Epidemic threat looms large over Srinagar as protests hit garbage lifting ops


Srinagar: Epidemic threat looms large over the summer capital here as hundreds of tons of garbage lie unattended on streets of the summer capital, while the Srinagar Municipal Corporation(SMC) has been unable to undertake sanitation operations due to “attack on its resources including men and machinery.”

Official sources said in the wake of directives of the National Green Tribunal, garbage could not be lifted from anywhere here for around a fortnight, as the NGT had banned dumping of garbage at Achan, the sole landfill site on the City outskirts.

But now that SMC resumed garbage lifting, the trucks carrying garbage to the landfill site came under attack by violent mobs. An SMC official said in the past few days around a dozen odd staffers and trucks came under heavy stone pelting in areas like the Achan, Said Pora and Eidgah.

“Basically taking undue advantage of the unrest some vested interests are exploiting the popular sentiment in Kashmir to favor the land mafia which has been active for the past over a decade,” said a senior official asking not to be identified.

He said following attacks even though the police was offering “some protection” for the garbage-laden trucks being ferried to Achen, the escort was “too little.”

The official said the civic body drivers were reluctant to lift garbage till they feel safe and secure.  “We are scared of driving down the streets where the sole motive of the protesters has been to target the SMC trucks for obvious reasons,” said a delegation of driver working with civic body.

Sources said in the wake of continued unrest, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) led government has turned non-serious towards the problems confronted by the summer capital. “Even though the Chief Minister’s office has been duly informed about the garbage crises in the City, there has been no response in terms of requisite directions to the concerned,” said a senior official asking not to be named.

Sources said apart from some politicians from the opposition, who allegedly have procured hundreds of kanals of land in the vicinity of Achen for construction of townships, some leaders from the ruling PDP have also come in support of the “land mafia” which has been conspiring for the shifting of the landfill site.

“Basically the crises is being deliberately created during turmoil so that a new landfill site is identified in a melee and no one questions as to why Achen landfill was shut,” said a senior official in know of the matter.

The summer capital spews around 400 metric tons garbage a day, which is subsequently dumped at the Achen site. Thought the Economic Reconstruction Agency is executing a multi-crore  project for scientific disposal of waste, some “hidden forces” are getting the Asian Development Bank funded project sabotaged.

For last over a year the garbage dumping has been facing regular hiccups, whereas in 2013 the situation at the landfill site had improved to an extent that the then government hosted a Kehwa party for the media persons at the landfill site.


Be Part of Quality Journalism

Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.



Observer News Service

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.