SHOPIAN: A ‘mega cleanliness drive’ in south Kashmir’s Rambiara rivulet, initiated on the directions of chief minister’s grievance cell on 24 November proved to be a damp squib. Locals said that neither the garbage was removed from the banks of Rambiara rivulet nor was an alternative site earmarked by the authorities for dumping the waste material.
Muhammad Aijaz, a resident of Shopian told Kashmir Reader that rows of officials visited the dumping site but nothing was done on the ground. The garbage was shifted from one side of dumping area to another which was clearly wastage of People’s money. He said the campaign was nothing but a publicity stunt by chief minister’s grievance cell.
Another local said that the authorities have failed in locating a dumping site for the past 30 years, which has led to pollution of the Rambiara river.
The dumping site has not only polluted the Rambiara but is also a curse on the name of historical Nagrai spring which lies close to the dumping site.
Mushtaq Ahmad Mir, another local resident said the mega cleanliness drive did not yield any result. “They (officials) came here with bulldozers without any planning and research,” he said adding the cleanliness drive was nothing but an eye-wash. “If they were serious on preservation of the water body, the officials should have come with proper planning and research for the permanent solution of the festering problem,” he said.
A top official from the district administration admitted the failure of previous district administrators in locating a dumping site. “Yes, it was unfortunately that the issue has not been resolved. We are trying hard to find a dumping site in the district,” he said.
Executive officer Municipal committee Shopian, Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar told Kashmir Reader that they were in contact with soil conservation department (SCD) about the scientific decomposition of wastes. “The SCD officials have assured us that they will send a team for examination and after that we will see what to do,” he said.
He said they were trying to see a permanent solution to the problem. “We have an optional site at Lethpora Pulwama which is under construction. Till then we have no option other than despositing the rubbish at the same site,” he said.