People, Environment

Tehran Mayor's Environment Performance Criticized

Tehran Mayor's Environment Performance CriticizedTehran Mayor's Environment Performance Criticized

Tehran mayor's boast over his environment record during the first of the three presidential debates on April 28 has been severely criticized by an activist and advisor to the Department of Environment.

Esmaeil Kahrom censured Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf's claims on being an environmentalist and said he has done very little to protect the environment, ILNA reported.

The mayor tried to present himself as an environmentally-conscious candidate and claimed during the live TV debate that the municipality "generates electricity by burning waste".

Qalibaf first made the claim in 2012, announcing that the country plans to run the system of generating electricity from garbage for the first time in the country. He claimed to have set up the first power generating plant in Tehran's District 4 and said it is capable of producing two megawatts of power from 300 tons of garbage daily.

The Tehran mayor had said six companies from Japan, France, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia have studied the prospects of generating electricity from waste, but they were not able to start their operations due to restrictions, including the use of land. He said the measure is rare not only in Tehran, but in the whole country.

Elaborating on Qalibaf's resume during his 12 years as the mayor of Iran's most populous city, Kahrom said the municipality's move to generate power from waste is experimental,

"It is not surprising then that Qalibaf didn't provide any solid data to back up his claim. That's because the amount of electricity generated is negligible and not worth mentioning," he said.

Pointing to the much-touted two-level Sadr Highway project, Kahrom said it failed to do what it was supposed to.

"The project was meant to alleviate traffic and help reduce air pollution, but the exact opposite has happened. Traffic congestion and poor air quality are the achievements of the grand scheme," he said.

In March, Qalibaf said he had overseen the expansion of Tehran's green spaces from 18,000 hectares to 39,000 hectares, which claim has been roundly rejected.

The Persian daily Etemad posted a satellite photo of Tehran on its website on Sunday, captioning it: "Tehran has an area of 70,000 hectares and Mr. Qalibaf says 39,000 hectares—more than half the area of the city—are made up of green spaces. So why is Tehran's satellite photo grey?"


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