SRINAGAR: A waste management expert of the country has predicted that Achan dumping site could explode anytime.
S R Maley, a well-known scientist made this assertion after extensive research of the Achan site. He has been visiting Jammu and Kashmir for years and has also helped in decomposing the waste at Pahalgam dumping site.
He said the people living in the vicinity of the dumping site face imminent threat and it will also have adverse effects on the environment. “The site could explode any day because of the pressure created by the gases. It is like a man-made volcano, and the people around the site will die and it will have many adverse effects on environment,” Malay claimed.
Spread over 600 kanal, the garbage dumping site at Achan remains the focal point of the agitation against the Srinagar Municipal Corporation. The stink emanating from the dumping ground, people living in adjacent areas say, gives them sleepless nights. They allege that government was making no concerted effort to tackle the problem.
The site was acquired in the year 2000 to establish a processing plant.
Malay says the SMC dumped the waste in cells without giving much thought to it. “The authorities dumped the waste and later filled the compartments with soil. Overtime the waste, which contains biodegradable content fermented and dangerous gases were formed in them. Leachate (liquid secreted by fermented waste) and methane gas bubbles are visible everywhere in and around the site,” he added
According NGT guidelines, waste can be only filled in such cells after proper treatment like segregation and fermentation, but authorities are blindly burying this waste.
“NGT suggested recycling, segregation and compose formation. But the agency has given affidavit to the NGT that because of environmental conditions these processes can’t be done here,” says Ghulam Nabi Ganai, an environmental expert from Valley.
Ganai says the site is suitable for establishing a composite plant to treat waste in scientific manner as per NGT guide lines. According to sources, however, ERA is looking to get 19 crore rupees from Asian Development Bank for construction of a third cell.
When contacted, Satish Razdan, Director ERA acknowledged that ERA is constructing the third cell. “We have nothing to do with the dumping of waste. Our only concern is construction of the cell,” he said.