Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to file its response regarding steps taken by it for disposal of dead animals at Achan, the lone dumping site for this summer capital of the state.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Justices Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Hasnain Massodi also directed the SMC to indicate the area within the vast dumping site which has been earmarked by it for taking care of the carcasses.
The direction followed submissions by advocate Z A Qureshi that the situation on the spot has not undergone change and that it would be more unpleasant in wake of rising temperatures.
Qureshi, counsel for residents living in the immediate vicinity of the duping site, produced certain photographs, which, the bench observed, suggests that the position prevalent on spot is “horrible”. “Dead animals are shown lying scattered at the dumping site,” the bench observed after glance at the photographs.
Advocate Zubiar Ahmad, counsel for Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), submits that the carcasses are brought to the dumping site by the SMC and it is its responsibility to take care of the dead animals.
He said that ERA’s job is restricted to scientific disposal of the waste dumped and segregated by SMC at the site after collecting it from Srinagar city.
The submission by counsel for ERA belied SMC’s stand which hitherto had maintained that its job finishes at dumping the waste at the landfill site.
Subsequent to submissions by ERA’s counsel, the bench furnished a set of the photographs to advocate F A Mir, representing the municipality for filing the response in light of the pictures by next date of hearing on May 1.
Meanwhile the bench also allowed an application by Registrar Judicial of the court, seeking time for filing report about spot inspection with a direction file the same by next date of hearing.
Among other things, the Registrar has been tasked by court to report inter alia whether all leachate generated at the site passes through three LTPs (Leachate Treatment Plants) or some of it still finds its way to underground water.
Apart from accounting to the pollution of the underground water, the leachate has been a source of nuisance in the entire area as well as its neighbourhood.
In-fact during the last summer, the stink of the leachate engulfed almost entire Old City, leaving thousands of people fuming.
In another direction, the division bench asked concerned parties to file response to a compliance report filed by Chief Engineer, PHE Kashmir, in terms of last order by the court.
The court was hearing a PIL filed in 2006 by Farah Khan, then a law student, seeking implementation of the provisions of Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 and Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 for effective garbage disposal in Srinagar city.
The petitioner was represented by advocate Faisal Qadri while Additional Advocate General M A Chashoo.