LAHORE - Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has said that provision of healthy atmosphere to the people is the priority of the government. He said that negotiations were being held with a number of local and foreign companies while steps were also being taken for improving the existing system of the Solid Waste Management (SWM). He was addressing a meeting held to review the performance of Urban Unit and SWM Department at the CM Secretariat here on Friday. Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretary Local Government, Commissioner, DCO, LDA Director General, SWM Managing Director, Urban Unit Project Director as well as officers concerned were also present. The Chief Minister issued instructions for setting up a special committee headed by Chief Secretary for establishing SWM units in all the cities of the province. This committee will formulate and submit a comprehensive roadmap with regard to SWM within three weeks. He said that sanitary conditions in cities throughout the province were pathetic and heaps of garbage could be seen everywhere in the provincial metropolis. He said that performance of the SWM Department with regard to maintenance of sanitary conditions in Lahore was unsatisfactory. He said that despite payment of more than Rs 1 billion in salaries to the officials of the department and availability of more than eight thousand sanitary workers, the City had not been rid of the piles of garbage. He said that the main reason for this sorry state of affairs was the absence of sanitary workers, existence of a mafia in the department and lack of required technical expertise. Earlier, the SWM Managing Director apprised the meeting of the performance of the department. Project Director Urban Unit said that Mashhad Municipality of Iran had trained ten officials of the SWM of different cities of Punjab while the training programme of ten more officials in October had been evolved.