Residents of 36 wards of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) are being deprived of proper civic services due to lack of ward secretaries.
The administrative work of the wards is also being hampered as private secretaries to the ward councilors are carrying out the duties of ward secretaries.
Councilors of the wards have also expressed their dissatisfaction with long delay in appointing of secretaries.
DNCC secretary Mohammed Masud Alam Siddique said the government will appoint secretaries to the wards very soon after creating the post.
“We are going to appoint the ward secretary in all 18 wards under the DNCC very soon. There was no such post for new 18 wards. The government has to create the post for appointing sectaries. It is almost completed,” he said while addressing the corporation’s board meeting recently.
Asked, DSCC assistant secretary-2 Mohammad Shahjahan said that he did not have any information about the appointment of ward secretaries in new wards.
DNCC 46 no ward councilor Md Jahidul Islam Mollah in the 8th board meeting said that the civic services of his ward was being disrupted due to lack of ward secretary.
Officials of other departments of the government that have to coordinate with the ward office said they were facing hurdles to continue their work.
Seeking anonymity, a field officer of the social welfare department, said, “I am working for different safety net programmes, including old-age allowance and deserted, destitute and widowed women allowance, in four wards under the DNCC. I have to coordinate with ward office, but there were no ward secretary.” She also said that the personal secretaries of the councilors behaved disgracefully towards her.
“Personal sectaries are doing the work of ward secretary. Basically, the personal secretaries are basically the political persons, who are loyal to councilors. They don’t have the required knowledge about the system and sometimes they behave badly towards me.”
Echoing councilor Jahidul, DSCC 61 no ward councillor Jummon Mia said said, “I have to pay the personal secretary Tk 12,000 monthly salary from my pocket. If the government appoints them, I won’t have to pay the salary,”
He also said that the person is carrying out the duties like making citizenship, inheritance, and character certificates and coordinating vaccination and mosquito control activities.
DSCC 75 no ward councillor Md Akbar Hossain said, “We need a full-time staff for delivering public services. We have no ward secretary. We are facing troubles, but we cannot keep the service stopped. We are trying to serve people with hired staff.”
“We are hearing for many days that we will get the ward secretary, but yet to get a regular staff. It is an urgent need for us, said councilor Akbar.
Many residents alleged that the private secretary is a political figure and sometimes they behaved badly towards them and don’t understand the administrative work. Sources said that the 36 wards were previously 16 unions. Beraid, Badda, Bhatara, Satarkul, Horirampur, Uttarkhan, Dakkhinkhan and Dumni were included in the DNCC while Shyampur, Matuail, Demra, Dania, Sarulia, Dakkhingaon, Nasirabad, and Manda in the DSCC.
The unions were included in DSCC and DNCC through a gazette notification in July 2017.