KARACHI: The Judicial Commission on Water and Sanitation expressed its dissatisfaction on Wednesday over the performance of the Chinese companies responsible for collecting waste from the city.

Directing the Chinese companies to ensure that they have the required machinery and number of employees to perform the job, the judicial commission also directed the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) to submit a detailed report in two weeks on the disposal of garbage in the city.

The commission’s head, Justice (retd) Ameer Hani Muslim, observed that the companies’ performance was very unsatisfactory. If the Chinese companies are not acting according to the agreement, the agreement should be revoked, he remarked.

‘Solid waste is a treasure, don’t waste it’

The SSWMB managing director informed the commission that the concerned Chinese company claimed that it would be installing the required machinery in District South. The judicial commission was also told that contracts with the companies were signed for a seven-year term, to which Justice (retd) Muslim replied that the city would turn into ruins in seven years.

The commission asked what benefits the Chinese companies were providing due to which agreements with them should be continued. It remarked that the companies had been only making two to four people stand with brooms and they had introduced no mechanism for sweeping.

Why the Chinese companies had not recruited the required number of employees, the commission inquired.

A lawyer representing a Chinese company informed the commission that the company had not been paid its dues for a few months. The payments were stopped on an order of the judicial commission after April, the lawyer said. Justice (retd) Muslim directed the authorities to issue payments to all concerned parties what they rightly deserved.

The commission head lamented that the waste disposal system in districts West and Malir was in a shambles and the ground reality was different than what was told to the commission.

Despite heaps of garbage across city, solid waste budget slashed

The commission asked a Chinese company managing director (MD) how the company would perform its job when it did not have the required machinery and vehicles. If the company could not deliver on its own, it better had assigned the cleaning task to locals or Afghans who would perform the job against low payments.

The MD informed the commission that the company was in talks with World Bank (WB) for the funding of its project to generate power from waste as it is being done in China, to which Justice (retd) Muslim replied that if the company borrowed $260 million from WB, it would greatly add to the debts of the country.

Gujjar Nullah visit

Justice (retd) Muslim also visited Gujjar Nullah where he discovered that sewage was mixing with clean water. The commission head called the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board managing director on phone and directed him to look into the matter.

The commission head was briefed on behalf of the mayor about the drain. Justice (retd) Muslim was informed that despite judicial orders, the provincial authorities had still not issued any notification to give the Gujjar Nullah under the administration of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. The commission head expressed anger over the non-issuance of the notification.