ISLAMABAD: After protests from residents, city managers are considering setting up the capital’s first ever landfill site in Mandra instead of Sangjani.
During a public hearing held last month by the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), the Capital Development Authority (CDA) planned the landfill site in Sangjani, but citizens living in the neighbouring regions, including B-17, raised objections and asked the agency to move the site to protect them from its dangerous effects.
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After the hearing, Pak-EPA expressed the residents’ complaints to the Sanitation Directorate of the CDA and sought a response.
Authority sources said there were small chances of the CDA having pleased the environmental regulator with the objections.
“We have yet to submit our response to Pak-EPA, but we are exploring options for the establishment of the landfill site near Mandra in Rawalpindi as a second option,” Sanitation Director Sardar Khan Zimri told Dawn.
Option under consideration after locals object to Sangjani project, official says
The capital, which produces more than 600 tonnes of waste every day, has been left without a permanent landfill site, leaving no alternative but to dump the waste in the underdeveloped I-12 sector, where the CDA has already reserved thousands of parcels and construction will start in the coming months.
In 2004, following the approval of Pak-EPA, on the suggestion of a foreign expert, the Civic Body selected Kuri for the landfill site. However, the CDA council, citing environmental objections, voted in 2012 to move the proposed site from Kuri.
The landfill site was moved from Kuri, according to CDA officials, to satisfy housing scheme operators who had invested in the area.
In a report in 2017, the auditor general of Pakistan said that the delay in the execution of CDA’s Rs1 billion landfill project had deprived Islamabad of its much-needed landfill site.
Mr. Zimri said the CDA would soon send its reply to Pak-EPA, adding that the authority was also speaking of setting up a landfill site in Mandra for which the Punjab government would have to buy land.
We are concerned about the idea and we will make a decision in the near future. “Our focus is to satisfy the Sangjani environmental agency, otherwise we will go to Mandra,” he said.