SIALKOT-Trash heaps in almost all the residential, commercial and industrial areas of Sialkot city are calling the performance of Municipal Corporation (MC) and Sialkot Waste Management Company (SWMC) into question.

A survey report conducted by this correspondent reveals that the garbage is producing unpleasant odour in the areas, besides giving rise to environmental pollution in the city.

Locals especially traders are much perturbed because the prevalent situation is getting worst after Eidul Azha. Both Sialkot Municipal Corporation and the SWMC are putting the responsibility of the worst cleanliness situation on each other.

Local business, social, religious and political circles have expressed grave concerns over the prevalent worst condition in the city, and they have urged the officials of Sialkot MC and SWMC to ensure early removal of the trash heaps from all parts of the city. They have also urged early replacement of all the broken tractor-trolleys the Sialkot MC uses to remove the garbage.

Local PML-N leaders including Ch Ikram, Manshaullah Butt (former MPAs), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sialkot District Ameer Dr Shakeel Thakur, JI Sialkot District Spokesperson Arif Mehmood Sheikh, President PPP Sialkot City Azhar Ali Diyal, PPP Sialkot City General Secretary Ali Naseer Malik and PPP Sialkot Spokesperson Javaid Happy Butt have also expressed grave concern over poor cleanliness in the city. They said that there were worst cleanliness in Sialkot city and this situation spoke volumes of the negligence of both Sialkot Municipal Corporation and the SWMC.

They said that the district administration had allegedly turned a blind eye to the situation. They said that it was the prime obligation of the local bodies to provide better cleanliness to locals.

They alleged that the PTI government had miserably failed to provide better cleanliness to locals.

They stressed the need for the establishment of garbage dumping points in the outskirts of the city. “As there has never been a proper trash dumping point in Sialkot for the last several decades, the city has been turned into a garbage heap,” they said. “Sialkot MC and SWMC are unable to find out a suitable place for the establishment of a trash dumping point in the outskirts of the city,” said PPP Sialkot City President Azhar Ali Diyal and PPP Spokesperson Javaid Happy Butt.

On the other hand, officials of the MC and the SWMC said that people in Sialkot city produced about 400 tonnes garbage daily. They added that the city had been lacking any garbage dumping point for the last several decades due to which the sanitary staff faced difficulty to dump the city’s garbage.

“A few years ago, the Sialkot MC had allocated Rs170 million for the establishment of a dumping point at a suitable place in the outskirts of the city, but this project could not be materialised due to some unknown reasons,” said the MC officials. The SWMC officials said that the shopping centres, commercial plazas, housing societies, wedding marquees, and marriage halls should remove their garbage themselves.

Meanwhile, Sialkot Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr Syed Bilal Akbar asked the SWMC officials to maintain cleanliness in the city. “The SWMC should ensure cleanliness in the city with public cooperation,” he said, and adding that the purpose of establishing the SWMC was to remove garbage from the city in order to lessen environmental pollution.

On the other hand, Sialkot exporters including Arif Mehmood Sheikh, Sohail Akhtar, Naseem Hayat, Aslam Malik, Hassan Zafar Malik, Naseem Qureshi and others stressed improvement in garbage-removal mechanism of the SWMC.

People have urged Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Commissioner Gujranwala Division Waqas Ali Mehmood, and Sialkot DC Dr Syed Bilal Haider to take serious notice of the worst situation of cleanliness in Sialkot city in larger public interest.