RAWALPINDI: Planning Minister Asad Umar on Friday said 400 kanals of Rawalpindi Waste Management Company (RWMC) land will be used for the landfill site of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

In this regard, a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been finalised and was presented in the 41st meeting of the board of directors (BoG) of the RWMC. The meeting gave approval for its signing with the CDA subject to adherence to all applicable laws, rules and regulations of the government of Punjab.

The RWMC has acquired 1,265 kanals on Mandra Chakwal Road in village Bagnial, Dera Pothi and Sahang tehsil of Gujar Khan. It is located almost six km down GT Road on Mandra Chakwal Road at a distance of 55 km from the city centre.

Highlighting the importance of a landfill site for Islamabad, the minister said the CDA had not yet established a waste disposal infrastructure which was also causing environmental pollution in the capital city. The CDA has been facing immense challenges in handling the waste.

On the directions of the minister, the draft MoU was prepared by the Public-Private Partnership Authority, Islamabad, for sharing 400 kanals of the RWMC with the CDA for the landfill site.

Mr Umar said such a large amount of garbage lying in the city not only created health problems but also posed a serious threat to the environment.

He directed the relevant department to hire a consultant for environmental impact assessment for the new landfill site.

The Public-Private Partnership Authority will make further recommendations for the next meeting of the board of directors of the RWMC to discuss the best way to develop the landfill site.

On the other hand, environmentalists are of the view that improper disposal of municipal solid waste has serious results for environment and human health.

They said improper disposal of solid waste would produce chemicals like leachate which can contaminate the groundwater. Once the groundwater gets contaminated, billions of rupees would have to be spent on cleaning it.

However, a senior official of the district administration said the new landfill site would be developed in Gujar Khan as the barren land had already been purchased and it would be turned into a dumping site. He said environmentalists would be contacted to develop the site on scientific method.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2022

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