Littering fine



THE Senate Standing Committee on Interior at its meeting on Monday unanimously approved the imposition of five hundred thousand rupees fine on those who litter streams and rivers while the fine for repeat offence will be one million rupees. Given the contamination of our water resources which in fact create multiple problems including environmental as well as cause devastation during heavy rains, the very recommendation made by the Senate Committee is a step in the right direction and it is expected that both the federal and provincial governments will make the relevant laws to also get it implemented.

Whilst most of the countries also resort to such sort of fines on litterers, but they also have put in place a proper solid waste management system ranging from the collection of garbage to its proper disposal. However, it is unfortunate that while we are generating approximately 49.6 million tons of solid waste a year which is increasing more than 2.4pc annually, we still lack proper waste management infrastructure. Most municipal waste is burned, dumped, or buried on vacant lots, threatening the health and welfare of the general population. It is estimated 87,000 tons of solid waste is generated per week, mostly from major metropolitan areas. In cities like Lahore and Rawalpindi a waste management system was initiated in the previous government of PML-N but it has now become redundant as heaps of garbage has become a common sight along the roads and streets. The situation in Karachi is far more serious. Despite repeated commitments made by various political leaders, the problem is far from over.  Hence, apart from imposing fines on the citizens, it is also incumbent upon the federal and provincial governments to fulfil their responsibilities and pay special attention to addressing this chronic issue. A sustainable system of waste disposal envisaging strict monitoring should be put in place in all the cities.  Then apart from raising public awareness, projects such as those of recycling and generating electricity through waste could also be launched to effectively tackle this matter.