RAWALPINDI: With the garrison city gearing up for Muharram, municipal officials have been directed to clean all roads and streets where processions will pass through.
This was directed by the Rawalpindi Waste Management Company (RWMC) Managing Director Rizwan Ali Sherdil on Sunday.
He insisted that any construction material or debris must be removed before Muharram processions begin.
Talking to the media, he said that a cleanliness campaign is currently in progress in the city, adding that the necessary sanitary staff has been deployed to clean up the city.
The officer warned that strict action would be taken against those are found to be negligent towards their duties.
Meanwhile, all government departments including Town Municipal Administrations (TMA), Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), Health, Rescue 1122, Civil Defense have been directed to ensure arrangements to maintain security, peace, cleanliness, availability of lights, drinking water, scanners, cameras, walkthrough gates along the Muharram processions routes and places where Muharram congregations or majlis will be held.
Under a security plan unveiled for the city, more than 7,000 armed policemen would be deployed in Rawalpindi to maintain peace during Muharram.
No one will be allowed to stand on rooftops of commercial and residential buildings located along the routes of mourning processions. Moreover, no one will be allowed to carry weapons, a police spokesperson said.
Garbage transfer station
Dumping sites of Rawalpindi Waste Management Company (RWMC) are giving out a strong unbearable smell which affects visitors at the Ladies and Children’s Park, located in the heart of the city.
The park, which is spread over an area spanning two acres, was built in 2005 at a cost of Rs4.5 million. But it has been turned into a makeshift garbage transfer station by the local administration.
Yousaf Khan said that despite repeated complaints and protests, the concerned civic body remains unmoved to settle the issue.
Residents of and workers at Arya Mohallah, Gawalmandi, Raja Bazaar, Chamanzar, Mareer Chowk, Moti Mehal, College Road, China Market, Rawalpindi Press Club (RPC), WASA, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), Punjab Horticulture Authority, Rescue 15, Sports Complex, National College of Arts (NCA), TMA and several other offices have to face the unbearable smell.
They now fear that the presence of the transfer station will cause multiple diseases to spread and create a safe haven for mosquitoes — which heightens the threat of dengue fever.
Yousaf urged the chief justice of Pakistan to order concerned authorities to move the garbage transfer station to another location owing to the effects it was having on residents.
“Nobody can breathe easily in the area due to the presence of the garbage transfer station,” he said.
Moreover, pedestrians and motorists plying on Murree Road have to face the strong stench while passing by the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2018.
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