With ever-growing population of Rawalpindi, the enormous amount of disposed wastes on daily basis was a challenge for Rawalpindi Waste Management Company to manage. Therefore, the authorities signed an MoU with a Turkish company to manage this growing problem of the city.

Thus, this Turkish firm started operating in Rawalpindi. The very first step they took was providing big waste bins on the sides of the roads in the entire city, especially in more crowded areas like Commercial Market, Saddar, 6th Road etc. In this way a lot of waste material that people simply used to throw on the roads was controlled. Besides this, they also have trucks with special vacuum cleaners for roads which clean the roads on daily basis.

These gigantic machines clean the roads late in the night because of the lesser traffic there. The company also introduced special roadside cleaners to wash roads. All in all, they did make significant improvements in the cleaning setup of the city but still waste management remains to be Rawalpindi’s biggest challenge.

There are many reasons to this multidimensional problem: firstly, no matter how much effort external factors put in, unless the residents of the city decide to maintain a cleaner neighbourhood, authorities wouldn’t be of much help. It has been observed that many households throw away their garbage in sewerage channels which causes clogging of the channels and hence, wastes pop up on the streets and roads.

Despite the fact that there are many bins placed nearly every hundred meters, some people still act lazy and don’t usually throw the garbage in these bins. The authorities emphasise the public to take care of their own environment by disposing of their wastes properly.

When interviewed, the residents usually blamed the authorities and claimed that even the Turkish firm is unable to cater to this enormous problem of Rawalpindi.

They complained that this problem could sooner or later cause many health problems for the city.

The Punjab government has already added a few chapters in the beginning of every book regarding the emerging issue of dengue fever and how to prevent form getting the disease.

They could spread more awareness amongst the public by informing the youth about the deteriorating effects of waste pollution. By organizing events and public service messages regarding waste management, this problem could be controlled.

As far as the authorities are concerned, the local government should scrutinise the working of waste management authorities in order to achieve a cleaner and safer Rawalpindi.

This problem is on the rise and needs to be dealt with more efficiently by the authorities as well as public. The public especially needs to be reminded of their duties as citizens. Otherwise, this problem could become a havoc to deal with.

The writer Muhammad Anas Khan is a student of BA LLB at LUMS.