Shopian: The district administration in Shopian has shifted the municipal waste dumping site from one bank of the Rambiara rivulet to another, which is an even worse spot as it is close to a popular cricket ground and the newly established fruit mandi at Aglar.
After spending years on planning and identifying a new site for dumping the municipal waste that is lifted from the town area of Shopian, authorities here in the district have again chosen to dump it in the Rambiara rivulet. The authorities earlier used to dump it along the rivulet near the mini-secretariat and now they have moved to a mile far from the spot, at Nadigund village but still along the rivulet.
Locals said that the area is a busy spot besides being a water sources. The authorities some years ago built a cricket ground here, followed by cold storage units and the new fruit mandi in the same area.
Locals said that if the waste is dumped in the area, both the cricket ground and the fruit mandi will become useless as nobody will play or work in a heavily polluted area.
Locals also raised concern that natural water bodies like the Rambiara and its canals continue to be polluted by the dumping of heavy municipal waste.
Javid Ahmad Thoker, a resident of Nadigund village, said that the authorities should have chosen a site near the town, instead of a village, for the waste that is generated in the town.
“They bring it to villages. Why so? Are they children of a special god that their waste is being thrown upon us?” he asked.
Another local, Mukhtar Ahmad, said that the banks of the rivulet and other patches of land where the waste is being dumped were being used for sheep and cattle rearing by people dependent on livestock.
“The old site was near the mini-secretariat and they only wanted to remove the filth from there. So they have dumped it on poor villagers,” he said.
A group of locals told Kashmir Reader that all the work of building a fruit mandi, cold storage units, and cricket ground would go to waste because of the new dumping site.
“The area because of all the garbage has also begun attracting stray dogs. Our children who want to play in the nearby ground are fearful to go there,” said Ali Muhammad, an elderly local resident.
Muhammad Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of Municipal Committee Shopian, told Kashmir Reader that there is nothing to worry. “This site is being developed on modern and scientific techniques where segregation will be carried out and no pollution will be caused,” he said, adding that they are soon going to raise a fence around the site at an estimated cost of Rs 50 lakh.
He also said that fertilisers will be made out of the vegetable waste and other things like plastic will be recycled. The department has sufficient funds for that, he said.