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July 29, 2018

Heaps of garbage causing health hazards


July 29, 2018

LAHORE : Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) has failed to ensure in time second shift waste lifting, which is causing serious problem for the citizens and creating environmental and health issues for the local residents.

Besides its own resources and manpower, LWMC has also hired two Turkish contractors to clean the city but one can witness heaps of garbage on many city roads. Township is one of the most affected localities where waste is not lifted, especially in second shift.

LWMC’s failure in ensuring door-to-door collection and timely disposal of waste from waste bins have resulted in overflowing of waste, which usually went into the drains and caused chocking. During monsoon season chocking of drains resulted in accumulation of rainwater on city roads.

To achieve the goal of Clean Lahore, Punjab government is spending over Rs 13 billion annually on LWMC but in-time clearance of waste from city roads has become a common man’s dream. A senior LWMC official on anonymity said the company is working without its managing director as the former MD Bilal Mustafa Syed had fled to Australia due to NAB and internal corruption inquiries.

The official said absence of MD has resulted in a lethargic attitude among senior officials and no one is pursuing official work in a proper manner. He added former Punjab chief minister was very keen to ensure complete cleanliness of the provincial metropolis and always kept eyes on working of the company but caretaker regime is not very much interested in keeping the city clean.

Another senior official said second shift cleanliness is the responsibility of Turkish contractors but usually they avoid carrying out in-depth cleaning in second shift.

He said if the garbage is not lifted, it spreads in the area with air and starts decomposition resulting in air and soil pollution, adding LWMC is solely responsible for all this mess and polluted atmosphere because as per rules the company has to lift and dispose of all the garbage from the city in a scientific manner but it is not doing enough while the waste is dumped on roads and empty plots.

Environmental experts said scattered garbage on the city roads causes serious health problems. The stink and unhygienic atmosphere bothers commuters, especially pedestrians using footpaths along the roads. As garbage gets dry and changes into dust particles, it becomes a part of the air as speeding vehicles move it. People inhale these particles and fell victim to various diseases.

One can witness heaps of overflowing garbage outside waste bins on Satuktla Drain Road in Township, which is a very populous place. Similarly one can also witness dirty plastic bags, filth and other garbage in open plots of many nearby residential and commercial areas, which are also one of the main causes of blockage of drainage and sewer system.

Residents of several localities of zone II have continuously complaining about delay in lifting of waste especially in second shift besides inaction of the company on its contractual obligation of door-to-door waste lifting.

Zone II is comprised of localities of Muslim Town, Ichra, Samanabad, Rajgarh, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Green Town, Township, Johar Town, Faisal Town, Kot Lakhpat, Chandrai, Multan Road, Sabzazar, Allama Iqbal Town and etc.

When contacted, LWMC General Manager Suhail Malik told The News said that usually on Sundays all vehicles are not operated due to holiday of drives. He, however, said he will get the area cleaned and action will be taken to resolve this issue in future.

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