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PESHAWAR: The Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar failed to lift thousands of tons of garbage in the capital city on Monday as the local residents forcibly stopped it from using the temporary dumping site in Bahadur Kalay, an urban area on Kohat Road, for the fifth consecutive day.

A senior official of the WSSP told Dawn that the city generated 1,000 tons of garbage daily and 80 per cent of it was lifted by the WSSP’s sanitation staff members.

He, however, said the WSSP hadn’t disposed of garbage for the last five days due to the resistance of the residents of Bahadur Kalay.

The official said the locals didn’t allow garbage trucks to unload.

Residents of Bahadur Kallay area stop WSSP from using temporary waste dumping site

He said the people first complained to the relevant authorities against the temporary dumping site in Bahadur Kalay saying it is spreading diseases, causing stink in the air and polluting environment, but to no avail.

“Seeing the authorities being indifferent to their misery, the people forced drivers of garbage trucks not to unload waste there five days ago. Since then, we’ve been struggling to dispose of garbage generated by the city,” he said.

The official said the company had tried in vain to establish a proper garbage dumping site during the last five years.

A garbage truck’s driver insisted that a resident of Bahadur Kalay turned him away by aiming a pistol at him.

“While giving me death threats over garbage dumping, the armed man also used abusive language. He asked me not to show up again for the sake of life,” he told Dawn.

The driver also regretted that the company’s top bosses didn’t take notice of the incident.

He said on Monday, around 25 trucks loaded with garbage remained parked along the Ring Road and in many other areas of the city.

“Today, we lifted around 30 per cent of the city’s garbage but have no place to throw it,” he said.

Another truck driver told Dawn that the WSSP had to change garbage dumping sites thrice during the last one year due to the resistance of the local residents. He said the company first dumped garbage in Hazarkhwani and then in Phandu area.

The driver said in Hazarkhwani area, the WSSP used to throw waste in the ponds of an abandoned drain water treatment plant but they filled with garbage before long.

When contacted, WSSP general manager (operations) Ali Khan said the company had held talks with the residents, who agreed to allow the company to use garbage dumping site in Bahadur Kalay for a week.

Asked why the WSSP hasn’t established a permanent dumping site for a long time, he said a land measuring 574 kanals had been selected in Maryamzai area on the outskirts of the provincial capital.

“A year ago, the WSSP had also released Rs174 million to the Peshawar DC for payment to the land’s owners after the imposition of Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act,” he said.

The official however said when the process of land purchase reached the ‘maturity stage’, the locals became a hurdle to the initiative prompting the chief minister to order search for another place for the purpose.

“Now, the purchase of another piece of land measuring 613 kanals in Surizai Mera is in process,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2018