The Government of Pakistan and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Wednesday signed an advance loan agreement worth $1.6 million for the Lahore Water and Wastewater Management Project. According to the details, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq expressed gratitude to the AIIB team for extending their continuous support to the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to achieve the sustainable economic and social development of the country. Federal Minister apprised the delegation that the project holds high importance to the city of Lahore as it would ensure a sustainable supply of safe water, reduce deteriorating environmental impacts due to untreated sewage disposal and deliver improved services to the general public. According to him, the preparatory advance shall lead to the early signing and implementation of the main project aimed at ensuring the provision of safe water and improvement of the existing sewerage system of the mega city.
Pakistan is a developing nation that faces multiple administrative and governance issues relating to the provision of pure drinking water, cleanliness, sewerage, and waste management which not only created numerous health issues but also made citizens’ lives miserable. Currently, all major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, and many other population centers portray a picture of messy, ungoverned, and uncontrolled construction while massive encroachment and irregular traffic present them as uncivilized colonies.
Lahore Waste Management Authority was established by the Punjab government in 2010, with millions of rupees budget and a large fleet of the latest vehicles and equipment but the authority failed to perform its operation satisfactorily mainly due to the corruption of the government officials, injudicial use of resources and unethical living of the public which never fulfills its citizenry responsibilities and add to the problems of the government. While public institutions usually hide their slackness under the pretext of lack of resources and nonavailability of the latest machinery. Although successive governments had introduced multiple systems and also hired foreign companies to address the persistent issues, yet no recipe can get the required results.
In fact, the government must initiate a public awareness campaign along with the introduction of strict laws to curb encroachment, misuse of available resources, and accountability of government employees to provide a healthy environment and peaceful life to the people of the country.