Dear Karachi, learn from Punjab govt what you must

Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Azha on 10th Zilhaj every year where they offer sacrifice of animals to commemorate the sacrificial spirit of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) who thousands of years ago submitted to the will of God and offered to slaughter his son Hazrat Ismail (AS) in the name of Almighty God.

With the vast majority of people in Muslim community sacrificing animals, comes a great responsibility of disposal of the wastes and leftovers such as intestines and other non-edible stuff of the sacrificed animals which is likely to pollute the environment and cause health hazards if not disposed properly.

Here comes performance of the local government where they have to play proactive role and make arrangements as apt as possible to collect and carry it to places far from residential areas and ensure cleanliness. Concerned civic agencies and their master plan helps to maintain cleanliness by designating proper areas for the people to dispose/submit such wastes and keep the environment clean.

Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) came up with a comprehensive cleanliness plan this year too, to remove sacrificial animals’ waste from the city.

LWMC collected and disposed of more than 50,000 tons of animal waste this year on Eid ul-Azha and the following two days. Sanitation operation was more effective this year as LWMC cleared all major roads and thickly populated areas on Eid day when animal waste load was enormous.

Collection and transportation of animal waste on Eid ul-Azha has been one of the biggest challenges for the company and concern for the locals, but to my surprise, the company developed exceptionally well crafted arrangements to tackle the situation all around.

LWMC sanitation arrangements were in place before Eid. 15,000 workers, along with 2000 machines and other necessary gadgets, were deployed in the major and minor areas and markets of the city.

Last year at this time, LWMC had collected and disposed of more than 30,000 tons of animal waste. The sanitation operation was effective as it started to give a cleaner look in congested localities of the Walled City as well as other areas; hence the plan remained successful last year.

However, this year, LWMC distributed two million waste bags among citizens before Eid and managed to dispose of more than 50,000 tons of waste. In addition to the thickly populated areas, the company conducted exclusive operation cleanup in all cattle markets besides washing and sweeping of collective slaughter centers and major mosques.

The initiative taken by veteran actor/artist Afzal Khan (John Rambo) is also commendable. He supported LWMC in the operation clean up and accompanied LWMC teams in different localities on Eid and following days. This small gesture proves the sense of belonging and teaches us our responsibility towards the areas we live in and how important it is for us to take care of it prior to anything or anyone else.

LWMC also formed their helpline service for assistance and resolution of people’s complaints regarding waste and disposal in the real time. They responded promptly when approached, said a local.

More than 100 people were booked for unlawful collection of skin of sacrificial animals. They were either collecting hides without NOC or at camps in localities where their organisations were not allowed such an activity.

The LWMC had been successful in their plan so far; however, they need to keep a check on the mobile shops functioning in every corner of small as well as posh localities for burning siri paye. Other than that, the company has managed to impress the local residents in their prompt action and good management.

Punjab Chief Minister held a video conference ahead of Eid ul-Azha with Commissioners, Mayors, Deputy Commissioners & heads of concerned departments, and warned them to stay vigilant or they’d be held accountable in case of miss management.

It, however, is saddening to see such mismanagement in the biggest city of Pakistan. The locals of Karachi have been complaining, wastes are all over the place and no such plan had been formed to eradicate and dispose of wastes in time, and if formed, it was not implemented properly. It should be the top priority of the administration to take such details into account and ensure the implementation of formed plans. They could have formed active teams like LWMC did, also the helpline, to connect with people and help to maintain the cleanliness.

The lethargic management is not justified especially on such important occasions in any way. It is also important to educate and counsel people on such occasions so that they are somewhat able to manage things on their own. There are several authorities working including District Municipal Corporation (DMC), Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) along with Mayor, Chief Minister and Governor, but they all failed to form a plan and deploy staff and machinery to make the city look neat and tidy. They should take some guidance from the way district government in Punjab did its job to ensure the cleanliness in Punjab. They also should consider planning to do better or imitate the model implemented in Punjab for coming Eid ul-Azha.

In first world countries, and even in a religious country like Saudi Arabia, it’s not permissible to slaughter the animals at home; it’s strictly prohibited by law. Everyone has to go to Slaughter House with sacrificial animals early in the morning. They charge a nominal fee for slaughtering the animal and it takes few minutes only. Our government should start to think on educating and implementing the same law in Pakistan which will save much time and effort of the people and it is appropriate in many ways. Heavy penalties for those who spill blood in the streets and throw remains in garbage should be imposed. But it will take time. Till then, the local administrations should fulfill their responsibilities.

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