LAHORE: The Punjab government has given its nod to the launching a Waste Management and Rural Sanitation Project (WMRSP) and decided to impose a nominal service fee for the service.
Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan approved the launch of the project for 72 villages initially. In the first phase, two villages will be selected from each district. The decision was taken during a meeting presided over by the senior minister on Saturday. The meeting was attended by the Punjab Local Government and Community Development Department (LGCDD) secretary, director general and other senior officials.
The minister said the project would be rolled out on a sustainable basis through community participation. The meeting also decided to impose a nominal service charge on the basis of population units formed under the project. It also approved a three-member rickshaw team for each village to collect waste from the area. The project would be extended to all the villages of Punjab in the later phase, the senior minister indicated.
“Unfortunately, there is no proper waste collection and sanitation system in rural areas of Punjab,” Aleem bemoaned. “People are collecting and disposing of their solid waste on a self-help basis. Improper waste management arrangements were not only causing pollution, but also impacting the crops and vegetables.”
The senior minister highlighted that a comprehensive rural sanitation programme had been evolved for which practical steps would be taken shortly. He said sanitary workers should be given no less than Rs20,000 as monthly salary and a proper monitoring system should be devised to inspect sanitation situation in villages.
“The local members of the parliament should also be taken into the loop to make the project more beneficial and their suggestions should be incorporated in the project. “Gradually, we have to move towards a waste-to-energy project to process garbage and ensure a healthy environment in the province,” he said. The minister added he would visit various districts of the province to inspect the on-the-ground situation of villages.
LGCDD Secretary Captain (retd) Saif Anjum briefed the senior minister about the prospects of the project. He told meeting participants that initial work has already been completed and practical steps would be taken soon.
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