Waste Management

Waste Management
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Every society generates huge waste and the problem and issue of waste management, solid or otherwise, is not peculiar to Kashmir. It is worldwide issue that has been dealt with different and varying approaches. In the developed world, the most prudent and effective way and form of waste management has been the conversion of waste into electricity. This not only eliminates the issue of managing waste but also utilizes waste for effective use by society. But, in this part of the world, especially Kashmir, the problem of waste management remains under-addressed. There are myriad reasons for this. Among the salient ones are the usual suspects : inertia in the structures of the administration(s), the rather structural inability to think out of the box, and other related issues. In Srinagar city, waste generated by the city and its inhabitants, is disposed at Achan. Waste management, it may be stated here, is a process. There is almost a supply chain in operation right from the collection of waste and then its subsequent treatment. But, in Kashmir, this process is not only warped but also flawed- from the point of collection to its disposal and then treatment. ( In terms of treatment, it is badly managed, so much so that a horrible stench emanates from the Achan site causing great inconvenience to not only the nearby inhabitants but also residents living afar). The question is: can there be a remedy to this? Is efficient and effective waste management possible in Kashmir, despite the structural obstacles? Yes, is the obvious answer. The inertia that defines the structures of administration can be obviated by part privatization of components of the waste management process or supply chain. For example, collection and treatment can be outsourced to private operations with overall command and control remaining with the Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Similarly, a cue can be taken from the advanced countries and waste converted into electricity here. (Apparently, this is being done in Kashmir but the details of this particular project remain rather obscure). Bad or lackadaisical waste management is a public health issue besides being an aesthetic one. It should be treated at par with other nagging issues that Kashmir faces- that is , a priority one. It is high time that the administration , rises from its slumber on this issue and develop a waste management paradigm and institute practices that redound to the benefit of the people.