SHOPIAN: Forty years on, the government has found no proper site to dump and decompose the solid waste generated in Shopian town. Instead, a piece of land is being used at Sofanaman area close to Rambiara rivulet, outside the mini secretariat Shopian.
While the authorities had proposed to shift the dumping site to Lethpora area of Pulwama, as the waste spilling at the present site is creating a lot of odour in the area besides the usual pollution of the Rambiara.
Experts believe that the dumping site at Sofanaman, spread on about a hectare of land, is causing too much pollution in the region. “As you know, this dumping site is not close to the Rambiara, which heavily pollutes the water that is a major drinking and irrigation source to hundreds of villages down the track,” said Muhammad Abid, an environmental activist.
Muhammad Rafiq, a local resident, said that another canal near the dumping site is filled with wastes like polythene and trash, But despite that, he said, the Municipal authorities continue throwing waste in the canal in their haste to finish their work quickly.
Nagrai spring, which has a historical significance, is also getting polluted since it is also situated close to this site. “The water of this spring gets waste while it mixes with the dirty canal below it,” Rizwan Ahmad, another local, said adding that besides this spring, there were many small springs in the area, but all have had waste and trash dumped in them by the Municipal authorities.
An employee posted in the mini secretariat Shopian told Kashmir Reader that they face huge inconvenience due to the bad odour caused by this dumping site. “I am clueless to know why the government has not moved it to an alternate site away from the mini secretariat premises and the Rambiara rivulet. But, ironically, the deputy commissioners who have worked here didn’t take any pains about this menace,” he said, wishing for anonymity.
Locals from the area said that the dumping site has become a hub of stray dogs and that they remain apprehensive about the safety of family members and school children who have this area as a lone link to reach their destinations. “This site is taking more and more area under its grab with every passing day,” one local said, adding that the day is not far when this site would result into a huge destruction for the area as it pollutes air, water and particularly soil since the quantity of polythene this site contains is itself a calamity.
Last year, the government and Municipal authorities said that by the beginning of this year, the site would be shifted to Lethpora. However nothing like that was done.
Deputy Commissioner Shopian Owais Ahmad and executive Officer Municipal Committee Shopian couldn’t be reached for comments despite repeated attempts on their phones.