SRINAGAR: Piles of garbage and litter accumulated on roadsides is casting shadow on the Srinagar Municipal Corporation’s (SMC) plans to beautify the historic city and restore its pristine glory. The negative approach of the general public and lackadaisical approach of the SMC officials are both contributing to keep the city in unhygienic condition.
The heaps of garbage piling on roads is main source of infection breeding flies and mosquitoes and causing spread of diseases among children and old age people.
“The SMC seems to be reluctant to ensure cleanliness of the areas. The heaps of garbage lying on roadsides are causing foul smell,” said Mohammad Shafi, a resident of Nallahmar road in old Srinaghar.
“The heaps of garbage encroach the roads and occupy almost half of the track. This often becomes cause of accidents,” he said citing an incident when a teenager riding a bicycle was chased by a stray dog and he lost his nerve and rammed into a truck as half of the road was covered with garbage.
Abdul Majeed, a vendor at Batmaloo conceded that he throws rubbish on the roadside but blames lack of proper arrangement from the authorities for garbage disposal.
“All vendors and shopkeepers throw the rubbish on the roadside. We know we are doing wrong act but we have no other option. There is a solitary dustbin installed in the area, which is full with garbage all the time. The SMC does not even claear the dustbin regularly,” Majeed said.
“It is an irony that the SMC often focuses on specific areas for cleanliness. The core of the city and the densely populated areas are often neglected,” he said.
As per the country wide survey Swach Survekshan 2017 conducted by Union Urban Development Ministery Under Swash Bharat Mission (SBM) in January this year, Srinagar city fared abysmally lower in the ranking at 241 among 500 cities.
The residents complain that SMC officials who have been assigned to clean specific areas are often careless.
“The sweeper in our locality seldom attends his duty. When we call him, he comes. We pamper him with tea and snacks so that he regularly comes but he is not habitually aregular,” Naseema Banoo, a local from Babademb area said.
She said that the sweeper turned abusive when the people of the area lodged a complaint against him some time back.
The stray dog menace is the main contributor to this state of affairs. “Every morning we find dog faeses at our doorstep. It is a compulsion every morning to clean it,” Saleema, a resident of Habba Kadal locality said.
Commissioner SMC Dr Shafkat Khan said that a sanitation drive would be launched in the areas where issues of piling up of garbage have cropped up.