Enormous waste collection sites in major cities like Lahore and Karachi have not only become a major health hazard but are an eyesore for residents and foreigners alike. There seem to be no sanitation standards that are being adhered to, even though billions are given to institutions like the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) to ensure cleanliness. Garbage stations litter different parts of the cities, completely neglected and unattended.

After a major tussle with Turkish businesses to whom the waste collection was outsourced, the LWMC took over control of all cleanliness operations in regards to primary waste collection. So far, this decision has proven to be disastrous for the provincial capital. The local body is now responsible for creating these waste sites, dumping garbage there and cleaning the whole mess whenever appropriate. However, responsibilities are being neglected given that acres’ worth of land in areas like Johar Town is littered with mountains of trash which has become a major environmental hazard. The situation is much worse in Karachi where these garbage dumps can be seen every few miles and with the monsoon season wreaking havoc across the country, the inefficient garbage disposal system has led to an extremely dangerous situation.

Such land pollution causes problems like disease, pests, and an unbearable smell which makes it harder to breathe around it. The fact that they are located near city centres and residential colonies transforms them into an even bigger menace. The least that bodies like the LWMC can do is locate the garbage stations away from populated centres but more than that, what has become clear is that they have to go away entirely. Rs15 billion was awarded to the LWMC in the budget and this must be put to good use. National health must be preserved and we can no longer condone an inefficient body like the LWMC to keep operating in the way that it has.