SRINAGAR: The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) — the two bodies handling garbage management in Srinagar — have conflicting views on the life-span of the Achan land-fill site.
Assistant Project Manager of the ERA, Muhammad Yousuf Khan told Kashmir Reader that the site could take waste material for a maximum period of one month from now. “After one month, the land-fill will exhaust its capacity and cease functioning”, Khan said.
“Technically, the site has been exhausted as per its design capacity of 2.41 lakh metric tons. In absence of any alternative, we dumped additional waste of 50,000 metric tons to avert any crisis”, Khan said, adding that the last ditch available at the site would be full in less than a month’s time. Khan indicated that time was running out and a new crisis was round the corner.
Khan’s apprehensions notwithstanding, the Chief Sanitation Officer of the SMC Manzoor Ahmad said the site could be utilised for more than six months. “There is no cause for worry,” Ahmad said.
However, Khan says that after thoroughly examining the site he has communicated the status to SMC and even asked the garbage managers to take necessary steps if the life span of the land-fill area is extended. “I believe if the moisture of the land-fill is effectively drained out, it can function for some more time. I even told SMC that ERA will get the moisture out but SMC has to get it treated itself,” he added.
Ahmad accepted that Khan had communicated his concern and the matter was taken with the higher-ups for action. “Before we act on ERA’s advice, I have to take into consideration other departments like LAWDA because we have to decide and plan how to treat the moisture before it is drained. I am hopeful that we will be able to decide on it in a week’s time,” he explained.
The city has been facing the garbage crisis at a time when it has no immediate alternative to dump the waste on scientific lines and the construction of a third land-fill has been delayed. The SMC, on the advice of a New Delhi-based solid waste expert, had also adopted open dumping of waste. However, it proved counterproductive as the Achan residents protested against it. The protest forced SMC to take security cover while transporting the waste to the dumping site. Sources said that the matter was awaiting a permanent solution after the crisis erupted around two weeks ago.