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Saturday April 20, 2024

Every vacant plot in Pindi is a garbage dump

By Our Correspondent
February 25, 2024

Rawalpindi : I have a few neighbours who have decided to use the vacant plot in front of my house as a personal dumping ground for garbage. I know who owns this vacant plot. It is the Pakistan Railways, which has developed a Railway Colony Loi Bher along the Railway tracks.

“I have complained to the concerned Railway officials several times to either build a tall fence around or clean up the plot line where my house abuts. I have even asked my neighbours if they could please remove the garbage, and not to do this anymore, says Nasir Zaidi.

Representational image of a garbage dump. — APP File
Representational image of a garbage dump. — APP File

“Although I have made it clear that I mean business their behaviour makes things troublesome for me. They become irate and belligerent, saying that the garbage is on Railway property, not mine. They thought it was childish as well as un-neighbourly of me to ask them to do this and did not appreciate this kind of attitude in the neighbourhood,” says Nafees Ali.

“The dilemma is not limited to poor neighbourhoods but is also normal in several posh localities of the city, where large mansion-like homes stand next to vacant sites filled with garbage, making the lives of people in homes along the street, a smell-spewing hell. Not only do they have to put up with the unbearable disgusting odor, but also the dogs that emerge on the garbage heaps that only grow with time,” says Safeer Hussain from Scheme-III.

“The problem worsens during the monsoon when water logging on the sites creates more of a mosquito menace than usual. Not only do the heaps of garbage dumped on vacant sites give rise to diseases like malaria, dengue, and allergies, but the insects produced from the piles of garbage contaminate the underground water table making the water unfit for drinking,” says Munir Haider.

“Civic authorities spend a huge amount annually on door-to-door collection of garbage and transportation to the dumping yards. However, this is a waste of money as the garbage does not seem to be reaching the dumping yards and it is deplorable that in many cases the civic workers themselves dump garbage on vacant sites,” says Tanvir Hasan.

“People too are to blame, as many homes use the vacant sites in their neighbourhoods to dump garbage. Unless the people join hands with the civic authorities in keeping the city clean, the job cannot be done,” says Amjad Taqi.

Garbage management starts with households, eateries, and corporate entities. It is about the culture of garbage generation at these places and its storage before disposal. The households have to develop a culture or at least a habit of generating less garbage, be it the use of tissue paper or demanding plastic bags every time one buys half a kg of sugar.”