Despite allocation of Rs 12.5b to LWMC, heaps of garbage are a common feature in city markets
The City District Government Lahore (CDGL) has approved Rs 12.5 billion budget of Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) for Fiscal Year 2014-2015, an increase of Rs 9 billion compared with last year’s budget but unfortunately the increase is not being reflected in the cleanliness across the metropolitan city.
Rs 2.5B WAS ENOUGH:
Four years back, Solid Waste Management (SWM) was able to ensure cleanliness in all streets and localities of the city with a budget of Rs 2.5 billion. It appears that the present Rs 12.5 billion budget is only being used to ‘selectively’ clean the city.
Though cleanliness is being ensured in posh areas of the city, including Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Gulberg, MM Alam Road, Liberty Market, Jail Road, Shadman, Model Town, and other areas, the rise in LWMC’s budget makes little difference to other areas of the city –such as Kot Lakhpat Sabzi Mandi (Vegetable Market) where heaps of garbage and ponds of dirty water are still visible.
WOES OF TRADERS:
The traders of Kot Lakhpat market are a major source of revenue for the government but they lament that the government is doing little to ensure cleanliness in the market.
Whenever it rains, the market becomes a swamp. In the absence of a waste disposal system in the area, shoppers, shopkeepers and residents all fall victim to various diseases, including dengue, malaria and hepatitis.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Arshad, who has been doing business in the market for the last 20 years, said, “There is absolutely no waste management system in place in the market.”
“Government-appointed garbage men do not bother to clean the area. If, at all, they come after our union heads repeatedly call them, they take money from the shop owners to dispose the waste.”
“We have become used to seeing heaps of garbage dumped across the area,” said another shop-owner Jamshed.
Jamshed told Pakistan Today that the heaps of garbage are a constant site in the market.
Referring to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s claim to turn Lahore into Paris, Jamshed said, “I haven’t been to Paris but I am sure that such heaps of garbage are not dumped in that city,” said Jamshed.
“There is no hope for this country,” he said, alleging that the billions of rupees being allocated to clean the city are actually being pocketed by government high-ups.