BAHAWALNAGAR

Official negligence and corruption have turned the residential localities here into filth depots thereby causing rapid spread of different diseases while a mega project for dumping of garbage is still non-functional even years after its launch.

As a consequence, the costly equipment purchased for the project has rusted. Earlier, the Punjab Municipal Development Fund Company (PMDFC) had launched “Punjab Municipal Services Improvement Project (PMIS) in Punjab. Under the programme, Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) made an agreement with PMDFC for the construction of landfill site during the year of 2008. A land measuring 9 acres and 3 kanal was selected and acquired at Mauza Musa Bhota near Bahawalnagar-Arifwala Bypass.

The land was acquired against a sum of Rs2,607,458 and the project was inaugurated on October 22, 2012 by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. It was completed with almost Rs90 million including purchase of land and construction and purchase of machinery and equipments.

The machinery and equipment include 4 arm roll vehicles,65 containers, 1 water boozer with tractor, 2 separate tractors, 2 tractors with mechanical sweeper, 186 hand carts (type-I), hand carts (type-II) and 612 containers while 315 sanitary workers were to perform the duty .

However, the project is still useless despite the lapse of the several years and hefty spending. There is apparently no dumping practice. Not only established dumping site is without its utility, but also equipments are rusting away at TMA workshop. Besides, mechanical sweeping machines which were purchased for purpose of cleanliness are dysfunctional without their usage. The gravity of the situation can be gauged that people are forced to dump their garbage in the vacated plots of their vicinity. As a result the vacated plots even in residential areas turned into filth depots.

District Bar Association President Zulfiqar Bajwa said that why the authorities concerned had not made the aforesaid project useful and the town environment friendly. Market Traders President M Shafique said that due to the negligence and indifference of quarters concerned, the project has become useless.

Kissan Board former president Hussain Bodla said that the project has been turned into a white elephant, as millions of rupees are drawn monthly in the name of fuel and maintenance while no service is provided.

When contacted, TMA Administrator Tariq Bukhari was unaware of the project. Tehsil officer Infrastructure and Services Mr Abdul Razzaq, in-charge of the project, said the project is partially functional and garbage and wastes usually dumped at its proposed site. He further said that about Rs250,000 incur on fuel and about Rs60,000 incur on maintenance of the vehicles. He said that a request has been made for the repair of mechanical sweeper, which would be functional soon.