Says unattended and openly dumped waste becomes ideal breeding place for disease-causing organisms
An environmental commission has proposed an integrated waste management programme to dispose of solid and hospital waste in the capital to prevent health hazards.
In a report submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the 13-member commission headed by Supreme Court lawyer Dr Parvez Hassan also supported the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) proposed landfill sites either on Kallar Kahar Road near Rawat or on Kallar Syedan Road.
One of the sites may be decided by the CDA after an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is carried out.
The total solid waste generated within the municipal limits of Islamabad ranges between 500 to 550 metric tons per day and approximately 750 tons per day within the limit of the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration.
According to the report, due to lack of proper landfill sites, solid waste is being dumped at open sites. “Such unattended and openly dumped waste especially under warm and moist conditions becomes an ideal breeding place for disease-causing organisms. These badly managed heaps of waste are time bombs, which may not explode, but can cause serious health hazards.”
It further said proper management of solid waste was non-existent in both the CDA and ICT jurisdictions. Currently, the CDA provides door-to-door collection service to Zone-I of the capital only while waste from the remaining zones is unregulated. This results in dumping of waste in the different streams.
In the absence of a proper landfill site, all solid waste is dumped at an ad-hoc site in E-12, visited by the commission. Disposal is also being undertaken in Sector I-12 on IJP Road by the CDA and at various places along Korang River, Swan River, Bhara Kahu, Tarlai and many more dumping sites of non-municipal service residential area (zones 2, 3, 4 and 5). The commission recommended that door-to-door collection service should be provided by CDA on a daily basis to all the zones of the ICT and segregation of solid waste at source (household and street level) be carried out.
The commission underlined that hospitals and other healthcare facilities generate various kinds of risk and non-risk waste. “Unfortunately, there are no satisfactory and hospital rules-compliant arrangements for hospital waste management in the ICT jurisdiction,” the report says.
The commission also backed a long-standing request of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences with the Economic Affairs Division for procuring an incinerator.
If PIMS gets the incinerator, over 50 per cent of the hospital waste disposal needs of Islamabad will be met, the commission said adding there was no mechanism for disposing of industrial waste in the ICT Administration limits.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2015.