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October 22, 2019

Murad’s month-long drive closes with Karachi yet to look clean

Karachi

October 22, 2019

The Sindh chief minister’s month-long campaign to clean Karachi ended on Monday with the lifting of 979,941 tonnes of trash from across the city, but this effort will continue in the shape of shared responsibility by all the stakeholders.

This was stated by CM Syed Murad Ali Shah while reviewing the progress of the garbage lifting work assigned to the deputy commissioners (DCs) at the CM House. Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah briefed the chief executive about the drive.

The review meeting was also attended by CM’s Principal Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro, LG Secretary Roshan Shaikh, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) Managing Director Asif Ikram, CM’s Additional Secretary Fayaz Jatoi and others.

Background

With a population of at least 23 million, Karachi produces 14,000 to 16,000 tonnes of solid waste on a daily basis.

There are 20 plus agencies, including the cantonment boards, the Port Qasim Authority, the Pakistan Railways, the district municipal corporations (DMCs) and the SSWMB, which are trying to manage the city’s waste.

The primary responsibility of solid waste management lies with the local councils in the administrative jurisdiction of the provincial government. Since 2013-14, the provincial government has consistently increased the budget of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and the DMCs.

The CM said that the total outlay of the DMCs in 2013-14 was Rs5.743 billion, which increased to Rs13.792 billion. However, solid waste management remained sub-optimal. Therefore, to augment the performance on solid waste management, the government established SSWMB through an Act of the provincial assembly and later entered into a seven-year management contract with Chinese companies in four districts at a cost of $52 million.

Before the establishment of the SSWMB, the total solid waste transferred to landfill sites was not more than 5,000 tonnes a day. After its establishment, the figure reached 13,000 tonnes a day.

However, the backlog still continued to accumulate, especially in the districts where the SSWMB’s operations did not extend, namely the Central, Korangi and West districts.

Clean-up drive

Launched on September 21, the DCs in all six districts of the city were directed to spearhead the month-long campaign for clearing the backlog. Necessary coordination was ensured with other agencies to start the drive in their areas of jurisdiction. During this exercise 62 temporary waste transfer stations were established.

Until October 21 the estimated solid waste collected at these stations was 370,504 tonnes: 96,705 tonnes in District West, 93,630 tonnes in District Korangi, 89,935 tonnes in District Central, 52,152 tonnes in District East, 24,292 tonnes in District Malir and 13,790 tonnes in District South.

Out of the 370,504 tonnes of garbage, 295,563 tonnes was disposed of at landfill sites by the SSWMB. The disposed of trash lifted from District West was 95,126 tonnes, District Central 82,677 tonnes, District Korangi 64,833 tonnes, District East 27,294 tonnes, District South 14,628 tonnes and District Malir 11,005 tonnes.

Eighty-two per cent of the total solid waste was collected from the districts where the SSWMB is not functioning. In addition to the campaign, the SSWMB had also been performing its routine responsibilities. They disposed of 154,437 tonnes of solid waste collected from three districts since September 21.

Thus, the cumulative figure for the campaign plus the regular responsibilities comes to 464,390.21 tonnes: in District West 1,077,772.55 tonnes, in District Central 91,511.92 tonnes, in District East 87,662.54 tonnes, in District Korangi 73,463.31 tonnes, in District South 45,038.9 tonnes, in District Malir 36,993.69 tonnes and in other areas 21,947 tonnes.

In addition to all this, the DCs of Korangi and Malir collected solid waste at the permanent waste transfer station of Sharafi Goth where the total solid waste to be transferred to landfill sites is 455,000 tonnes.

Way forward

Spelling out the way forward to keep the city clean, CM Shah has suggested long-term and short-term plans. The long-term plan includes fast-track implementation of 13 Annual Development Programme schemes reflected in the budget.

More focus is to be given to two projects: the establishment of six waste transfer stations with material recovery and facility to produce refuse-derived fuel, and the conversion of two landfill sites into sanitary-engineered sites and their scientific improvement.

These schemes have an estimated cost of Rs2.8 billion against which Rs1 billion have been allocation this year.

The long-term plan also includes development of 3,000 acres of landfill sites at Dhabeji, for which allotment of land is under process with the Board of Revenue (BoR).

The CM has directed the BoR senior member to expedite the allotment. He also directed the SSWMB to modernise the solid waste management system. A citizen complaints redressal system and a GIS mapping of trash dump sites may also developed.

The CM directed the LG department and the SSWMB to take steps to start medical and industrial hazardous waste management projects. He also urged the SSWMB to establish a charging or ticketing system for other agencies with regards to collection and final disposal.

Under the short-term plan, the CM approved Rs88 million for the Korangi, Central and West DMCs and the Malir District Council to enable them to continue their mission. This money will be used to repair machinery, equipment, etc. under the supervision of the deputy commissioners.

The CM has already given permission to these DMCs to either outsource the solid waste collection to local contractors or hire sanitation staff. He directed the finance department to immediately reconcile and release the property tax share to the local councils.

On the CM’s directive, the government has notified the procedure for evaluating and reviewing the performance of contractors working in three districts of the SSWMB’s jurisdiction. He has assigned a broader role to the DCs and DMCs to monitor, review and streamline the performance of Chinese companies. He directed the SSWMB MD to take penal action against the contractors failing to perform optimally.

He has also strictly warned the Sindh Building Control Authority and the Karachi Development Authority to streamline the debris issues around construction sites, and ordered initiation of penal action against the builders violating the code of conduct.

The CM assigned the city commissioner to take businesses, shopkeepers, traders, etc. on board and develop a shared responsibility mechanism with them. He ordered the DCs to identify areas for the construction of at least two permanent waste transfer stations in each district.

The SSWMB, the DMCs and the DCs are to bring on board informal front-end garbage collectors and develop guidelines and standard operating procedures for them. Under the CM instructions, the SSWMB is to provide trash bins at the places that have already been identified by the DCs during the clean-up drive. The SSWMB chief is to place these trash bins and assign more sanitary staff where required.

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