PAHALGAM: Municipal Committee Pahalgam, an organization meant for sanitation in the area, has become a major source of pollution in this ecologically fragile tourist destination.
The local body has chosen the banks of Tulyan Nallah for garbage dumping, thereby not only polluting the water body but also the fragile environs of the area. “MCP is dumping the garbage here from past four years without bothering about the health of the water body,” said a local environmental activist, Mushtaq Pahalgami.
Tulyan Nallah- a rivulet in the area is known for its crystal clear waters with Tulyan Lake, one of the largest lakes in the upper reaches of Pahalgam, its source.
The rivulet after passing through many villages in the area finally culminates into river Lidder near Sarbal.
The locals said that the garbage, dumped on the rivulet bank, many a time mixes with rivulet water and finally empties into Lidder.
“Lidder is the main attraction for tourists here besides being a source of drinking water to lakhs of people. One wonders as to how the MCP, supposed to keep the tourist spot clean, can pollute the same,” they said.
The residents of Ganisbal and Sarbal, two nearby villages fear an “outbreak of epidemic” due to the dumping of garbage into the rivulet water. “The MCP has been dumping all the garbage being collected from main town Pahalgam and its peripheries here. The garbage has started stinking so badly that there is every possibility of the outbreak of an epidemic,” they said.
“Some people in the area have already started showing symptoms of respiratory diseases,” a group of villagers told Kashmir Reader.
They said that the dumping of garbage near the spot is affecting the health of their cattle. “During last few years many cows in the village have died after eating the garbage. Only last week a cow of a poor family died after it consumed the garbage from the dumping site,” the villagers said.
Though the executive officer, MCP, Bashir Ahmad Dar, admitted that the garbage dumping site near the spot could prove to be threat to the water body and environment of the area, he said that they are in the process of identifying an alternate dumping site away from the human habitation.
“We are on it. Once the site is identified that will be developed on scientific lines,” EO said.