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APP
January 22, 2021

Permanent landfill in capital ‘still a dream’

Islamabad

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APP
January 22, 2021

Islamabad:For the past decade, the city managers are trying to set up a permanent landfill in the federal capital on scientific lines to improve its environment, but almost every time, their worked out plans hit a snag for one or another reason.

Resultantly, tonnes of organic and inorganic waste are being dumped in Sector I-12 to this day despite abortive attempts of the civic agencies, including Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI), in past to develop the facility at Kurri and other areas.

The CDA’s recent plan of developing a landfill near Sangjani was also in limbo as the Environmental Protection Agency-Pakistan (Pak-EPA) has recently sought a reply from its Sanitation Department on the objections, raised by the residents of Sector B-17 and its surrounding areas, on the proposed site. EPA has recently conducted a public hearing to hear arguments of all the stakeholders for and against the proposed landfill in Sangjani and then conveyed the reservations, expressed by the locals, to the CDA’s sanitation department in writing, a senior official of the agency told APP on Thursday.

She said EPA had not yet received any response from the CDA sanitation department, adding, after receiving responses, the agency would take the decision as per law. “Now, it’s the CDA chairman who has to decide where to establish [the landfill],” said EPA Director General Farzana Altaf while responding to a query via message.

Giving a background of the matter, the EPA official requesting anonymity said when CDA contacted the EPA for getting its approval to set up a landfill in a specific area, it was asked to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of two or three spots that could be potential places for the landfill.

The official said CDA then hired an international consultant for the purpose and ranked the area in Sangjani as the most suitable place for setting up a permanent landfill. When contacted CDA, Director Sanitation Sardar Khan Zimri said they would soon submit their reply to the EPA on the matter, adding, it was considering selecting a site for the landfill in Mandra instead of Sangjani.

He said a public hearing would be arranged for the site near Mandra if approved by the competent authority, adding, Punjab government was agreed to provide 100 acres of land for the purpose.

An official in CDA said it seemed that construction of landfill might take another year as there was an issue that the residents of B-17 expressed strong resistance during a recent public hearing, conducted by the EPA on a proposed site near Sangjani.