Filthy roads, heaps of garbage, littered streets, rising smoke from burning piles of waste and overflowing trash bins are a common scene in most areas of the provincial capital nowadays due to the inefficiency of the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC).Lahore – once known as the city of gardens – has been turned it into a city of garbage due to the poor cleanliness situation. This is damaging the beauty of the city and having adverse effects the city’s environment as well as the health of its dwellers. To keep the city clean is the responsibility of LWMC. The company was established by the City District Government in 2010, following the growing need to clean the city. For collecting the huge amount of waste in the city, the company had signed contracts with Turkish companies: Albayrak and Ozpak.Thousands of tonnes of waste is produced on a daily basis in Lahore alone. Though there is no data to determine the actual quantity of the waste, LWMC claims to collect some 6,000 tonnes per day with the help of its contractors. However, LWMC has been under criticism since it was established for not properly collecting waste in the city. Despite citizens’ complaints and media reports over the poor cleanliness situation, the company remained reluctant in fulfilling its responsibility.Initially, it was believed that the company only focused on cleaning the comparatively posh areas of the city including Johar Town, Muslim Town, Garden Town, Gulberg, Shadman and The Mall. However, now the situation is the same for residents of all areas. Saeed Ahmad, 40, a resident of Johar Town, said that the LWMC truck came to collect waste after two or three days. “Due to a lack of waste bins, people of the area have no choice but to throw their trash in empty spaces,” he said.While surveying the city, one can witness overflowing waste bins and cluttered streets. An official seeking anonymity said that it was the responsibility of LWMC’s Operations Department to monitor the cleanliness situation in the city. “The Operations Department has failed in its duty because of its incompetent staff which remain reluctant in strict monitoring. Key officials of this department were recruited on favoritism basis. That is why they do not perform their jobs efficiently,” he said.The official said that the Operations Department had the responsibility of monitoring the work of the company’s contractors. “The department has given a free hand to the contractors to do what they want without the fear of any check and balance. There are score of ghost employees. It is the responsibility of the HR department to find them,” he said. When contacted, LWMC Operations GM Sohail Anwer Malik rejected all the allegations, saying that the cleanliness situation was better in the city. “The department deals with all the complaints, while it is managing the waste properly,” he said.LWMC Spokesman Jamil Khawar told Daily Times that the company achieved over 90 percent of its targets. “There is not a single place in city which remains unattended. We are managing everything with our limited resources,” he said.