islamabad - Improper disposal of waste in various areas of the federal capital is a serious health hazard for the people, causing various ailments, health experts said yesterday.

According to Executive Director Polyclinic Dr Zahid, due to lack of a proper waste disposal system, residents of Islamabad are suffering from infectious diseases. Plastic waste accumulation on city roads, particularly in Faizabad and Pirwadhai areas, poses serious threat to the health of citizens, he added.

Dr Mian Tariq of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) told APP that the fumes emitting from the burning plastic waste could cause serious respiratory problems for the people. “Open garbage dumps in city areas, including hospitals, have become a nuisance both for the residents and patients. The heaps of garbage produce foul odour making it difficult for the people to breathe,” he added.

Dr Tariq said the garbage dumps could become also breeding grounds for bacteria, causing spread of diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria, cholera, and dengue. The dumps had also become an eyesore.

Meanwhile, the residents have urged the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to adopt a comprehensive policy for proper disposal of waste, particularly plastic bags to avoid respiratory diseases. They urged the civic body to adopt a comprehensive mechanism for proper collection and disposal of solid waste as the heaps in Sohan, Faizabad, New Shakaryal and other areas posed serious threat to the citizens’ health.

Waheed Khan, a senior citizen, said the residents of Faizabad and Sohan had to breathe in foul stench, emanating from garbage heaps. But the CDA seemed oblivious to the problem as heaps have become a permanent source of nuisance for the residents since long, he added.

Mohsin Ali, a resident of I-9 Markaz, said the issue of waste disposal required immediate attention of the authorities. Sanitary workers used to collect the waste material from houses and then instead shifting the same to landfill site, dump it on roadsides. This caused trouble to the residents, especially the elders suffering from a range of ailments.

An official of CDA municipal wing, on the other side, complained that the people themselves were responsible for the state of affairs. Instead of throwing solid waste in dustbins provided by the civic body, the people dumped it at open places, he added.

“Huge piles of rubbish can be seen even in front of the dustbins. Waste material in most of areas is dumped on streets or vacant plots which creates difficulty for the CDA workers,” he added. The CDA sanitary officials have also complained that the residents usually throw the waste in streets and sewerage drains.

“We are doing our best but it is shared responsibility of our and the residents to keep cities and waste courses clean. The citizens must also fulfil their responsibility,” he said.