ISLAMABAD, Sept 7: Over five decades after its establishment, the planned capital of Pakistan has no permanent site to dispose of the over 800 tons of garbage it generates daily.
In the meantime, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has kept the dumping sites shifting.
For the last about three decades, a green area at H-11 opposite the G-10 sector had been used for the disposal of the waste. However, with the increase in the population of the area, the site became a nuisance for the residents. In 2011, on the directive of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which was also established in the G-10 sector, the civic agency shifted the site to I-12 sector.
And now, the CDA has again relocated the site from I-12 to the north of D-11 sector close to the Sri Saral village.
It may be noted that a plan to set up a permanent landfill site at Kurri could not be matarialised so far.
An official of the CDA added: “We had conveyed to the Senate standing committee on climate change in February this year that the Kurri landfill site was suitable for the next 100 years. However, in view of the establishment of two housing schemes there, we are thinking of finding a new site.”
A source in the engineering wing of the civic agency maintained that since I-12 was recently allocated for establishment of the Twin-City Saddar Market and opened for residential units, the CDA board had no other option but to shift the site to D-11.
An official in the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-Epa) told Dawn: “After conducting a study, a team of US environmentalists in the 1990s had declared the Kurri Landfill site good enough for dumping solid waste for the next 100 years.”
The official added that red tape, lack of political will and litigation by landowners prevented the establishment of the landfill site at Kurri.
Farhaj Ahmed, a resident of D-12 and a businessman, said: “I have concerns about the shifting of the dumping site close to my sector because we will be facing the stench from the garbage dump.”
He said he would approach the high court with the hope that the waste dumping site is shifted to Kurri landfill site where it was originally planned.
The EPA official said the shifting of the site to north of D-11 may create environmental hazards. “It is not clear whether the CDA had got clearance for the establishment of the dumping site to the north of D-11,” he observed.
Despite repeated attempts, the CDA spokesman was not available to comment on the matter.