February. That’s why it will not be able to hold the two DCC polls within the time frame. The EC will inform the matter to the government,” Hussain told reporters at the EC secretariat here on Sunday. Election commissioner M Sakhawat Hossain was also present.
“An EC should make complete preparations for holding free and fair elections,” he added. However, he said the complexity will be created between the two commissions about holding the elections. It is not possible to hold two DCC polls within 90 days, he added.
“The chief election commissioner (CEC) is now abroad. When he returns to the country, the EC will take a final call on the matter at the commission meeting next week,” he said.
About the local government and rural development (LGRD) ministry letter, Sohul said, “We did not get any letter from the LGRD ministry. The EC will formally send a letter to the government citing the reasons for not holding the polls within 90 days after receiving the letter from the ministry.”
He added that the elections should be held under one commission. “We did not want to keep any elections half-done. But the EC is yet to take the final call,” he said.
“It will be difficult to hold elections to two units of DCC within 90 days after publishing the gazette notification,” said M Sakhawat Hossain.
He added that EC will try to see any means to increase the time frame of holding the elections after receiving the published gazette of splitting the DCC into two. However, the commissioner said it will not be possible to use electronic voting machine (EVMs) in elections for time constraints.
Earlier, state minister for LGRD ministry Jahangir Kabir Nanak on Sunday told reporters that the government has sent a letter to the EC for holding the elections within 90 days.

-With The Independent input

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