Gigantic cleanliness drive: Citizens smell odour of LWMC’s inefficiency

LAHORE: Heaps of waste are yet to be lifted and disposed of at the landfill sites, leaving a large population of Lahore with no option but to live in a stinking environment for the last many days.

There are reports that people in various localities have expressed anger over the situation and castigated sanitation / cleanliness workers / supervisors and sweepers for not lifting the waste despite passage of many days.

On the other hand, the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) has apologised to the citizens for inconvenience and pledged that the huge waste backlog would take a week to clear. However, an official source said that making the city waste-free could take 10 to 15 days more.

“For the last many days, no one even bothered to visit the area and make efforts to lift the waste heaps in our area. I protested with some workers who came to our area yesterday for sweeping-related duty. When I complained, they said that lifting waste and disposing it was not their duty,” complained Aslam, a resident of Badami Bagh.

I never saw such a bad cleanliness situation in Lahore, even before inception of this modern waste management system,” he deplored.

Ikram, a resident of GT Road near a station of Orange Line, also narrated a similar story. “There are many spots where heaps of waste are lying unattended, making a severe stinking environment for residents of many localities. But I am surprised to see the government behavior that, except issuing political statements, doesn’t seem paying heed towards this most important issue,” he criticised.

“The government must do something as we are already in pain due to sky- rocketing prices, unemployment and other civic issues,” he said.

According to an official source, there are many issues that are delaying the ongoing zero-waste operation in the city.

“The machinery being used by the LWMC is hardly in working condition and cannot give the desired results. Moreover, the machinery taken on rent is insufficient to clear such a huge backlog by the LWMC on its own after ending the repeatedly extended Turkish contractors’ contract / agreement,” he maintained.

“We seek apology from the people for this inconvenience. However, they will soon heave a sigh of relief as we will clear the entire backlog within seven days,” LWMC Chief Executive Officer Imran Ahmad Sultan told journalists at a press conference on Tuesday.

Flanked by Lahore Commissioner Zulfiqar Ahmad Ghumman, Municipal Corporation Lahore (MCL) Chief Corporation Officer Hafiz Shaukat Ali, Additional Commissioner Aman Anwar Qidwai and others, Mr Sultan claimed that the company had made extra efforts to ensure timely lifting of waste and was working under short- and long- term plans.

“For interim period, the LWMC has made a rental machinery model for secondary waste collection which costs Rs 2.65 billion that would have been Rs5 billion in case of giving another extension to the Turkish contractors. The short-term plan has been made in the best interest of the public. In addition to this, LWMC has ensured availability of additional machinery under PPRA Rule 38(2) a,” he explained.

OPERATION: LDA’s staff of the Estate Management Directorates I & II reclaimed 15 plots worth millions of rupees during separate operations in Johar Town and Mustafa Town schemes on Tuesday.

LESCO: In various operations, the Lahore Electric Supply Company teams detected power theft and charged over 42,000 units to 17 people for stealing electricity, according to a spokesman.

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