While the present government is moving briskly with its plans to turn the country into one of the World’s top tourist destinations, its federal capital is still lacking a permanent dumping site and relying on archaic methods of garbage collection and disposal.
The placing of various size trash trolleys, one of the old-fashioned ways of waste collection, in the city’s sectors has left the people to breath in polluted air due to their untimely cleaning. Most often the regular cleansing of those dumpsters comes to halt for a persistent rift between Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) over power sharing.
During the last week, the capital’s dwellers have borne the brunt of this rift when the sanitary workers went on protest and refused to lift the garbage from several sectors of the city due to non-payment of their salaries.
The public, however, managed to shake the conscience of the city managers by posting the pictures of heaps of garbage and stuffed dumpsters on the social media that led to negotiation between the civic body and annoyed sanitary workers.
Though, the IMC sanitation department has started lifting garbage from the city but people from several sectors told APP that the workers are not visiting their homes for waste collection.
“With the intervention of the CDA Chairman, the issue of sanitary workers has been resolved and 90 percent of waste has been collected from the city,” a senior official of IMC Sanitation Directorate claimed which was contrary to the ground situation.
The rest of garbage collection from a few sectors would be done within next week, the official added.
He said Rs 140 million were the pending dues of the contractors working in the sectors G-6,G-7, G-8, G-9, G-10 and G-11 where the IMC had outsourced its waste management operation during the last year.
The CDA had agreed to pay around Rs 40 million to the contractors on the condition of ending the workers’ protest, he added.
He said Rs 80 million liabilities of package III that included I series sectors and rural areas, were also an issue which would also be resolved in the coming days.
Admitting the ongoing rift between the CDA and the IMC over funds, he regretted that the sanitation department lacked required number of manpower and machinery for garbage collection in the city.
As per Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), he said as many as 150 workers should be deployed in each sector but unfortunately the IMC was working with 40-50 workers in each sector, he added.
The official said the IMC staff was lifting the garbage from F and H series sectors, Red Zone, Rawal Town, Chak Shehzad and other areas.
About permanent landfill site, he said the corporation had hired the consultant for conducting the feasibility of areas in Sangjani and Mandara.
He said the Consultant had been asked to submit report within 15 days for selection of a site with suitable topography apart from other socio-economic factors.
An official source in CDA said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) leadership in the Federal Capital was planning to approach the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for removal of Mayor Islamabad Sheikh Anser Aziz as he has failed to resolve the civic issues.
The federal government, he said, was taking concrete measures and stepped up its efforts to resolve the public issues in the capital on priority.
He said the civic agency had also set up five garbage sorting stations at par with international standards, claiming that the issue of waste management would be resolved within next four months.