MIR SABEEN GULREZ
SRINAGAR: Residents of Lal Nagar, Chanapora, near National Highway 1 (NH1) are up in arms against the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for utilising a particular piece of land as a dumping site which the previous government had proposed for a park. The irony is that this dumping site is opposite to the Cancer Society of Kashmir.
Despite the SMC having spent a huge amount of money to make Srinagar green and clean under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the condition outside the Cancer Society of Kashmir has turned from bad to worse. Having the public park, which was meant for area beautification, turned into a dumping site has brought gloom to patients and residents in the locality.
Uzma, a Cancer Society patient, told Kashmir Reader, “I usually come for chemo therapies, but this contaminated, foul smell, flies and mosquitoes usually create mess. At times, I am unable to breathe and I become breathless.”
She continued, “I request Srinagar Municipal Corporation to please look for any other place for these dustbins as I don’t want more patients to suffer like me.”
Respiratory ailment symptoms were detected among nearby residents. These were linked to inhalation exposure to endotoxins, microorganisms and aerosols from these wastes. Residents claim other environmental problems like rodents and insects such as flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches etc which can endanger public health by spreading ailments such as dysentery, cholera, yellow fewer, malaria and filariasis.
According to Abdul Khaliq, an employee of the Cancer Society, “Many cancer patients come daily for treatment, but because of the dumping site, there is a foul and filthy smell here. It becomes impossible for we people to work with the smell.”
Houseflies and mosquitoes are not only hazardous for us wh0 are treating patients but surely for those who are getting treated, he further added.
“If this place has been proposed for a park, where is it? Instead of the park, SMC has put at least three dustbins which are creating havoc. The foul smell is unbearable. Stray dogs are increasing day by day here because of the dustbins,” Naveed Hassan, a local, told Kashmir Reader.
Dr Nissar Ahmad Mir, a physician, says the most common health issues which residents are facing are diseases related to their gastro-intestinal, dermatological, respiratory and genetic systems as well as several other types of infectious diseases. The nearby populations may experience diarrhoea, headaches, chest pains, irritation of the skin, nose and eyes, typhoid and stomach ulcers.
Srinagar Municipal Commissioner Riyaz Wani told Kashmir Reader, “Dustbin is the priority, collection of garbage is a priority. If there is any foul smell or any need of improvement, that I can take care. It’s a far question that place has been proposed for the park.
“That place has been designated as the primary collection point because we made the master plan for waste management and that place we have mapped as the primary collection point,” he further added.