Open Drain hits town’s hygiene
Budgam: The bustling Magam town situated on the periphery of central Kashmir’s Budgam district maybe bosating a number of commercial establishments-shops, workshops and hardware stores, dozens of schools and degree colleges-but the town is lacking on basic amenities including toilets.
The residents say the situation did not change despite the executive municipal officers assured the people that the public toilets will be constructed within a period of one month. However, even after four months no construction work has begun. “Every morning, around 3,000 persons including students and passengers hit the town for different purposes. Most of them are daily visitors who face hardships for the lack of toilet facility,” Ghulam Hassan, a resident of the town said.
He said the existing toiled block ceased to function many years ago. “The residents and visitors to the town go for open urination causing health hazards,” he said.
The absence of public toilets is more troublesome for women and girl students. The residents blamed the government for deliberately delaying the construction work despite the release of funds under SBM.
Executive municipal officer Magam, Shafaqat Ali told Kashmir Reader that foreign NGOs have been roped in to construct the toilets under SBM. “They have taken the initiative and will complete the construction work soon,” he said. Earlier Ali had said the funds have been released and the sites have also been proposed for construction work.
The locals said that an open drain has become breeding ground for mosquitoes. While the drain carries constant discharge of sewage, it has become a dumping ground for garbage also. It has not been cleared for many years and is a serious health hazard to residents.
District Commissioner Budgam Mohammad Haroon told Kashmir Reader that he has joined recently in the district and will confirm the current status. “I will personally intervene and once I will come to know the reason behind the delay on work, will convey accordingly,” he said.