Cleanliness: Lahore Waste Management Company takes charge amid complaints

Turkish waste management companies’ seven-year contract ends today

​ Our Correspondent January 31, 2020
A Pakistani man feeds pigeon on the roadside amid heavy fog and smog conditions in Lahore on January 3, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: As citizens complained about mounds of garbage and litter in different areas, the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) took over the charge of cleanliness and waste management in the provincial capital on Thursday following the completion of Turkish companies’ contract.

Information made available to The Express Tribune showed that as Turkish waste management companies Albayrak and OzPak are completing their seven-year contract term on January 31 (today), the LWMC management has taken charge of cleanliness operations in the city.

Sources indicate the LWMC has already started routine cleanliness operations, including mechanical sweeping, in various areas of the provincial capital but owing to non-availability of sufficient resources the company has suspended the roads washing operation. Earlier, Turkish companies were washing around 900 kilometres of roads as per their agreements.

For the past couple of weeks, dust, dirt and water pools in the low-lying areas have become a major concern for citizens. These conditions are increasing spread of diseases in the city amid poor cleanliness arrangements in the metropolis.

LWMC Director General Operations Sohail Anwar said the routine work of mechanical sweeping had now been taken over by the company. He highlighted that the company had already floated tenders for the procurement of waste management services and soon new companies would take over the charge

Four private companies, Albayrak, OzPak, Popular Goods and Waste Buster, have contacted the LWMC for the waste management contract, but no agreement has been finalised.

A new contract of Rs2 billion for the management of 936,277-tonne waste of the city is expected in a few days.

A small foundry owner, Muhammad Imran, said there were mud and slurry on all roads and street in his neighbourhood of Mominpur. “Waste bins are overflowing and spreading awful smell in the entire area, but no government agency is available to lift the garbage,” he said.

Another citizen, Abdul Rehman, said the government agencies had their focus on the cleanliness of model roads and posh localities in the city.

“Neither Turkish companies nor the LWMC has ever paid attention to the cleanliness of this area. If a government department or a non-governmental organisation conduct a medical screening, they would know that the entire population of the northern part of the city is suffering from various diseases owing to the negligence of government departments,” he lamented.

Muhammad Irfan, a citizen coming out of a mosque in Siraj Park area, complained that it was impossible to reach the mosque for prayers with clean clothes in the rainy season.

“The entire area is flooded with mud and dirt. The sewerage system of the area has been choked and muddy water is oozing everywhere on streets,” he said while pointing towards an overflowing skip outside the Government Boys School, Monminpura.

“This overflowing garbage bin speaks volumes about the performance of the Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) government and its departments.

It cannot happen anywhere in the world that waste collectors have parked a stinking garbage container right beside the main gate of the government school.”

Similar complaints were also made by several other citizens from Township, Green Town, Kot Lakhpat, Chungi Amer Sidhu, Daroghawala, Salamatpura, China Scheme, Singhpura, Misri Shah and other underprivileged areas of the provincial metropolis.

Citizens appealed to Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and the LWMC to pay attention to their neighbourhoods too, especially after rains.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2020.