ISLAMABAD-Islamabad the beautiful is trying hard to compete with Karachi in piling up garbage on its streets and roads.

With sacks full of garbage outside almost every house, stink is absolutely nauseating. The smelly garbage is not only seen on streets outside almost every house, but also in Markazs. 

As the absence of sanitary workers for the past few days has led to this overload of litter at every hook and corner of the capital, The Nation contacted Mayor Islamabad Sheikh Anser, who is chairing Metropolitan Cooperation Islamabad (MCI) which runs sanitary and garbage disposal departments. 

Upon contacting, Mayor Islamabad stated that the contract with the litter cleaning companies expired at the end of the previous month due to which the sanitary operations were being delayed. He told that in a few days, the issue is hoped to be resolved as a new contract is about to be made. 

When asked why the authorities were not able to establish a permanent or at least a long-term contract with such companies to avoid this from happening again and again, Anser replied that they had done the same thing earlier but the department was subjected to criticism by both the Capital Development Authority and the Local Government Commission Islamabad. 

We also gave advertisements in every newspaper about the new contract related to sanitary but it got cancelled as the government stood against it, said Anser. 

On contacting Head of Environmental Protection Agency Islamabad Miss Farzana Altaf to further investigate the issue, she stated that MCI’s leniency towards the cause was the major factor of all the garbage related episodes in the capital. She told that efforts were being made regarding the handing over of sanitary department to EPA. She also believed that the delay in the release of salaries to sanitary workers was also one of the reasons for their absence. 

However, all of the statements by Ms Farzana were declared as speculations by the Mayor as he told The Nation that neither the problem of salary was there, nor there was anything like the handing over of sanitary department to some other government authority. 

Ms Farzana, referring to the increasing litter in Islamabad also stressed on the issue of plastic bags. She maintained that if plastic usage is stopped, all of these issues could get resolved as the waste could then be dumped anywhere without any damage to the environment. 

According to her, 70 per cent of the garbage contains plastic which makes its disposal difficult.