LAHORE: With only three months till the expiry of the thrice-extended contract in December, the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) has so far been unable, or is unwilling, to initiate the process for hiring contractors to keep the city clean – a procedure that may take at least six months and another few for the new contractors to mobilise machine and manpower.
This delay leaves around six months to a year uncovered between the end of current contracts and new ones coming into effect (qualification, bidding, evaluation and winning), and then charge taken on ground, unless the company plans to extend the existing contracts – many potential bidders fear that the delay has been deliberate to serve vested interests.
Company officials insist that the uncovered period would only be three months. But their claim contains two unverifiable hypotheses: the process would start immediately, and the new contractor be given only two months to mobilise resources.
City may become ‘filth depot’ for at least six months if delay persists
However, ground realities belie both claims. Even the documentation has not started yet, considering the current contractors took 14 months to take charge: the contract was signed on Nov 3, 2011 and phased mobilisation completed in January and February 2013 – when formal commencement of the contract started.
“Even if the process takes three months, the city will be converted into a filth depot within just a few days and trouble will compound with each passing hour,” says a former employee of the company.
The two international contractors currently operating – AlBayrak and Oz Pak – have been removing six tonnes of solid waste daily. When 40 per cent of the machinery of one of the contractors went out of operation, the entire city was stinking. Their original seven-year contracts expired early