BUDGAM: Nothing seems to have changed on ground despite huge amount spent under “Swach Bharat Mission” compaign to improve the sanitation in Budgam district.
Mounds of foul smelling garbage mock at the hoardings carrying messages of the sanitation program.
“It would be better to say that the Swachh Bharat Mission has failed to leave mark here in Budgam district, because of failure of the authorities to maintain the enthusiasm with which the campaign was launched,” said Abdul Majeed, a retired headmaster.
The campaign was marked by programmes and awareness camps across the district by bureaucrats, politicians and municipality officials. Many termed the campaign as a major step towards cleanliness and creation of a civic sense.
But the foul-smelling garbage heaps are back to haunt residents even as the banners encouraging people to participate wholeheartedly in the campaign still flutter in the town.
Students of government Middle School Kandhama have to pass through heaps of garbage and cow dung lying in front of the school.
“It is difficult for us to walk or breathe due to the foul smell. Studying at places surrounded with filth increases the health risks,” a student of school said.
A teacher of the school said that they pleaded with local residents and requested Tehsil administrators several times to take note of the problem.
“The money spent on media advertising, hoardings, posters should have better been used to engage more manpower and equipment,” he said.
He added that people must be fined for dumping waste near schools and public places.
Mohammad Ashraf, a local resident, said that officials are the only one benefitting from SBM.
“Taking broom in hand and gaining publicity wouldn’t end this menace. I request administration to take serious note on this issue as soon as possible,” he said.
Residents allege that garbage dumped in street corners remains unattended for weeks together making their life miserable.
In Arizal, popularly known as gateway to Dodpathri, residents point to stinking drains that seems to have not been cleaned for a long time.
Residents seem to be equally culpable in polluting the natural beauty, dumping garbage in Nallah Sukhnag which provides water to dozens of villages.
Some residents alleged that municipality officials have not even bothered to visit to take stock of the pathetic state.
“The violators, who dump the garbage in the open, should be penalized,” a resident said.
Social activist, Ishfaq Wani, told Kashmir Reaqder that “propaganda” of the Swach Bharat Abhiyan was “to earn publicity for the government itself”.
“Had the money been spent on incentives to sweepers, it would have produced better results” Wani said.
“Taking broom in hands to be on television or newspapers, does not yield results. One needs good governance and proper arrangements.”