Published On: Thu, Jul 17th, 2014

As Population Grows, So Do Tando Mohammad Khan’s Garbage Woes

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By Mohammad Farooq Siddiqi

TANDO MUHAMMAD KHAN, SINDH:

The city of Tando Mohammad Khan is settled on either side of the Phuleli Canal, which is 30kms south from Sindh’s second largest city, Hyderabad. Its population is about 0.5 million. Since it’s a densely populated town, waste is also on a rise, which is accumulated in Khawaja Mohalla by the cleaning staff. This has made walking in the city quite difficult as the road is always covered with litter – a busy thoroughfare where students and other citizens pass through.

Such trash piles exist in other parts of the city as well, which are often set on fire; thus increasing air pollution.

The town metropolis office is located just next to this junkyard. It is their duty to dump the waste out of the city premises, but to no avail. Perhaps they are unaware that garbage should not be dumped in neighbourhoods and urban areas.

“There is a school a few steps ahead, and the fumes and smell arising from these piles can badly affect their health,” says a resident of Khawaja Mohalla. “The sweepers, in order to avoid hard labour, often burn this trash; which is a crime. Municipality should dispose this trash out of the city premises so that the environment remains clean and pollution-free.”

Deputy Commissioner Tando Mohammad Khan, Asif Memon, says initially it was a Taluka but has been given the status of a district for some time. “Being a new district, there are problems, but our first priority is health and education,” he says. “These are people’s fundamental rights and we are mandated to provide them with these services.”

In reply to a query, he said the authorities concerned had been ordered for the cleaning exercise in the city, which will begin, soon. About efforts in place to reduce air pollution, he said: “We will have plantations on both sides of the road and I’m glad to come forward, plant trees and help in every possible way.”

Municipal Administrator Javed Rajpar told this scribe that their monthly expenses exceed the funds they receive from the Sindh government. “We get Rs 9.9 million, whereas the amount of salaries is about Rs 10.1 million.” Rest of the amount, he said, is received by the municipality through different taxes.

About the garbage and its removal, he claimed they had 15 hand trolleys, four Qingqi rickshaws, one large dumper and a tractor trolley. “Small vehicles are used to collect trash from within the narrow lanes of city neighbourhoods, whereas the heavy means of transport to move the junk outside the town,” he says. “The cleaning staff work day and night and trash burning is strictly prohibited. Our job is to facilitate the citizens.”

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