SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to prepare an action plan for treatment of solid waste and sewage disposal at tourist resort Pahalgam. The court also sought for a status report within three weeks.
“The action plan submitted should be in par with Environment Protection Act 1986 and Sewage Waste Management Rules 2016,” the court said.
Hearing a PIL on conservation of Pahalgam, Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, directed Pahalgam Development Authority and State Pollution Control Board to come up with an action plan within three weeks.
The directions came after the figures of waste generation in Pahalgam at peak season were presented before the court. The report said that when tourist arrivals peak in the resort, 18.48 metric tons of waste is generated per day.
The reports further revealed that every month 12 metric tonnes of waste is gathered after sweeping the streets in Pahalgam. Almost 74 percent of the waste is generated by hostels and restaurants, said the report.
Advocate General, Jahangir Iqbal Ganaie said that for scientific disposal of waste, only one machine is functioning, which inhibits the efficient treatment of waste.
“The waste is not fully treated due to shortage of equipment and it is dumped untreated at the disposal site. But two more (machines) are coming up with the capacity of five metric tons per day for waste treatment. Department is also planning to put three more mini sewage treatment plants in place,” said the advocate general.
“As present, the problem of waste can be dealt with. The direction is necessary because the magnitude of problem will increase with time,” Justice Durrez said.
The court further directed the SPCB to carry out a survey of sewage treatment plants of all the hotels with more than 20 rooms and submit a report. It also asked the department to report about hotels with less than 20 rooms to ascertain whether they take adequate measures for treatment of waste.
Regarding the creation of websites for flora and fauna of Pahalgam, the authorities said website will be active within a month and individual websites for all the wildlife shall also be designed.