LAHORE: The Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) has failed to stop illegal dumping of solid waste, as those involved in littering the city continue to dump waste allegedly in connivance with the officials concerned.
A majority of the people involved in illegal waste dumping include mini-loaders/rickshaw drivers and staff deputed on mini-trucks owned by the private housing societies.
On the other hand, the LWMC teams deputed for primary waste collection are reporting late at various spots, causing a great deal of inconvenience to the public at large, Dawn has learnt.
“We are seeing daily that many people riding the motorcycle rickshaws come here and dump the huge waste unlawfully. But, unfortunately no one from the company is stopping them,” deplores a resident of Johar town living nearby Lahore Expo centre, while talking to Dawn on Tuesday.
Spokesman says company has tagged 700 rickshaws for disposal at designated sites
According to another resident, some time back the LWMC was itself using a vast ground, exactly in front of the Expo centre as temporary dumping and collection point. But, when the complaints from the Expo centre officials, foreigners attending events and the residents of nearby blocks of Johar town started rising through media reports, the company, finally closed down this point and shifted to somewhere else, probably outside the city.
“But the company officers concerned didn’t pay attention toward use of another adjacent ground as another dumping site. So this (illegal dumping) continues here and it is not possible without the connivance of the LWMC staff,” he said.
On the other hand, the LWMC teams are, allegedly, reporting late in various parts of the city to collect waste lying open on roads or dumped in steel containers.
According to a resident of a locality near Shalamar, the situation is worsening as, sometimes, the teams are not even lifting waste till evening of the same day.
He said there were also some sites where illegal dumping of waste also continued. Similar complaints were also reported by the residents in other parts of the city.
According to an official source, the involvement of supervisors in facilitating the illegal waste dumpers cannot be ruled out. “There are reports that some supervisors are involved in facilitating those dumping waste unlawfully. But, I think, there is no involvement of the enforcement staff (inspectors), as they are raiding such sites and imposing heavy fines on those involved in littering the city.”
When contacted, a spokesman (senior manager, communication) for the company Mr Umar Chaudhry said as many as 3,000 rickshaws (mini-loaders), vans, carriers etc use to unlawfully dump solid waste at various places in the city.
“However, we have started regulating them by assigning them sites designated/allocated for dumping of the waste from where the company contractors lift and dispose it at the Lakhudair landfill site. Of 3,000, we have completed tagging of 700 rickshaws that means these vehicles being driven by private waste collectors are dumping waste at the designated spots,” he explained.
He said the company also plans to charge (per house) in private housing societies generating huge waste and dumping it at various spots. He said since illegal waste dumping, littering is a crime/municipal offence under sections 170 and 172 of the local government act, the company teams challaned 134 people, imposed Rs410,000 fine, impounded 47 vehicles and lodged 80 FIRs within a period of one month.
“Seven petitions [municipal offence] related to the sites near Expo centre were also filed to the respective court of law. Three cases were also submitted on waste burning near Expo centre. Moreover, five FIRs were also lodged by the company against some private housing societies,” he said.
LWMC Managing Director Babar Sahib Din was not available for comments despite calls made by this reporter.
Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2023