LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday stressed the need for early removal of landfill sites that had been set up unlawfully.
“Elimination of such sites across the province is essential for providing a clean and healthy environment to people,” the chief minister told a meeting via video link.
Sharif ordered that private housing schemes and cooperative societies be asked to dump their solid waste at only designated points. In this regard, he favoured amendments to the relevant law to regulate private housing schemes and cooperative societies.
“A healthy environment is a prerequisite for a healthy society. It is government’s responsibility to provide a clean environment to the people,” the chief minister said. He expressed resentment over the failure of the departments concerned in taking quick action against the illegal waste disposal sites in various cities.
Sharif said such sites served as breeding ground for many diseases. He warned the authorities against negligence in this regard. “Those who are not serious about their work have no right to public office,” the chief minister said.
He sought a report on the performance of solid waste companies in Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sialkot, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi.
He said the report should carry information about steps taken for developing landfill sites in these cities. He said it was regrettable that proper waste disposal sites had not been developed in these cities. He ordered that the process to identify three landfill sites in Lahore be completed early.
The chief minister called for capacity building of the solid waste management companies. He asked the ministers and secretaries concerned to keep him updated in this regard.
Housing Minister Tanvir Aslam Malik, National Assembly Member Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmed, Khwaja Ahmed Hassaan, Chief Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal, the Lahore commissioner, the district coordination officer, the Lahore Development Authority director general and the local government secretary attended the meeting.
Separately, the chief minister reprimanded the administration of the Metro Bus project and senior officers at the National Engineering Services Pakistan over the death of a pedestrian in Rawalpindi on Sunday. The man had died when a rock from the Metro Bus bridge fell on him.
Sharif said the construction company working on the bridge would pay a Rs3 million compensation to the heirs of the deceased.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2015.