- Private housing societies dump heaps of trash regularly near Korang river
ISLAMABAD: Against the silhouette of British-era picket manning the craggy green hills at considerable altitude, the pale disc of sun heralding an end to another sultry day sets down behind a maze of man-made concrete and iron structures in the nearby private housing societies.
Beneath, at the foothills of the serpentine hilly area, flows the Korang river, on its centuries-old course, through its fresh or brackish muddy waters have turned blackish due to pollutants, garbage dumping and sewage water released directly without being treated by the adjoining private housing societies near the Islamabad Expressway.
An inquisitive peep by a nature lover into deep down river course can petrify the mind and the Wordsworthian’s concept of ‘crystal clear brook’ gliding through the meandering hills turns into the ugliest experience by the beholder.
Heaps of trash regularly dumped at the extreme corner of the Islamabad Expressway near the Korang Bridge by the private housing societies, ultimately pushed deep into the nullah which exposes the callous and indifferent human attitude towards the Mother Nature.
Huge sewage drain pipes at the closer proximity of human dwellings, opposite the bridge can be easily spotted where untreated toxin carrying stinky water is released directly into the river course. It is observed that even the rotten vegetables, fruits, offals, animal waste and all kind of putrid reeking junk are being left near the road and disposed of into the flowing waters of river.
An unbearable malodour surrounds the whole area and after the recent monsoon rains and humidity, the situation has turned into worst. “Besides, adding degradation to the environment, the decomposing material proves as health hazard, exposing human beings to polluted air, causing various ailments,” Dr Munsif Rasheed, a professor concerned of a private university, commented.
Other residents, including a septuagenarian and resident of Rawat, Zafar Noon recollected his cherished memories, narrating how the clean Korang nullah waters looked like some 20-year back. Dr Muzaffar Shah said that another common practice includes burning of trash, causing harmful particles to mix into the air which causes various skin, throat and nasal allergies.
According to environmentalists, disposing of solid waste appeared as back-burner for the city managers as much of trash ends up in the streams, nullahs and rivers and turns into breeding grounds for various pathogens and poisonous flying and crawling insects. From Sohan upto Rawat, heaps of discarded plastic shopping bags and other compost can be seen on both the sides of the Expressway, turning as eye sore.
Moreover, unchecked practice of disposing waste material in different nullahs flowing right through the different sectors including G/7 and G/8 has turned the once natural water courses into streams of floating garbage with unbearable stink. The slums which propped up on these nullahs are also directly releasing all the waste material into the downstream with impunity.
According to different surveys by various organisations, Islamabad produces around some 700 tonnes of garbage on the daily basis, but the exact figures about garbage produced by the private housing societies located near the Islamabad Expressway are not available. Majority of these societies have no proper mechanism to manage the solid waste material.
Another survey by a private firm has put the volume of solid waste generated in the city at around 1,000 tonnes per day, including 60 and 65 per cent as organic and 20–30 per cent as recyclable. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) under a recommendation from the Islamabad environmental commission had mulled for a proper landfill site near Rawat and another site near Kallar Syedan road, but nothing was yet finalised to deal with the garbage generation issue of the housing societies.
Though the sanitation wing of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) had been directed to start collecting garbage from these societies along the Expressway, but the residents expect drastic steps to deal with the magnitude of the challenge which is swirling into a snowball.