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January 18, 2021

Deadline to achieve zero-waste target in Lahore has passed

Peshawar

January 18, 2021

LAHORE: Lahore Waste Management Company’s (LWMC) deadline to bring the City to zero waste level has passed, but heaps of garbage could be seen on roads.

Sources in the company revealed that specific operations were being done on main roads only to give a clean look to the city whereas internal roads and localities were being ignored.

Sources revealed that the LWMC’s management has also started picking up C&D waste and cow dung from various city areas to show the increase its daily tonnage. Lifting C&D waste (building material waste) and cow dung from the city was not the responsibility of the LWMC and in past whenever its Turkish contractors did so the company imposed heavy fines on them.

The opposition, especially PML-N is criticising the Punjab government over its failure to lift solid waste. The government has also engaged its ministers in the activity.

Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal was assigned the job to supervise and monitor LWMC’s activities and bring the city to zero waste level. During the first two days of the announced a five-day cleanliness drive by LWMC, Mian Aslam Iqbal used the LWMC to clean his own constituency.

The residents of a number of city localities, especially middle and lower middle class areas are waiting for LWMC’s vehicles to come and lift waste but they kept on waiting.

Heaps of garbage remained on various city roads as backlog remained increasing and the city continuously generating over 5,000 tons of waste on daily bases.

One can witness scattered solid and municipal waste in greenbelts of various localities including residential areas along Ferozpur Road, Multan Road, Johar Town, Township, Green Town, Faisal Town, Muslim Town, Wahdat Colony, Mansoora, Ichra, Mozang, Shalimar Link Road, GT Road and etc.

Sources said that LWMC was paying around Rs 1800 per trip to tractor trollies for picking up C&D waste while Rs 1400 per trip for municipal waste.

Residents of many city localities said that the company has not restored door to door waste collection and they have to go a long way to dispose of waste in bins.

On the other hand, Minister for Industry and Commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal, LWMC CEO and MCL CCO held a press briefing in Ghaziabad here on Sunday.

Prior to the press briefing, Mian Aslam Iqbal and WMC CEO visited various areas in the city.

The minister said with the help of LWMC officers, staff, PTI workers and citizens, special cleaning operation was made a success and the complaints received from the citizens were resolved in a timely manner.

During the special cleaning operation, more than 5,000 tons of garbage was collected from Ghaziabad area alone, he said, adding garbage was also picked from all over the city in addition to the area under the responsibility of the LWMC - a clean-up operation is under way in the city and the garbage will be disposed of effectively on a daily basis.

He claimed that all the points were being cleared at their appointed time. All the officers and staff of the organisation including CEO were active in the operations. All the staff and machinery were working in three shifts, he maintained.

Garbage was also collected from the cantonment area by the organisation and the cleaning operation was carried out in the city using all resources. He said every possible step was taken to clean Lahore.

“We are providing affordable and quality cleaning to people of Lahore. Waste generation was a 24-hour process and problems were being faced due to malfunction of machinery and sanitation arrangements were being ensured by resolving all issues on priority basis,” he said.

The minister announced that all machinery was distributed town-wise and up to 99pc Lahore was cleared. Sanitation arrangements were also being ensured in every town with the help of coordinators.

He said the auditor general has pointed out scams and corruption of Rs 7 billion which has been identified. He added that many corruption cases have also been filed.

The minister claimed that the machinery hidden by Turkish contracts was also recovered. He appealed to the citizens to support the LWMC workers in maintaining cleanliness in the city and put the garbage in dustbins.

When contacted, LWMC spokesperson said the company has achieved the target of zero waste and every area of the city has been cleared. He said now the company will restore its normal operations in the city and will collect waste in three shifts.

Responding to a question of collecting C&D waste and Cow dung to increase tonnage, he said the target given to LWMC by the government was Clean Lahore and its beautification. To achieve this target, we were removing every kind of waste and the company also needs C&D waste at its landfill site to make passages for the movement of heavy trucks and machinery.

He said the company was paying equal rates to every tractor-trolley, which was half of the amount paid to Turkish contractors.