Bijbehara: The dearth of public dustbins here in Bijbehara town of Anantnag is such that the local municipality has used a picture of dustbins from Odisha slums for its Facebook page.
“We do not have dustbins installed in the town, for even a photo-op,” a source in Municipal Committee Bijbehara (MCB) told Kashmir Reader.
The MCB has used a photograph of dustbins kept at slums of Berhampur in Odisha, where a local NGO had installed them for public use.
Locals in Bijbehara said it was a pity that even slums in Odisha have dustbins while as their town, the home town of two former chief ministers no less, has none.
A cursory look around the town and it is not hard to spot mountains of filth at various places. These are points from where the town’s garbage is collected by the municipality, as per its own convenience.
“Sometimes the garbage lies scattered around for days because the MCB employees do not ‘feel like’ cleaning it up,” said Khursheed Ahmad, a resident of New Colony in the town.
Other residents said that the MCB had installed some dustbins a few years ago, only to remove them later for reasons not yet known.
“The extreme callousness on part of the MCB in keeping the town clean has become a bane for the people of the town. It affects the health of the local residents,” locals said, adding that the ever-growing filth has made the town a haunt of stray dogs.
Residents said that the stray dogs love rummaging through these mountains of filth. “We feel unsafe to let our kids venture out. The stray dogs around the mounds of filth in every locality of the town have become a nuisance for not only the children but for the grown-ups as well. The moment these dogs see you alone, they attack you,” several residents said.
The town’s residents squarely blame the MC Bijbehara for the mess. “The only thing they have been doing is orchestrate photo ops for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, to avail more funds for their own good,” locals alleged.
Kashmir Reader tried talking to MCB’s Executive Officer, Abdul Rasheed Teeli, who told this reporter that he will call back.