LAHORE: Up to 1,025 Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) workers and supervisors hired for a project of the Punjab Masstransit Authority (PMA) were removed from service after the contract was severed.

The PMA had a contract with the LWMC for maintaining the cleanliness of the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) and Metro Bus Service. Later, the metro bus service and OLMT authorities hired a private company to maintain the cleanliness of their operations after cancelling its contract with the LWMC, which left the workers jobless.

A senior official of the PMA told Dawn a related minister was not satisfied with the working of the LWMC staff and wanted to maintain international level cleanliness in the OLMT. He said the authority advertised the tender and a private company won the tender, which turned out to be the company of the minister’s son-in-law.

Metro Bus Service General Manager Uzair Shah said that PPRA rules were followed in the contract award.

He said they were not satisfied with the performance of the LWMC and that the company was also charging extra amounts.

The workers, who were removed from service, protested outside the LWMC office on Edgerton Road.

They told media said that they were working with the metro bus service from the start of the project, but they were removed from the jobs after the bus service cancelled the contract with LWMC.

They said hundreds of the workers, including supervisors, became jobless and no one was taking any measures to help them.

They said they reported the matter to the LWMC general manager and were told that they would be adjusted, but they had received a letter of removal from services.

They said they would have stood by the company to clean the city during cricket matches, festivals and other events, but they were not given any regard for their services.

An LWMC official said the workers were hired for the metro train and bus projects, but the Mass Transit Authority discontinued its contract and tasked them with maintaining cleanliness with another company.

He said around 435 LWMC workers were working with the metro train and 590 with the bus service.

He said all the workers of the train were adjusted and engaged with the LWMC while some 33 workers from the metro bus service were adjusted on March 22 and 100 more will also be adjusted in a day or two.

He said they would not be able to adjust 70 out of 590 workers who were supervisors. He said they would also be engaged in the future.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2022

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