LAHORE: The first Sanitary Landfill Site started functioning formally in Lahore at Lakhodair on Monday, the first modern facility in the country to handle solid waste in an environment-friendly way.

With the functioning of two cells -- LOT-I and II -- of the site, 2,000 to 2,500 tons of waste can be managed daily in a scientific manner, minimising the environmental hazards of the waste’s toxic effects.

The Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) Chairman Mehar Ishtiaq, along with experts of the Istanbul Municipality (ISTAC) monitored and reviewed operational work started jointly by local and Turkish experts. According to an LWMC spokesman, the first-ever scientific waste disposal facility in Pakistan has been set up over 52 hectares of land at a strategic location almost 5km away from Mahmood Booti dump site, meeting international standards.

“Functioning of initial two cells will help in disposing of 2,000 to 2,500 tons of waste daily with no repercussions for underground water or atmosphere. The major features of the landfill site are the leach collection and recirculation system along with methane capturing systems. The disposal of waste through this landfill will not contaminate the groundwater and soil and will help improve the public health and environment,” he explained in a press release.

The methane gas captured after the closure of cells will subsequently be used in production of electricity.

The waste disposal facility has been constructed by Nespak in consultation with experts of Turkish company CEVKA. Experts from Istanbul Municipality (ISTAC) will remain with LWMC officials for monitoring of work and to provide their feedback to maintain standards and quality.

“Construction of LOT-I and LOT-II has cost Rs1 billion,” said chairman LWMC Mehar Ishtiaq.

“Experts from Istanbul Municipality have also visited major cities of Punjab, including Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rawalpindi and Sialkot to provide guidance for replication of the project in these cities,” he added.

According to Aydin Baran, a Turkish expert, the newly constructed waste disposal facility meets international standards to handle waste in an environment-friendly manner.

Also present at the site were LWMC’s Chief Financial Officer Moeezur Rahman, General Manager, Procurement and Contract Abid Butt, General Manager Operations Asif Iqbal, General Manager HR and Admin retired Col Asad Farooq, Senior Manager, Operation and Landfill Site Saeed Khan and Senior Manager Operation Suhail Anwar Malik.

LTC: The enforcement and operations department of the Lahore Transport Company (LTC) along with technical teams of the Environment Department of the Punjab government removed pressure horns from buses and minibuses at RA Bazaar and Qainchi.

The action was taken in the light of public complaints, according to an LTC spokesman.

“We’ve challaned 46 buses for pressure horns on Monday,” the spokesman said.

HELD: Price control magistrates on Monday got 73 shopkeepers arrested and imposed a Rs12,000 fine on others for overcharging, hoarding and selling substandard commodities in open markets of the city, according to a spokesman.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2016