Solid waste management in south Kashmir held up due to Swachh Bharat Mission

Anantnag: It’s been five years and still no bid has come for the only proposed Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) unit in the entire south Kashmir region. The lack of interest is said to be due to “concerns” regarding the funding for the project under Swachh Bharat Mission.
With an approximate cost of about Rs 4 crore, the ISWM is supposed to cater to the solid waste management needs of five municipalities of Anantnag, Bijbehara, Mattan, Achabal and Aishmuqam.
The department of Urban Local Bodies has also acquired 30 kanals of land in Uranhall area of Anantnag district for setting up the unit.
However, 5 years down the line the bidders still seem reluctant to submit tenders for the project.
“The basic reason for their reluctance is the pattern of funding for the project,” a source in the Urban Local Bodies department told Kashmir Reader. “Only 35 percent of the funding will come from the government and whoever gets the contract has to earn the rest from the unit,” he added.
The source said that the bidders have been unable to foresee ways of earning money from an ISWM unit. “Only last year, tenders were floated thrice for the project but the response has been negative,” the source said.
The department’s officials also held meetings with the contractors and tried to address their concerns, to no avail.
“A fresh model is being considered to end the deadlock over the bidding. Hopefully the impasse will end soon,” another official in the department told Kashmir Reader.
Chief Executive Officer of the Anantnag Municipality, Muhammad Ismail, also hoped that the impasse will end soon. “A ‘sceptage’ unit has already been started at the site by the Urban Engineering Environment Department (UEED). Hopefully the deadlock over the ISWM unit will end soon as well,” Ismail said.
Asked what measures the department was taking for an early resolution to the stalemate, Ismail said that the Director, Urban Local Bodies, will be the better person to talk to in this regard.
The Director, Riyaz Wani, could not be contacted on his phone, however.
Meanwhile, in absence of the ISWM, the solid waste dumped along river banks across south Kashmir continues to be a menace for the local population. Almost everywhere in south Kashmir the garbage is left to rot on roads for days on stretch and then cleared, only to be dumped at an open site along one water body or the other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.