The Rawalpindi District Administration has set up Ramazan markets in 16 areas of the district on directives from the Punjab government to provide kitchen items and other essentials of daily use on subsidized rate. Meat, chicken, vegetables, fruits, edibles, sugar and cooking oil would be sold at the markets at subsidized rates approved by the Punjab government.
Funds to set up the markets will be borne by the district administration, while the municipal corporation and Tehsil committees will provide manpower for the markets in two shifts.
However, complaints of shortage of staff were registered on the first day of the Holy month and providing manpower might be a challenge for the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) in the days to come. A senior RMC official said they had no choice but to halt the city’s anti-encroachment drive for the markets, as 90 officials need to be deployed in two shifts.
RMC to halt anti-encroachment drive to deploy staff at markets, the official further says. The official said there were four teams of 10-members each deployed in four sectors in the city, and 50 officials from various branches would be deployed at the markets. “The anti-encroachment drive was launched last month on directives from the Punjab government but now the Deputy Commissioner and Rawalpindi mayor have been informed of the latest situation in the municipal corporation,” he said.
RMC officials would be posted to the sugar counter, where sugar provided by the Punjab government is being sold at subsidized rates. However the district administration is still far from deploying its own staff to these counters so the RMC can concentrate on the anti-encroachment drive.
The official added that the PML-N did not want to create problems for traders and shopkeepers in Ramazan, which is why it had directed all available staff be deployed at the Ramazan markets. “The government officials of the relevant departments would perform duties in two shifts, from 8am to 1pm, and from 1pm to 6pm,” he said.
Deputy commissioner also reviewed the arrangements for the Ramazan markets in Rawalpindi, Gujar Khan, Murree, Taxila, Kahuta, Kotli Sattian and Kalar Syedan. The DC directed the Islamabad Electric Supply Company not to carry out scheduled power cuts at the markets in the city for those visiting and working at the markets.
He has also asked the assistant commissioners from seven tehsils to ensure medical camps are present in the markets and tents, fans, chairs and trolleys are available. A special counter for elderly citizens should also be set up, he said. He directed the administration to conduct raids to check that price lists issued by the administration are being implemented in the markets, adding: “Licences of stallholders in the Ramazan bazaars who sell substandard food items and do not follow the price list issued by the district administration will be cancelled.”