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November 8, 2019

Extortion scam surfaces in LWMC

Lahore

November 8, 2019

LAHORE:A new scandal of extorting around Rs 1.5 million per month from the physically challenged, visually impaired and elderly workers posted in surplus poll has recently surfaced in Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC), raising eyebrows over the performance of senior and higher management of the company.

The scandal came to public after a segment of LWMC’s worker union namely Saleem Khokhar Group (Regd) published and distributed posters highlighting the issue. “Ajab corruption ke ghazab Kahani and Loot Sale of Corruption,” is the headline of the poster, which revealed that LWMC has established a surplus poll of workers in Central Workshop, Rajgarh, where unwanted/rebel workers of LWMC were transferred as punishment.

“The workers transferred here are getting full salary without doing any duty,” the poster said, adding around 30 workers out of over 170 workers come on a daily basis whereas the remaining were offered to give a monthly amount of Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 to remain absent from the duty. The poster alleged the monthly amount collected from these workers amounts to Rs 1.5 million per month.

Saleem Khokhar said that the amount is distributed among the LWMC’s top to bottom management as per their job level.

He said many special persons were also posted in this surplus poll and were forced to pay monthly amount instead of coming to duty. He said if anyone of them intended to come to the office, he was threatened of dire consequences by the “mafia.”

LWMC sources said that Ajmal Bhatti, former managing director of LWMC, had also paid a surprise visit to the surplus poll centre and found that only 25 to 30 workers were present on duty while the remaining, over 170 employees, were absent. The then MD instead of taking stern action, only directed the officer concerned to mark them absent. While talking with The News, Luqman Bhatti, incharge of the surplus poll centre, admitted only 25 to 30 workers were present at the centre when the former MD visited there and the then MD directed him to mark them absent.

He admitted that physically challenged, visually impaired and elderly workers are in majority at thie centre and many of them are unable to come to the office due to their prolonged ailments.

He, however, categorically refuted the claims of corruption and collection of monthly amount from these workers. Sources said the present MD, Rao Imtiaz, has so far not visited the centre neither took any action against the “mafia” involved in this corrupt practice. However, LWMC Chairman Riaz Hameed while talking with this scribe said that he has taken a serious notice of this case and a detailed inquiry will be held in this regard. He said that LWMC’s management was directed to abolish surplus poll immediately and transfer the employees to the union councils near their homes.

camp: Environment Protection Society of the Government College University (GCU) on Thursday set up an awareness camp to raise awareness among the university students about protection from smog.

GCU Dean Faculty of Languages, Arts and Social Sciences Prof Dr Sultan Shah and other senior faculty members visited the camp and distributed awareness material and face masks among students.

The volunteers of GCU-EPS sensitised the students about precautionary measures to minimise impacts of smog. Dr Faiza Sharif, GCU EPS Adviser, said the situation of smog was worse this year, so the government, civil society and educational institutions must also beef up their efforts of raising awareness among people about environmental pollution. She advised the students to use masks, avoid unnecessary outdoor activities, avoid smoke emitting activities and plant maximum trees in their surroundings.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi in his message highlighted the importance of wearing protection masks during this period of unprecedented smog. He appreciated the awareness drive initiated by students, saying each one of us should play a role in Clean and Green Pakistan campaign.

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