By Shafat Mir
Pahalgam: The Municipal Committee Pahalgam (MCP) is playing havoc with the ecologically fragile tourist resort Pahalgam by dumping solid waste in the open.
Garbage collected from hotels and markets by the MCP is disposed of at many places in Pahalgam.
The MCP earlier dumped solid waste at Sarbal, adjacent to a rivulet, which finally joins Lidder River. But now the municipal authorities have started dumping the garbage at multiple locations in and around Pahalgam.
The waste dumped at Sarbal drains into the rivulet and this contaminated water then merges with the Lidder river, which is the source of drinking water for tens of thousands of people in Anantnag. Health experts warn that consumption of this contaminated water may cause water-borne diseases like Cholera, Diarrhea and Amoebiasis.
“Municipal committee workers bring the waste in tractors and empty them in valleys en route to Baisaran meadow well inside Pahalgam valley. It not only poses grave danger to the sensitive ecology of Pahalgam but also makes it difficult for the tourists to walk through these places,” says a local resident, Rayees Ahmed Shah.
Rayees said the CEO of Pahalgam Development Authority has not acted on the request of the local residents who asked him to put an end to stop the dumping of garbage in the open.
He said that rise in temperature in the coming days would aggravate the problem as stink would make it impossible for locals and tourists to pass through the area.
Executive officer Municipal Committee Pahalgam Tariq Ahmed Itoo denied having dumped any garbage along the Baisaran road.
“I have joined here just a couple of months ago and I would never allow dumping of waste along this scenic route,” he told Kashmir Reader.
Itoo added that a solid waste treatment machine has been installed at Sarbal.
“As soon as the temperature increases the machine will work with its full capacity and we will be able to treat this garbage in less than a month,” he said.