Bijbehara: The Municipal Committee here in Bijbehara town has been dumping all kinds of waste at an open dumping site for several years now, leaving the locals vulnerable to infections and suffering the foul smell emanating from the dump round-the-clock.
Authorities have been apathetic, even as the Committee has been spending huge amounts of money on waste segregation — only to end up dumping all kinds of waste at the same spot.
This dumping site is located in Kirkadal area, right next to the Government Degree College of Bijbehara, and less than a kilometre from the main town.
“A few years back, all of a sudden the Municipal Committee started dumping the waste here and has continued the practice ever since, creating a huge mountain of hazardous waste,” locals in the area told Kashmir Reader.
They said that the only protection that has been used at the dumping site is a tin wall, erected to keep the site hidden from passersby. “But we, the locals here, have to bear the brunt. We cannot even open our windows, given the terribly foul smell that keeps emanating from the site,” Sameer Ahmad, a local resident, said.
Other residents said that children and elderly keep falling sick due to the filth that lies scattered around. “And it is often chest infections that attack them,” Ghulam Nabi, a resident of the area, said.
The Municipal Committee last year acquired dozens of dumpers and distributed dustbins to people for segregation of waste. It has not helped, at all.
“Even if we segregate the waste inside our homes, they are going to mix it inside the vehicle or at the dumping site, because they do not have an alternative,” the locals in Bijbehara town said.
Sources in the Municipal Committee acknowledged that all kinds of waste was being dumped together. “We do not have an alternate site and even if we segregate it while collecting the waste, we will end up mixing it at the dumping site,” the sources said.
Executive Officer of the Municipal Committee, Suhail Ahmad, said that solid waste management was a pressing issue. “But I am glad that we have been sanctioned a solid waste management plant by the authorities and land has been identified for that,” Suhail said.
He said that the Committee had suggested the development of the present site for a solid waste management plant, but the executing agency was not comfortable with the site.
“Now 10 kanals of land have been identified and a documentation process has been initiated. As soon as the land is transferred, the work on the plant will be started and this long-pending grievance of people in Bijbehara will be addressed,” he said.