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KARACHI: The elected members of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) have raised a hue and cry over what they termed a negligible performance of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) in timely removal of garbage during the four days of Eid-ul-Azha that resulted in heaps of rubbish in different localities of the city, BR correspondent has witnessed.

Experts said the accumulated garbage especially remains of sacrificial animals such as blood and dung could lead to several diseases especially among children. Such garbage post Eid-ul-Azha also lead to breeding of mosquitoes too if not timely removed from residential areas and that later lead to many other diseases such as malaria.

A video of North Nazimabad Town Chairman Atif Ali Khan went viral complaining about pathetic arrangements of garbage lifting in his town. The video shows that representatives of SSWMB and foreign contractors were informed that their garbage disposal arrangements were not satisfactory.

“Unfortunately, garbage collection machinery vanished from the town on 1st and 2nd day of Eid,” Atif Khan told lady representative of foreign contractor. However, the town chairman admitted that offal lifting operations were satisfactory.

The SSWMB has received a major grant of Rs18 billion – an increase of 50% this year in the Sindh Budget 2023-24.

Karachi produces 11000 tons of waste daily but the urban experts said that production of waste almost doubled the normal routine particularly during the 10 days of Eid-ul-Azha - festival of sacrifice as the waste produce by the sacrificial animals put extra burden on the waste collection system.

Sources privy to this scribe told that foreign partners of SSWMB did not have capacity or fully equipped to manage this extra-ordinary responsibility as the company could manage lifting of garbage and offal simultaneously.

This reporter tried to contact Syed Imtiaz Shah, Managing Director of SSWMB, but his phone was persistently been switched off.

“The Union Committee 02, Bihar Colony, Lyari Town is facing the worst situation, poor management of sanitation in every street of the neighborhood”, Syed Jawad Shoaib, member city council of KMC wrote on a social media platform.

During the last two years, the quantity of waste collected per day has doubled. Previously, around 5,000 tonnes would be collected but now almost 10,000 tonnes of waste daily has to be collected. Resultantly, costs for waste collection have gone up incredibly,” said a source in the SSWMB.

Separately, city mayor Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui claimed that they have disposed of 31,000 tons of garbage.

The SSWMB revealed that they have removed 91,752 tons of offal and garbage during the three days of Eid-ul-Azha.

It has been observed that foreign contractors hired by SSWMB have not placing litter bins as it is supposed to do as part of its contract.

“We haven’t seen litter bins in our area since nearly two years,” said Jamil Sheikh, a resident of Lyari. “They are taking billions of rupees from our taxes and yet we see garbage at every nook and corner of our neighborhood.”

Urban planners briefed that the amount set aside for solid waste management is not a small amount and if services are rendered transparently, the city should not face such sanitation crisis.

Moreover, garbage collection is also a lucrative business in itself as now there are firms that are entering in the space of solid waste management.

They suggested that the government should do away its hegemony and work transparently and support such upcoming firms to help the country’s biggest metropolis to deal with its perennial issue of sanitation and garbage spread and every nook corner of the city’s streets.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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