JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Jalalabad municipality officials on Sunday revealed their activities in 1399 solar year at a gathering attended by citizens and civil rights activists in eastern Nangarhar province.
The municipality officials said because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they could not implement any development project from their annual budget but they executed projects worth millions of afghanis in cooperation with donor agencies.
On the other hand, civil rights activists called such gatherings as symbolic but stressed that such meetings reassure the public that the municipality heard their demands and criticism.
The accountability meeting was held in the Auditorium of Jalalabad Municipality and authorities of various departments of the municipality presented their performance reports to the public.
Abasin Baheer, Jalalabad Mayor, said the aim of the gathering was to report activities of 1399 solar year to people and hear public problems and criticism in order to address them in future.
Baheer added people complained about the city’s cleanliness and lack of order and organized market places, but assured that special plans would be made to address the aforementioned problems.
“We plan reforms for the city’s cleaning sector to address complaints in this regard; we are attempting to privatize the cleanliness sector to do \work in a best manner. New market places must have basement parking lots and we will create an outline for old markets,” he said.
Zohoor Sahak, director of Technical and Sectorial Department of Jalalabad Municipality, said they did not complete any development project in 1399 solar year from the municipality budget, but still they completed many projects worth millions of afs with the help of donor agencies.
He added Jalalabad Municipality faced a loss of 35m afs in annual revenue after removing mobile vendors from the city, but they would bring these businesses back to work because removal of one such stall resulted in an increase in the number of horse-drawn carts in the city.
Despite the fact that not all questions were answered in this accountability meeting but people said if all government administrations reported to the public, then problems and corruption would decrease to an extent.
Noor Ahmad Noorani, a participant, said under Article 50 of Afghanistan’s constitution the public had the right to monitor government activities and based on the article, Jalalabad’s municipality reported to people and they asked them questions. “It may not be very efficient but it could reduce administrative corruption”.
Hizbullah Malakhil, a civil rights’ activist and participant, said Jalalabad municipality had not thoroughly worked to in areas of cleanliness and reconstruction. But in today’s accountability meeting, he shared the aforementioned issues with the municipality.
The Jalalabad municipality holds similar accountability meetings every year.