LAHORE: The Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) is going to complete procurement of 640 vehicles by the end of this month in a bid to improve the waste collection.

The company also expects to complete the ongoing process of tendering and award of the contract to procure 300 heavy vehicles (machinery) within this month, Dawn has learnt.

“We need 941 vehicles, namely 641 small and 300 big ones. Of 640, we have received over 400 and the remaining 241 will soon be handed over to our field formations, enabling the company to complete procurement of the total 641 vehicles by Jan 31,” LWMC Managing Director Rafia Haider told Dawn on Sunday.

“These 640 vehicles include 530 mini-dumpers, 64 chain arm roll trucks and 47 rickshaw tippers,” she added.

Talking about the heavy machinery, Ms Haider said the award of contract for procurement of 150 vehicles, including compactors, dumpers, mechanical sweepers and washers, would complete by Jan 15, followed by the initiation of tendering process for the remaining 150 vehicles. She said after contracts for the secondary waste collection and dumping (from waste collection centres to Lakhodair landfill site) were awarded to various companies under an outsourcing model, the LWMC management, in collaboration with the city administration, had started working to increase the number of temporary waste collection points from 15 to 23.

It may be mentioned that the LWMC had terminated contracts of two Turkish contractors in December 2020 and seized their machinery despite resistance by them and started ‘cleanliness operation itself. Though the LWMC claimed the move was made with consent of the contractors, both the contractors denied the claim. Later, the contractors approached the international court for clearance of pending bills and recovery of machinery seized by the government that claims ownership of the same under the contract. This all led to deteriorating the city’s cleanliness related issues.

However, later the Local Government and Community Development Department (LGCDD) intervened in the matter being parent department of the company, appointed a permanent MD and constituted a new board of directors (BoD).The new board, in September last year, approved award of the secondary waste collection outsourcing projects after bidding. It also claimed to have saved Rs514m in the bidding while comparing the rates being charged by the then temporary contractors after ending of the contract with the Turkish contractors.

“The contracts awarded for secondary waste collections will be initially for one year with a provision to extend for another two years,” Ms Haider said, adding that the company had revived its compost plant project where 100 tonne of waste was currently being used for the production of compost, i.e. natural soil supplement.

The LWMC BoD in the month of June had approved a proposal seeking restoration of the city’s major compost plant. Under the proposal, the company had a plan to not only make the plant functional but also devise a strategy to market and sell the fertiliser produced through the green waste.

The City District Government of Lahore (CDGL), in 2004, had signed an agreement with a private firm to process municipal solid waste per day for the production of compost, i.e. natural soil supplement. The project was set up on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis whereby the project was to be transferred to the CDGL after a period of 25 years. However, in December 2015, the firm requested for early closure of the project due to non-compliance with the terms of the BOT agreement. Subsequently, the BoD approved to take over the plant and termination of the BOT agreement with the firm. Finally, the plant was taken over by the LWMC on Sept 30, 2016. However, it could not run the plant successfully, resulting in its closure.

“We have also planned to expand operational (waste utilisation and production of the fertiliser) capacity of this compost plant from 100 tonne to 500 tonne as the work on this project is under way,” the LWMC MD maintained.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2022

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