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July 31, 2018

Open dumpsite — a threat to environment


July 31, 2018

LAHORE: Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) is continuously using its dumpsite in Lakhodair to dump solid and municipal waste ignoring the fact that this activity is posing a serious threat to the environment especially underground water table of the provincial metropolis.

Though the company also owned a scientific landfill site at Lakhodair, dumping of waste in an unscientific manner raises many questions over the abilities of the company’s management, said several citizens living in nearby areas who are affected directly or indirectly by the hazardous impacts of open dumping of waste.

General Manager LWMC Sohail Malik said the capacity of scientific landfill site is not enough to cater with daily waste. He said only two cells of the scientific landfill site are operative while remaining four cells are yet to be constructed.

Ironically, one can witness long queues of waste carrying trucks and dumpers at the open dumpsite of the company. The trucks were seen roaring hard to climb up between the heaps of garbage on slushy tracks, which often causes serious harm to the machinery, including trucks.

The open dumpsite is also getting full day by day and waste carrying trucks and dumpers have to wait for hours due to lack of space. This is also causing problem for the nearby residents as they have to inhale stinking smell for a longer period.

Following the rush of trucks at open dumpsite, waste transfer stations of both the Turkish contractors of LWMC were also full of stinking waste. These waste transfer stations are situated in highly populated areas of the city and are causing serious inconvenience for the citizens.

Some residents, who lived nearby Lakhodair, said the situation at open dumpsite was very bad during the monsoon season.

They said trucks and dumpers full of waste have to wait on roads for hours to enter the site to throw the waste. They said this also caused a traffic mess besides creating a stinking atmosphere.

Sherdil, a dumper driver, said that the roads inside the dumpsite were very slippery as well as vehicles have to climb high mounds of garbage heaps, which caused damage to vehicles and consumption of more fuel during the operations.

He said if the authorities cover unpaved and slippery roads with construction and demolition waste then it would be easier to move inside the dumpsite and it will save time.

The LWMC sources said both the Turkish contractors of the company have also lodged repeated complaints about problems being faced by their trucks and dumpers at dumpsite. Sources said the company’s management 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 at this open dumpsite.

Naseemur Rehman, Director EPD, said the scientific landfill site was constructed to save underground water from poisonous liquids released from waste during decomposition. He maintained that open dumping of waste was very dangerous for the underground water table of the city and LWMC was solely responsible for this pollution. The stinky and unhygienic atmosphere bothers residents and commuters, especially pedestrians using footpaths along the roads.

He added that as garbage gets dried and changes into dust particles, it becomes a part of the air as speeding vehicles move it. “People inhale these particles and fall victim to various diseases,” he concluded.

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