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PU trashing our homes, say Mustafa Town residents

LAHORE, Aug 6: The Punjab University (PU) New Campus authorities are dumping garbage near Ahmad Yar Block of Mustafa Town, a nearby residential colony, residents said on Sunday.

The colony consisted of about 5,000 residents and was located 100 meters away from the university's landfill. Residents said they were contracting diseases because of the garbage and the situation worsened when the authorities burnt the garbage.

"It becomes terrible when the wind blows towards houses," said Imran Gul, a resident. "Fresh air is a dream now and my children have developed asthma because of this," he added. He said the authorities were dumping three trolleys of garbage a day in the site.

Sabeena Jalal, another resident, said her whole family was suffering from breathing problems. "It becomes intolerable when the authorities burn the garbage and wind blows towards our houses," she added. Shahid Mushtaq, another resident, said his house was 300 meters away from the garbage heaps. "During rains, the whole area is filled with mud and I cannot go to the mosque for prayers," he said.

Azmatullah Khokar, former Mustafa Town nazim, said the water of the area had become muddy because of the garbage. He said that despite his requests to the PU authorities to stop disposing the garbage near the colony, they did not stop. He alleged that PU threatened to bury the colony under the garbage. He said the people would start protests if the practice continued.

PU Resident Officer Zahid Karim said that the university was dumping garbage in its premises. He said he would discuss the problem with other officials and search for an alternative landfill. He said the municipal authorities were not willing to collect extra garbage of the university.

Dr Tufail Ahmed Siddiqui, district officer of the Solid Waste Management Department, said the PU had its own set up of employees and vehicles for waste disposal. He said the PU administration had never requested his department for this purpose. If university authorities asked, he said, his department would resolve PU's garbage problems. Daily times
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