ISLAMABAD: The rural area of Islamabad, which has 12 union councils and a population of over 0.8 million, does not have a proper mechanism in place to dispose off the garbage. Despite claims, the city administration has failed to launch any project in this connection.
For long the locals have been disposing off garbage on self help basis in empty plots where it keeps on piling up, making the residents vulnerable to diseases and pollution. After some time, the entire heap is burnt to make room for more garbage.
Residents of the area, while talking to The Express Tribune expressed concern over the situation and apathy of the authorities. They said that the administration had not placed drums or identified any points from where the garbage could be collected. Left with no other option, they were ‘compelled to use empty plots’.
Wasim Awan, a resident of Kuri said that it was unfortunate that their area had been neglected ever since Islamabad was declared the Federal Capital.
Another resident of the area, Muhammad Saleem, said that the accumulated garbage also posed a health hazard to the locals. “There have been increasing complaints of skin and other diseases,” he said.
Nafeesa Bibi, a resident of Phulgan, had similar concerns. “My children are falling sick every other week,” she said. “These sites serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes because of which malaria is quite common here,” she added.
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Amir Ali Ahmed said that Islamabad Capital Terorrity would establish a solid waste system for disposing off the waste material in the rural areas. “PC-1 has been forwarded to the Islamabad Development Working Party for final approval. Total cost for the project is expected to be Rs10 million,” he said.
While giving the details, he said that according to PC-1, 70 garbage drums would be installed in six Union Councils including Sihala, Koral, Tarlai, Bhara Kahu, and Phul gran and Rawat. The sanitary workers would lift the garbage and dispose it off at the designated points. However, he said that the decision of dumping sites would be finalised after consultation with the CDA.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2010.