Pakistan News

Debris of demolished houses dumped in greenbelts along nullahs

Debris of demolished houses dumped in greenbelts along nullahs

ISLAMABAD: Owing to the city managers’ negligence or connivance with private contractors, debris of demolished houses and other buildings are being dumped in the greenbelts near nullahs.

In some cases, the debris are directly being thrown into the nullahs.

Sources in the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) told Dawn that in violation of rules and regulations private contractors, in connivance with the environment directorate, were throwing the debris in the greenbelts.

During a visit to Sector H-8, Dawn noticed that debris were dumped at different points along a nullah.

“In the first stage, tractor-trolley operators are given permission to dump debris near nullahs and later the environment wing itself runs bulldozers on the debris to level the ground,” said an officer who requested not to be named.

Similarly, he added, in some cases the contractors were asked to throw the garbage into nullahs at night.

An official of the MCI said according to rules and regulations debris cannot be dumped in a planned sector and should be moved out of the city area.

Private contractors in connivance with city managers are also throwing debris into nullahs

He said the planning wing was supposed to give permission in case debris were needed to be thrown at a specific site to level any plot located in a depression. Otherwise there are no rules that allow dumping of debris on the greenbelts, forest area or a nullah.

However, the official said contractors strike a deal with people who want to demolish their houses or commercial plazas for the construction of new ones and get a “vague” permission from the environment directorate to dispose of the debris. And the environment directorate allows them to throw the debris in a “depression.”

The MCI official alleged that contractors made underhand deals with the concerned officers on a regular basis.

“Earlier, there were timber mafia, land mafia and now there is also the debris mafia which in connivance with our officers is destroying the environment of the capital,” he said.

He said according to the CDA rules the building control section was the authorised department to approve the demolition of houses which had been constructed on an approved design.

He said in most of the cases the owners who violated their approved building plans did not bring the matter into the notice of the CDA. Rather, they hired services of private contractors who not only demolished the houses but also provided to the owners the services of firms operating tractor trolleys. And these firms easily get permission from the environment directorate for disposing of the debris in a depression but without the approval of the planning wing and the building control department.

When contacted, Director General Environment Dr Sulman Sheikh told Dawn that under the rules debris cannot be thrown on a greenbelt along nullahs.

“We give permission for the disposal of debris in far-flung areas such as along the Islamabad Highway where our land is in depression. I took a disciplinary action against an official a few months ago when I was informed about debris being dumped in Sector H-8,” he said.

Officials in the MCI said besides H-8 debris were also being dumped near nullahs in sector G-6, G-8, F-6, F-8 and F-10.

“Because of the debris and other waste material, our nullahs are being blocked. Many times I confiscated tractors for throwing debris into nullahs,” said an official of the sanitation directorate.

He acknowledged that the environment directorate was destroying the environment by making dubious deals with the contractors.

Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kayani, who is also the chief metropolitan officer of the MCI, told Dawn that the planning wing never allowed anyone to throw debris on greenbelts near nullahs.

“The environment directorate is dealing with this subject and I will look into it. We will ensure protection of the environment,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2017

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