Tuesday December 05, 2023

CM decides to appoint municipal magistrates to penalise garbage throwers

By Our Correspondent
October 01, 2023

Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar while presiding over a meeting of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) on Saturday took several decisions such as the appointment of municipal magistrates and inspectors in the city and recovery of the SSWMB’s outstanding dues from industrialists.

He also ordered an inquiry into the allotment of a plot to a private person in the area reserved for landfill in Jam Chakro.

The interim CM also directed the local government and other provincial departments to install cameras to monitor the ongoing development work and keep their recording to check lapses, inefficiencies and negligence.

“I want the senior officers to set up their camp offices at the project sites to monitor the performance of the ongoing works,” he said.

The meeting held at the CM House was attended by Local Government Minister Mubin Jumani, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab, Principal Secretary to CM Hassan Naqvi, Local Government Secretary Manzoor Shaikh and other senior officials.

SSWMB Managing Director (MD) Imtiaz Shah informed the CM that there were three main tiers of solid waste management system in the city, including front-end collection (residential, commercial, rural, industrial, and bulk municipal solid waste), GTS/middle-end collection and landfill site operations.

The CM was told that the main components of the front-end collection had been assigned to contractors and they included door-to-door collection, revamping of dustbins and containers, manual sweeping and mechanical sweeping, road washing, attending to community trash bins, public awareness drives, establishment of scientific command and control system and complaint management system.

The CM said he had gone on the city’s tour twice and witnessed filth and garbage lying along the roads or in the greenbelt areas. He remarked that it was not acceptable to him and the SSWMB must constitute teams to inspect cleanliness work on a weekly basis.

Justice (retd) Baqar said the contracting firms were charging huge amounts of money for the services they were bound to provide but due to the weak or altogether absent inspection system, these firms were taking advantage of the situation.

He directed the local government department to constitute subsidiary agencies of the SSWMB at the provincial and divisional levels so that their work could be streamlined.

The SSWMB MD said solid waste disposal services were being provided in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana. The CM directed him to ensure proper sweeping and lifting of garbage in these area.

Wahab pointed out that builders dumped their debris along roads in the city and shopkeepers and households were also throwing their trash on streets.

To this, the CM decided to appoint municipal magistrates and inspectors so that they keep checking irresponsible throwing of trash and dumping of debris on roads and penalise the delinquent persons.

He added that the magistrates would also be empowered to check the cases of wall graffiti on roads.

The CM was told that the SSWMB had entered into an agreement with the Korangi Association of Trade & Industry (KATI), Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), Korangi Creek Industrial Park (KCIP) and SITE Association of Trade & Industry for providing them waste disposal services.

As per the agreed arrangements, the SSWMB was providing front-end waste collection services at these industrial sites. The meeting was informed that the KATI, PTA and KCIP had been mostly abiding by their agreement and regularly paying service charges but, the SITE Association of Trade & Industry had stopped making payments of accrued outstanding dues of Rs.94.752 million.

The CM directed the local government department, SITE managing director and mayor to recover the SSWMB’s dues from the SITE Association.

It was said that the SSWMB had launched a mobile complaint system helpline 1128 in Karachi and the complaints launched through its mobile application were geo-fenced and captured live pictures.

Those complaints were directly transferred to the relevant staff and the company had to respond to them in less than eight hours. In case of delay, a penalty was imposed on the company in monthly mills.

It was said that the SSWMB in collaboration with the UKAID and a UK-based NGO, Tearfund, had installed two waste-to-compost plants in Karachi.

One plant had a daily capacity of 25 tonnes of compost and was functional in Baldia Town, and the second plant with the same capacity had recently been installed at Sharafi Goth, Malir.

SWEEP project

Solid Waste Emergency & Efficiency Project (SWEEP) Project Director Zubair Channa briefed the CM about the World Bank-sponsored project.

The project has been launched with the objectives of addressing problems of urban flooding in Karachi, and transforming urban areas into eco-friendly sustainable cities by curbing urban pollution through the proper transfer of waste.

The CM was told that the preparation of the design of the Jam Chakro landfill site was at an advanced stage.

Channa said a portion of the land reserved for the Jam Chakro landfill site had been allotted to a private party. The CM expressed his displeasure at this and directed the Board of Revenue to conduct an inquiry into the matter and report to him.