Sopore: The apple town Sopore, considered one of the prosperous towns in Kashmir, is crumbling under the garbage it produces, while authorities are failing for years to finalise a dumping site for the town.
Even a sustained campaign by the civil society, traders body and residents failed to end the crisis, despite the issue leading to noisy scenes in state assembly last year.
“The administration has failed to identify the dumping site till this date. This has resulted in the entire township suffering for the failures of this government,” Abdul Aziz, a senior citizen told Kashmir Reader.
Despite several meetings, media reports and protests on the issue authorities have not made any breakthrough on the issue.
Residents saw the issue has been vexed because of political wrangling and ‘turf war’ among legislators.
A dumping site was identified several years back in Tulbul Sopore, which was opposed by local residents along with the help of their legislator Basharat Bukhari.
Another dumping site identified in Adipora in Sopore, falling under the constituency of Haji Abdul Rashid Dar, also fell prey to politics, residents said.
After a lot of hue and cry, the administration some years back said it has identified land in Tarzoo for the dumping site, but so far there is no information available about the site and its exact location.
“We were hoping that it is not another excuse to buy time but it seems that is what it has been. How long with petty politics hold the sanitation of this all-important business centre of Sopore at ransom?” Haji Mohd Ashraf, president traders federation Sopore said.
The Municipal department, however, now claims that a cluster for dumping site has been identified in Delina area of Baramulla.
“The development of the site and the installation of plant tenders have been passed but I am not aware the exact time period that it will be put to use, it will be a big cluster land for main town Baramulla, Sopore and Pattan,” Abdul Mateen, Executive Officer of Sopore Municipal Committee said.
The municipal officers’ claim, however, clashed with the office of District Development Commissioner (DDC).
Nasir Ahmad Naqash DDC Baramulla told Kashmir Reader that a final site is yet to be finalized.
“We are working on this issue and we have identified multiple sites but a final site has not been finalized, it will take us to couple of months to finalize the dumping site among many selected,” Naqash said.
Amidst this administrative logjam, streets, markets and riverbeds of Sopore are getting overwhelmed by the garbage, posing dangers to environment, water and the health of residents.
The local hospitals have also reported rise cases of dog bites, from the canines that feed and thrive on the garbage dumps.