Bijbehara: After spending heaps of money on dustbins and garbage trucks to segregate household and municipal waste, the Municipal Committee Bijbehara (MCB) is dumping the segregated waste into the same, open dumping site.
The open dumping site has long been a health hazard to many and has caused serious damage to crops in the outskirts of Bijbehara town, here in Anantnag district.
The MCB recently acquired thousands of dustbins which were, amid much pomp and show, distributed among the residents. “Two dustbins each, for dry and wet waste,” the residents told Kashmir Reader, adding that the dustbins are of such poor quality that they might be a health hazard as well.
The residents were asked to segregate the waste and put it in the two dustbins, which are then emptied into the garbage trucks that visit every morning. “New trucks with different compartments for wet and dry waste were also acquired by the MCB,” the sources in the MCB said, “The truck compartments, for different kinds of waste, have been color-coded as well.”
The process has not only consumed a huge sum of the exchequer’s money but also the time and energy put into the whole drive by the MCB employees as well — not to mention the photoshoots by “elected” members of the Municipal Committee.
And at the end, the whole exercise turns out to be a farce. The segregated garbage, sources said, is mixed together at the dumping site.
“We have been dumping the garbage in an open dumping site in Kirkadal area, on the outskirts of Bijbehara town for years now. And nothing has changed on that front,” the sources at the MCB said.
The sources alleged that the whole exercise was designed to mint money, in the acquisition of dustbins and waste trucks. “Is it not common sense? If the waste has to be ultimately mixed at the dumping site, why to give people an impression that the waste is being treated any differently now,” the sources said.
Local residents were equally skeptical about the whole process from the very beginning.
“The MCB is a joke, really. We segregate the waste in different dustbins and they mix it at the dumping site,” the locals said.
This however is not the first time the MCB has been found spending money in a wayward manner.
“Years ago, the MCB acquired these giant dustbins, with a proposal that one will be placed in every locality. These dustbins have been lying around at the MCB office compound because we never acquired the trucks needed to move these dustbins around,” the sources at the MCB said.
Kashmir Reader talked to Suhail Ahmad, the Executive Officer of the MCB, who said that his office was getting the people acquainted with waste segregation before a treatment plan was approved by the R&B department.
“We have sent the DPR to the R&B department and hopefully things will start rolling soon. We will have a waste management plant soon. But getting people acquainted with the waste segregation process was an important step,” the EO said.
He acknowledged that the waste was for now being dumped at the single, open site in the Kirkadal area. “We have measured the contours of the dumping site in Kirkadal and the trash there will soon be dissolved through microbes,” he said.