A three-member delegation from the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) reached India on Monday on an invitation by Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The delegation is led by LWMC managing director Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary. Impressed by the cleanliness in Lahore during his recent visit to Pakistan, Sukhbir had extended an invitation to LWMC to visit his state.
The visiting team will meet officials of the Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Chandigarh municipal corporations, study the sanitation problems in these cities and suggest measures to improve the sanitary conditions.
Talking to reporters, Chaudhary said, "In Lahore, a Turkey-based company is looking after the solid waste, which helps us in keeping the city clean. Lahore generates about 6,000 metric tonnes of waste everyday, which is managed very professionally. We have seen Amritsar, and since it is a tourist city, cleanliness is a big issue here. We will be holding a meeting with the municipal corporation authorities here and tell them the procedures we have adopted in Lahore. We can both learn a lot from such mutually beneficial exchanges."
Chaudhary said they were expecting to sign memorandums of understanding on sanitation projects with the Punjab government after their meeting with Sukhbir.
The Pakistan delegation stressed that the Punjab government should opt for a separate agency to manage solid waste, which should not be under the municipal corporation. "This would help in focusing more on management of waste, which is increasing with population," they said.
Recently, a four-member team from Punjab had also visited Lahore to examine how garbage and waste was being managed there.
Amritsar municipal corporation commissioner Bhupinder Singh said, "Definitely, Lahore is handling waste management issues pretty well and the visit of this delegation will be a learning experience for us. We will be holding a meeting to discuss an ideal waste management system for Amritsar."
LWMC general manager (operations) Khalid Majid and manager (operations) Asif Iqbal are the other two members of the delegation.