Climate Change

Capital without permanent landfill site for last 5 decades

Islamabad : It will be surprising for most of the citizens that the federal capital is still missing a permanent landfill site even after a lapse of almost five decades, which is imperative for ensuring clean and green environment in the city.

Dumping of tonnes of garbage in residential sector of Islamabad (Sector I-12) speaks volumes of the slackness of the civic agencies which have been struggling to develop a scientific landfill in the federal capital since its inception.

During past, the civic agencies including Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) have selected multiple sites like Kurri landfill and Sangjani but unfortunately all kind of waste is still being stashed at sector I-12 where citizens are bearing the brunt of that makeshift arrangement.

The private consultant, hired by the MCI, has selected 100 hectares of land near Sangjani for establishing the facility on permanent basis due to its minimum hauling distance, suitable topography, distant from aircraft route for flight safety and socio-environmental factors, a senior officer in MCI Sanitation Directorate told APP.

He said now the case had been sent to the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) for public hearing which had raised some queries over the feasibility conducted by the consultants, recently.

The Pak-EPA had asked the MCI to conduct more studies to evaluate the water table of the site so that the underground water of the area would not be polluted by dumping of almost 700-800 tonnes of garbage generated by the federal capital daily, he added.

The officer said the environment agency had also underlined the need for resolving the ownership-issue of land proposed by the MCI near Sangjani.

To a query, he said the MCI had written to the Ministry of Climate Change for procuring the proposed land which was presently owned by the Forest Department of Punjab.

“We have also asked the EPA to issue No-Objection Certificate (NOC) conditionally so that the construction work on the site could be initiated at the earliest,” he said.

He maintained that the work on project might be launched after some months due to technical issues.

Meanwhile, the residents of sector I-12 complained about stinking smell of garbage constantly emitting from the temporary dumping site set up by the MCI.

They feared that infectious diseases might be broke out due to dumping of such sizable trash in the area.

Umar Khan, the resident of Sector I-12 said people living in the surrounding areas could not open their windows and doors as heaps of garbage in the area.

He said traveling on roads adjacent to the dumping site was a herculean task as motorists could not drove through the area without wearing face masks.

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