DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The administrators of the Dera Ismail Khan city with a population of around 1.8 million people are faced with the daunting task of solid waste disposal.

Though a 40-kanal piece of land had been allocated along the Dera-Darya Road near the Indus River for dumping the garbage, it has almost filled to its capacity. The dumping site gives foul smell, polluting the air and troubling the nearby population.

When contacted, Chaudhry Attaullah, the WSSC chief executive officer, told Dawn that solid waste of 21 union councils of the district was being dumped in the plot, but space there was fast decreasing.

He said 160 tons of garbage from eight union councils of the Dera city and 65 tons of waste from 13 union councils of the district was daily dumped in the plot.

When contacted to know his viewpoint on the issue, local MPA Faisal Amin Gandapur told Dawn that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had approved a solid waste management project for Dera Ismail Khan district.

He said the French government would financially assist in execution of the project.

“Disposing of tons of solid waste daily is our biggest problem at the moment, which the government is seriously working on to resolve,” Mr Amin said, adding the government had acquired 3,300 kanals of land in Malana area near the Indus River for sewage water treatment and solid waste management project, which would cost about Rs2.92 billion.

He said the public health engineering department had prepared the PC-I of the project, adding the project had been included in the annual development plan of the province.

Commenting on the project, WSSC chief Ch Attaullah said the sewage treatment plant would help make sewage reusable for irrigation purposes.

He added biogas and electricity would be generated from the solid waste.

Separately, a fire broke out on the upper floor of a motorcycles and spare parts showroom near the Bank Square on late Monday night, reducing bikes and spare parts worth millions of rupees to ashes.

Rescue 1122 media coordinator Aizaz Mehmood said the fire was so intense that flames were visible from afar. He said the firefighters reached the spot within minutes and prevented the blaze from spreading to the adjoining market.

Also, the cantonment and the Saddar police arrested nine members of an inter-district gang of motorcycle thieves and recovered 12 motorcycles from their possession.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2021

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