Srinagar: Tons of garbage is littered on the streets of Srinagar as a standoff between the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and the residents of Achan continued for the seventh consecutive day on Friday. Achan residents are opposing the dumping of garbage in the area and have taken to violent protests in the locality. Many SMC vehicles were damaged and drivers injured by angry protestors when they tried to move towards the only dumping site in the city.
People in Srinagar are facing immense problems due to heaps of garbage scattered all over the place. Dumpers placed by SMC at many places in the city are overflowing and stinking. On an average 400 metric tons of solid garbage is produced every day in Srinagar and dumped at the Achan garbage dump. However, the agitation launched by Achan residents has halted dumping in the area. Garbage dumpers have been parked on Batamaloo-Bemina crossing besides Karan Nagar for the past several days. Achan residents have alleged that the garbage is being dumped without scientific treatment.
Heaps of garbage has piled up outside the main gate of Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Hospital, Rainawari, where visitors are forced to hold their breath while entering or leaving the premises. Residents of many areas of Srinagar city told Kashmir Reader that SMC staff has not turned up for the last four days to collect the garbage. Abdul Rashid Wangoo, a resident of Rainawari said that people are throwing garbage into Nadiyar nallah that flows through the locality as SMC workers have gone missing.
Ruqaya Begum, a resident of Khanyar locality said that heaps of garbage has piled up in the locality as SMC workers didn’t turn up to collect it. She said garbage accumulated at Government Girls Higher School, Khanyar is producing a foul smell. Some parents have even stopped their children from attending the school, fearing infections.
The residents of Achan are protesting from March 6 against dumping of the garbage at the Achan dumping site. They are demanding closure of the site.
Ghulam Mohammed Syed, a local resident said that the stink emanating from the site is affecting the health of people living in surrounding areas. “For the last 23 years, SMC is dumping the garbage here and making us suffer,” he said. The locals claimed that samples from the site sent for laboratory tests proved the place was dangerous not only for humans but also for the environment. “We have spent thousands of rupees and got waste samples tested. The results clearly show the effects on the people living in the area,” the locals said.
Chief Sanitation Officer of SMC Manzoor Turray, however, claimed that the government has selected Achan dumping site after proper consultation with different agencies. “Land mafia active in the area wants to grab the notified land for raising housing colonies. They are using the locals against SMC,” he alleged. He said that the government has taken up the issue seriously and with the help of police and other departments dumping will resume at Achan from Saturday.