SRINAGAR: The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has utterly failed at the task of ensuring segregation of waste at source, the first step in the municipality’s scheme of solid waste management. Segregation of waste at source is meant to separate bio-degradable and nonbiodegradable substances at the household level. This will not only reduce the amount of garbage treated by the SMC, but also help in effective use of the waste. The engaging of NGOs to educate people about segregation of waste is turning out to be a failure. Earlier, the SMC spent considerable money on a segregator that was supposed to segregate waste at Achin, the biggest garbage dumping site. The SMC also paid a Kolkatabased environmentalist for his meof decomposing waste by sprinkling chemicals on it. Both the segregator and the chemical sprinkler failed. The sprinkler generated a leachate that itself became a problem. It was later cleared by assistance of another battery of
“After the failure, the SMC engaged six NGOs to go to households, in various selected wards, where they would inform the public and show them how to segregate waste at household level. It worked, initially, but the practice has steadily reduced,” anSMC official told Kashmir Reader.
He said that each NGO was initially given five wards, which were later reduced to three, then to one. The reason for this, he said, was lack of manpower and equipment on the SMC’s part.
“We needed a man from SMC who would accompany a person from an NGO to the households. Then we needed a sufficient amount of hoopers. Both were not available as per the requirement. When we apprised SMC about it, they asked us to limit it to three (wards), then one. The unfortunate fact is that even one ward cannot be covered with the manpower and number of hoppers being what it is,” a member of one of the NGOs said.
“The SMC has resources,” he added. “Since the project was given to us, and despite our repeated appraisals, the resources were never provided, and our work was reduced. The irony is that the SMC has not even paid us our full dues. Of six months’ dues, only two months’ have been given.”
An SMC official said that the task of the NGOs was basically to create model civic wards, which they failed to do.
Amid this inefficiency, Srinagar is heading towards a solid waste disaster. According to government figures, waste generation is growing at more than 2 percent annually.
Out of 3,134 tonnes of waste produced daily, only 74 percent is collected. Even of this, just 320 tonnes is treated, 375 tonnes is dumped at the landfill site, and the rest is left as it is.
Srinagar Mayor Junaid Mattu’s phone was off when this reporter called. His deputy, Sheikh Imran, did not answer phone calls made to him.