Capital’s dwellers brave stench as CDA fails to materialise a plan


ISLAMABAD: No response has been seen over the collection of garbage regarding the capital’s stuffed waste dumpsters by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) despite repeated public complaints, leaving the residents no option but to tolerate the foul odour and prepare for an outbreak of an infectious disease.

The placing of different sized waste bins all across the capital, an archaic strategy of the CDA to handle the generated trash, has left the capital’s denizens to breath in polluted air.

The trash trollies aimed at giving the city a civilised look are now becoming breeding places for mosquitoes and creating health hazards for the public as they are not covered properly.

The residents of different sectors including G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9, G-10, I-8, I-9, and I-10 complained about the untimely cleaning of these waste bins which was making them prone to communicable diseases like malaria, dengue and diarrhoea.

Talking to this agency,  Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Director Sardar Khan Zimri said that the corporation was taking different measures to keep the city clean by fully utilising the resources at its disposal, however, he added that the paucity of funds to properly handle the trash generated in the capital was the biggest hindrance in the effective working of the MCI.

He said that the administration was also planning to outsource trash-picking to a private company for further streamlining the cleaning process.

Additionally, it was also working out different options to recycle the garbage and utilise it for constructive purposes like energy generation and production of organic fertilisers. However, there is a requirement of around Rs 1.25 billion for handling the total generated trash of the federal capital.

“The outsourcing scheme is operational in G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9, G-10, G-11 and I-8 sectors sine Augst. It was a pilot project that had given positive results,” he told.

The SMC director informed that the MCI was in the process of consultation about waste disposal without impacting the environment and general health with different entities.

Highlighting the options considered by the civic authority over the years, Zimri stressed for materialising the waste-to-energy plant project which would play a significant role in bringing down littering in the capital to zero in addition to providing the city with a civilised look.

“Some foreign companies have shown their desire to build the plants on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis. They have suggested charging $10 to $12 for converting one-ton of garbage into energy and then selling it to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA),” he informed.

He said that he had written thrice to the CDA for allocating a place for the waste to energy plant in Sanjrani, however, the matter was being dealt with a rather slow approach.

Polyclinic’s Dr Sharif Astori said that trash should be lifted daily as the bins mostly contain food waste, inviting bacteria to grow and affect the human respiratory system.

“Its initial breakdown and subsequent decomposition by the micro-organisms create an unpleasant smell and germs. The people who have to bear its smell all day might have a more aggressive behaviour,” the doctor said.

Muhammad Ishtiaq, a government employee in sector I-9, called for placing these waste-containers outside the localities and discouraging the practice of placing them before homes, shops, schools and playing grounds. “We are forced to keep our doors and windows shut only to avoid this uninvited adversity,” he lamented.

He urged the concerned authorities to at least apply insecticide or lime-powder on these over-stuffed dumpsters if could not transfer uncovered bins outside the localities.

A retired CDA employee on the condition of anonymity told APP that despite the lapse of over 50 years, no permanent garbage dumping site had been set up for the capital due to CDA’s own mishandling of the matter.

The city has witnessed relocation of dumping sites to sectors H-10, I-12, I-14, I-15 and then back to I-12 over the years.