City of Lights… think again! | Pakistan Today

City of Lights… think again!

All major roads in the ‘city of lights’ are littered with heaps of garbage as the municipal administration has run out of funds even for paying salaries to sanitary workers and running the garbage vans inside the city.
Heaps of garbage are seen everywhere not only at the dumping sites but also at other places where the people devoid of civic sense have started throwing the filth. In 11 union councils of Saddar town alone, there are 100 garbage dumping sites but as the filth has not been removed over the past many weeks, the nearby roads and streets have covered with it making difficult for the vehicles to pass. At some places, especially behind the Sindh secretariat, the entire road remains covered with mounds of garbage blocking it for the last two weeks. The heaps of garbage have caused infectious skin ailments and other diseases among the resident of these areas. The heaps of litter could be seen at the main gate of Government Women College (Shahrah Liaquat), Pakistan Chowk, Haqani Chwok, New Preedy Street, Shahrah-e-Kamal Ataturk, Sindh Secretariat parking area, Regal Chowk and other important roads. At some points, the residents have started burning the garbage which is causing massive environmental pollution besides various ailments among the inhabitants. An official at Saddar Town said due to lack of funds, the administration was unable to lift the garbage from these areas. He said: “We have no oil to run garbage vans. The owners of fuel stations have refused to provide fuel till payment of arrears.”
He said the town administration had not even paid salaries to employees for the last four months and families of workers were suffering from starvations. “How can you expect a worker to clean the streets if his children will be hungry?”
The official said around 3,000 sanitary workers were enough for an estimated 1.2 million population of Saddar Town but shortage of funds had had badly affected their performance. He said the revenue from collection of trade license fee was Rs10 million while the Sindh government releases 25 to 30 million under Zila Octroy Tax with 30 percent deductions at source for electricity bills. “But this amount is not enough even for employees’ salaries then how can we run the vehicles to remove the garbage”, he questioned.
The official reluctantly told that the Sindh government was not releasing funds estimated to be 200 million collected under the head of sale and purchase of property tax from July 2012 which, if released, would definitely help release the salaries and sanitation situation in the town.
He also disclosed that most of the sanitary workers were performing 2 to 3 hours duty and work at other places during the office hours. For that purpose, half of salaries of such workers go to the pockets of high-ups, he added.

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