Solution to Karachi district Central’s garbage crisis nowhere in sight

Published May 9, 2022
Sharah-i-Noorjahan is littered with garbage.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Sharah-i-Noorjahan is littered with garbage.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: Residents of district Central may have to wait for at least two more months for any improvement in garbage disposal system in their respective localities as the contractor is still in the process of procuring required machinery and equipment.

Sources in the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) told Dawn that the Chinese company that was awarded garbage disposal contract in the district on Feb 21 had to launch its operation within 60 days. However, they said that the contracting firm could not arrange the required machinery, mainly due to recent lockdown in China due to fresh wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

The sources said that the Chinese firm was in the process of procuring 80 vehicles from a Lahore-based firm as it had to start its garbage disposal operation in Gulberg Zone on April 30 April, which was delayed.

They said that contracting firm would be unable to start garbage disposal operation, including door-to-door garbage collection, before July.

Chinese firm to take two more months to start garbage lifting in the district

SSWMB managing director Zubair Channa told Dawn that the Chinese company had

been awarded the contract after the termination of a contract of Spanish firm by the provincial cabinet.

“The contract was terminated as the Spanish firm was insisting to start work in district Central initially with only 40 per cent machinery,” he added.

As for the pathetic condition of cleanliness in district Central, Mr Channa said that the district Central administration had temporarily outsourced the garbage disposal to local contractors through open biddings as a stopgap arrangement.

According to official estimates, the thickly populated district Central generates over 1,900 tonnes of garbage daily.

The contracting firm would be responsible for collecting garbage and dumping it at the designated landfill site. It would deploy over 2,000 sanitation workers and 500 sanitation machinery workers in the district.

Talking to Dawn, deputy commissioner Central Taha Saleem, who is also administrator of the district, conceded that there were obstacles in smooth removal of garbage in the district, mainly due to dilapidated vehicles and machinery available with the DMC Central.

He said that ‘mohalla committees’ comprising residents had been formed in district Central to supervise door-to-door collection of garbage and its subsequent shifting to garbage transfer stations.

“The SSWB has provided vehicles for further shifting of garbage to landfill sites”, he added.

The deputy commissioner said that the contracting Chinese firm was expected to start its initial operation in Gulberg Zone from May.

Meanwhile, a resident of Federal B Area Block 15 complained that heaps of garbage can be seen on roads and streets in his locality and the daily sweeping had been stopped for months. He said that almost every road was in a dilapidated condition and it appeared that the staff concerned had deliberately been ignoring area’s parks and playgrounds.

Similar complaints were also shared by residents of Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, North Karachi, etc.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2022

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