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RAWALPINDI, Jan 18: Authorities here have qualified a Turkish company to introduce mechanical water sweepers in the garrison city.

On the directives of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the district administration had pre-qualified three Turkish and one local firms to take over the solid waste management sector and bring improvement in the otherwise stinky streets of the city.

Saqib Zafar, the district coordination officer (DCO) of Rawalpindi, said one of the Turkish companies had been selected for the award of the contract.

He said the company would bring machinery, including garbage lifters, containers and vehicles, similar to ones being used in the Istanbul city. He said for the first time roads and streets in the city would be washed by mechanical sweepers.

“We have almost finalised the Turkish company which enjoys worldwide reputation in the solid waste management. The company would be responsible for lifting and disposal of waste,” Mr Zafar added.

He said the company would hire its own staff and the over 1,600 sanitary employees currently working in the city would be entrusted the job of cleaning drains. None of the staff will be removed from their job, he added.

It may be noted that the provincial government has already outsourced the sanitation service in Lahore and decided to also introduce the system in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.

An official of the district government said the companies were assessed on the basis of their experience, capacity, financial condition, technical know-how and availability of relevant machinery to operate in the cities.

As in Lahore, where the waste management is being carried out by two Turkish companies, the private firms will be expected to manage seeping, collection and transportation of waste and garbage.

The populous city of Rawalpindi generates over 830 tons of solid waste daily that is transported to Losar, the main dumping site. However, most of the garbage is not lifted due to lack of staff and expertise.