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April 22, 2021

A challenge that needs public cooperation

Islamabad

April 22, 2021

Islamabad : As the city is continuing to grow and the population of the federal capital increasing by the day because of more and more people from all over the country migrating to live here permanently or temporarily, the issue of collection and disposal of garbage and solid waste is becoming a bigger problem to deal with.

It was a long time ago that the Capital Development Authority (CDA), the civic body responsible for the upkeep of the federal capital, realized that it was beyond its powers to keep up with the building pressure of managing with the ever-increasing amount of garbage and solid waste in the city.

At present, the CDA is responsible for garbage and solid waste collection and disposal from 24 sectors, four model villages as well as from six different sites specified in rural area of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

The city is producing almost 3,000 tons of garbage every day. Out of this 3,000 tons, approximately 1,600 ton is collected from sectoral areas while 1,400 tons is collected from rural areas of the federal capital.

There were budgetary constraints and the service rules and regulations preventing the Authority to hire more workforce and procure adequate amount of machinery to deal with the issue of collecting and disposing of garbage and solid waste.

The answer considered most suitable at that time, a few decades ago, was ‘outsourcing’ garbage collection and disposal. Parties from the private sector were engaged for the job and that worked out fine. However, not for a longer period, one must say. At present only one private contractor is engaged by the CDA for the job who has deployed a manpower of 1,250 personnel.

The Sanitation Directorate of the Authority has a total strength of 873 sanitary workers for garbage collection and disposal. The Sanitation Directorate has placed 1,500 garbage bins, 1,200 garbage trolleys of one ton capacity each and 200 garbage sips of 13 ton capacity each, all placed at strategic locations in the sectors as well as in rural areas under the responsibility of the CDA.

The Sanitation Directorate also has seven garbage compactors, seven skip lifters, nine dumpers, three mini ‘Shahzoor’ dumpers, four mini Suzuki dumpers and 6 buckets. In addition to this the CDA has also hired four garbage compactors, six skip lifters and five buckets to collect and dispose of garbage and solid waste and keep the city clean.

While on one hand it is the responsibility of the Sanitation Directorate of the Authority to keep the city clean, on the other we, the citizens of federal capital, also have a major role to play to keep city clean and the environment refreshing.

Littering is a common practice, be in the streets, on the roads and in the public parks and places. Even if there are garbage bins and trolleys placed for public to dispose of the waste items, people hardly notice those and prefer to litter instead of walking a few steps up to the nearest garbage bin or trolley to properly dispose of the waste items.

The CDA as well as the ICT Administration has been arranging mass awareness campaigns to educate public, especially children to play their part in keeping the city, especially the parks and green areas clean and tidy.

Unfortunately, such campaigns had made little impact on the behavior and attitude of public. We need to understand that the CDA can place garbage bins, trolleys and skips at strategic places for garbage disposal and collection but it is we, the people, who need to learn to use those in a proper manner. The CDA or the ICT administration cannot impart that training but our own parents, elders and especially the teachers are required to play their role in this!