Srinagar: In the past ten years, tonnes of mineral-rich compost were created at the Achan dumping site where a waste-to-compost plant was set-up in 2007. But neither was any compost sold to anyone nor a penny earned from it in all these years.
Sources in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) told Kashmir Reader that the compost produced in the Achan plant was distributed free of cost among people and officials.
“Normally, around three tonnes of compost can be created per day. Selling such amount of compost would have fetched good money to SMC,” an official of SMC said.
A few samples of compost were sent to agriculture department and to Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences & Technology Kashmir (SKUAST-K) for testing the quality of manure.
“The results were positive and encouraging. Good feedback was also received from those who had utilised this compost at their farm-lands and vegetable gardens. But despite that, no effort was made by officials to turn this plant into a revenue-generator for the corporation,” the official said.
The SMC has no record of how much of compost was created during the past ten years or how much of compost is created per day. Now, after directions from the current commissioner SMC, it has started keeping a record of all the data.
“During the last three months, around three tonnes of compost was created at the plant and it is still there at the site. There are no modalities for sale or distribution of the same,” the SMC official said.
Solid waste management officer, Nazir Ahmad Baba, said that the plant was established and was being run by Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) until 2015 when it handed over the plant to corporation.
“Since then, the work has been accelerated and the process (of composting) has been streamlined. No testing of quality was carried out before 2015 and when we took it over, we sent samples to agriculture department and SKUAST-K so that we could distribute it to make it available for sale for general public,” Baba said.
He said that they had a few inter-department meetings for the above purpose and the corporation was seriously pursuing the case. “Initially, we would try to sell this compost among government departments like floriculture and agriculture etc. Later, after it gains acceptance among people, we will make it available for them, too. That might force us to increase the compost at the same time,” he said.