KARACHI: City Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Friday asked Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to direct the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board to ensure removal of garbage in a timely manner as its dumping in the storm water drains would create havoc during the upcoming monsoon season.
In a letter to the CM, the mayor said that unfortunately about 30 per cent of solid waste generated daily in the city reached the designated landfill sites and the remaining was thrown into the storm water drains due to absence of appropriate mechanism by the SSWMB, which was created to establish “Integrated Solid Waste Management System across the province”.
The mayor wrote to the CM: “Keeping in view of the above and in the best interest of the smooth flow of water and to avert any untoward situation during the upcoming rains, instructions may be given to the SSWMB to ensure removal of garbage in timely manner and also discourage the dumping of garbage in nullahs”.
Talking to Dawn, he pointed out that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had initiated the cleaning and de-silting of major and minor drains during the financial year 2018-19 on the orders of the Supreme Court and funds for the task were allocated by the provincial government as “Grant-in-Aid”.
He said that the storm water drains which were being cleaned by the municipal government had been filled with garbage due to continuous dumping of garbage in them.
The mayor said that the SSWMB must take measures to prevent dumping of garbage by people in storm water drains.
He said that the investment made for cleaning of the storm water drains would go into the drain if immediate measures were not taken to discourage people from dumping garbage in drains.
Earlier on May 16, he had asked the CM to direct the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) to take immediate measures to save the city from further deterioration and damage to newly constructed roads in different areas of the city.
Faulty sewerage system
He wrote to the CM that the situation could get further worsen in the coming monsoon season because of faulty sewerage system.
The mayor in his letter said that the investment made by the provincial government, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and District Municipal Committees on construction, repair and maintenance of the city roads would face delays if no immediate measure was taken to correct the situation.
He said that all storm water drains in Karachi were being used as sewerage drains and have no capacity to drain the storm water.
While talking to Dawn, SSWMB managing director A. D. Sanjani conceded that garbage was being dumped in to drains by people in parts of the city.
He, however, categorically denied that any contractor of the SSWMB threw garbage in any of the drains. “It is impossible because payment to the contractors is made on the slips they get from the landfill site after dumping the garbage there”.
As for the issue of the garbage disposal in District West, Mr Sanjani said that over 2,200 tonnes of garbage was generated daily in the district, while the contracting firm was collecting only half of it before it suspended its operation in March.
“We have made stopgap arrangements and collecting garbage through big vehicles and making all-out efforts to clear the backlog,” he said.
The SSWMB chief said that over 2,500 tonnes of garbage was lifted during the past 24 hours.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2019