People are falling victim to diseases due to poor sanitation at fruit and vegetable markets in Lahore, including those at Kareem block, Ravi Road, GT Road, and Sangpura 18, Shalimar Town. Heaps of garbage can be seen everywhere and in the absence of officers, sweepers have abandoned their duties.
Other unsanitary markets include those at Shad Bagh, China Scheme, Chah Mirah, Bhagbanpura, Faiz Bagh, Neelam Cinema, Shair Court, Awan Market, Bank Stop, Gulshan-e-Ravi, and Nishter Colony.
The filth is increasing day by day, and so are the resulting patients in hospitals. Despite this, the government is indifferent to the mismanagement. The heaps of garbage are seen not only in markets but also residential areas, which are causing an increase in the spread of various diseases in those areas.
Sources working at the Lahore Waste Managment Company (LWMC) say that the budget of the company has increased to 12 billion and 50 million rupees, an increase of 3 billion from last year. “The company used to have a budget of just 2 billion per year, but that was increased to improve the city’s sanitation,” the sources said.
If this huge amount is indeed being spent on sanitation, it is difficult to judge exactly where, with huge amounts of garbage seen all over the city.
Despite posh areas of Lahore, including Defence, Gulberg, Jail Road, Shaadman, Model Town, and Link Road being centres where billions of rupees are traded, these areas do not have proper sanitation systems.
Rizwan Butt, a resident of Shalimar Town told this scribe that the area where is lives “is so polluted and has made our lives so difficult that we cannot even breath here. We have made multiple complaints to the relevant officer, but the waste management company is yet to respond. The waste is becoming a hotbed for disease and children of the neighbourhood have fallen ill.”
Aslam, a shopkeeper at a vegetable market, said: “The pollution has been here for so long that we have become used to it. My father used to run this shop when I was younger, and even then the place was filthy. Now I am here in his place, and the same heaps of garbage persist.”