Jhelum banks in Sopore town become garbage dump as Municipality fails

Jhelum banks in Sopore town become garbage dump as Municipality fails
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Sopore: The apple town of Sopore is faced with a grave municipal challenge as authorities turn the banks of River Jhelum into a garbage dump. The river Jhelum runs through the heart of the town and is inhabited on both banks but the presence of huge garbage everywhere in across the river bank especially near Chankhan bridge at the entry point of the Sopore has become a source of health safety for the residents.
Few pictures clicked by this correspondent from the spot showing Sopore Municipality employees dumping human waste in the open at the bank of river Jhelum right next to Chankhan bridge, “When asked them that why are they dumping waste in open like this and they have been caught on camera, they carelessly and fearlessly replied, no one can do anything about it, everybody knows about it,” one of the employ wearing maniple uniform said.
“This is an open violation and these people need to get exposed so that they can be made accountable and should understand the hazards of their act,” Syed Abdul Rashid, a local presence at the spot told Kashmir Reader.
“It is a health and hygiene issue for our town. We have to wear masks to avoid pungent smell emanating from the garbage dumps,” Syed Abdul Rashid, a longtime resident of the area told Kashmir Reader.
Abdul Gaffer, a senior citizen told Kashmir Reader that the town was already struggling with waste management for a decade. “Dumping human waste in the open, near the bank of river Jhelum, is welcoming diseases. The authorities must take cognizance of the act and punish these negligent people,” Gaffer said.
Large heaps of garbage has made the spot a safe haven for stray dogs. “We are scared to send our children out for the fear of stray dogs due to this garbage heap. The presence of garbage dump has drastically affected business in the area,” Munir Ahmed, a trader who runs a cafeteria in Sopore revealed.
Many residents who spoke with this correspondent said that they are helpless as municipal authorities simply bring in garbage from all over the town and its peripheries and dump it in the vicinity of the river near Chankhan Bridge. “Why can’t they identify a spot for dumping the litter? We appeal to the governor and his administration to identify a dumping site in this world-famous township at an earliest, “Munir Ahmad noted.
Municipal Officer Sopore, Abdul Lateef Mir, who has joined a few days back accepting this incident, told Kashmir Raeder that as I have joined a few days back, so I have already given orders to my subordinates that no garbage will be dumped near Chankhan Bridge or on the banks of river Jhelum.
“We have a meeting in a couple of days and Inshallah, we will come up with some solution and strategy for dumping the waste as we lack the dumping site in Sopore, Officer added.
It is pertinent to mention that at least three proposed dumping sites have been doing the rounds for last more than a decade – TulBal, Adipora, and Tarzoo – but none could be finalized with residents putting the blame on a tussle between two legislators on the issue.
An official source told Kashmir Reader that the site at TulBal was identified for garbage dumping some years back, but the local residents opposed it with the support of their legislator Basharat Bukhari, who has recently joined National Conference and was minister for relief and rehabilitation in PDP led government.
After that, another site was identified at Adipora where it is facing opposition from Congress MLA, Abdul Rashid Dar.
The two legislators have also locked horns over the issue in the legislative assembly, with the two blaming each other for the problem.
Meanwhile, Sopore town has virtually become a garbage dump, with big heaps of waste lying scattered in commercial as well as residential areas.