Local Government Minister Punjab Zeeshan Rafique has said that the Chief Minister’s “Suthra Punjab Program” will be carried forward in a phased manner.

After outsourcing the sanitation system of both villages and cities we will in the next step make the solid waste our ‘source’ by making it usable. Punjab government is going to introduce a model of recycling the bulk of waste by ensuring its segregation. He was addressing a press conference regarding “Suthra Punjab Program” at DGPR, here today. He said that Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif announced the biggest cleaning program in the history of the province soon after taking oath of her office. “Despite holy month of Ramadan, the government machinery honestly tried to implement the Chief Minister’s vision. This program was just a start and the first phase of a comprehensive sanitation plan”, he told.

The Local Government Minister said that the “Suthra Punjab Program” was quite successful, but we will learn lessons from the challenges faced during the cleaning campaign and move forward. “Punjab’s population of more than 127 million leaves 57,500 tons of waste every day. We are able to dispose of only eighteen thousand 438 tons of garbage. This means that the load of forty-nine thousand tons of waste is increasing every day”, he pointed out. Moreover, the minister told the media that nne lakh 30 thousand tons of waste was disposed of in Lahore during the last 30 days.

Zeeshan Rafique resolved that with the support of political determination, media and people, we will be successful, God willing. “At present, 229 municipal institutions of Punjab are providing services to 19.5 million people annually, while eight waste management companies are reaching out to about 26 million people. Time has come for all stakeholders to step forward to make Punjab a clean province and Pakistan a beautiful country”, he said. Mr. Rafique while pointing out that municipal services fees are charged worldwide stressed that outsourcing cleaning services will help in achieving cleaning goals. He said that more than garbage collection, its safe dumping and treatment of sewage water is the real challenge.

We are going to introduce modern and world class technology for proper dumping. Minister of Local Government said that segregation of waste is necessary before dumping it and for this purpose the location of 66 transfer stations has been identified in Punjab. On a question, Zeeshan Rafique said that Muslim League-N believes in conducting local body elections. Punjab government is working in this regard. During the press conference, he also extended Easter greetings to the Christian community, particularly Christian staff of the Local Government Department.

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