MPs Panel Asks Govt To Make Srinagar The Cleanest City

Srinagar: A parliamentary panel on Tuesday held discussion with the officer of Jammu and Kashmir administration on several issues related to the waste management rules laying special emphasis on Swachh Bharat Mission and cleanliness of rivers and lakes in the Union Territory.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation led by its Chairman, Pratap Singh Bajwa was briefed by the Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta about the historical steps taken by the administration during the past couple of years. The CS informed the visiting delegation that the UT has fully adopted the 73rd and 74th amendments of the constitution bringing governance to the grassroots level, an official spokesperson said Tuesday.

Mehta, he said, also apprised the committee that for the first time District Development Council (DDC) elections had been conducted with a large participation of people giving the vibrant and people friendly Council to them.

“The CS further revealed that the UT has the distinction of being an open defecation free region besides having the robust system of door to door collection of municipal waste in the municipal areas.He gave out that all the recruitments including class IV are now entrusted to recruitment board,” he added.

The other Rajya Sabha members include Vandana Chavan, Dushyant Gautam, Dr Vikas Mahatme, Surendra Singh Nagar, Ram Vichar Netam, Dr Amar Patnaik, Dr Banda Prakash, GVI Narsimha Rao, Tiruchi Siva, Pradeep Tamta, and Vivek K Tankha.

According to the official spokesperson, the Chief Secretary also mentioned that there is proper rule of law in the UT now and institutions have been strengthened at every level. He claimed that every public penny is accounted for with the help of error-free mechanism that has been put in place. He said that with the help of IT tools like BEAMS and EMPOWERMENT portal the public is kept abreast with the expenditure made by the administration.

“He also made out that around 4500 youth clubs under Mission Youth started functioning in J&K from the 15th of Aug. He said that unemployment in J&K is being tackled holistically here with its percentage decreasing to nearly 11% despite covid pandemic. He further gave out that it is the endeavour of this government to slash it down under 5% in future,” he said.

The Chief Secretary, he said, also revealed that around 9514 projects worth Rs 3900 crore have been completed in J&K with 6167 projects within a year only. He said that each project has to be now mandatorily e-tendered here brining total transparency in the system of award of contracts and quality of work executed.

“In a separate presentation made by Principal Secretary, H&UDD, Dheeraj Gupta to the committee the compliance of J&K to different rules related to waste management were deliberated upon. It was said that J&K has formulated and implemented the policy and strategy for solid waste management (SWM) besides devised an action plan and bylaws for the same. He gave out that tenders for bio-remediation of 9 polluted rivers has already been floated,” the official spokesperson said

Gupta, he said, further presented that in compliance to Biomedical Waste Management rules the UT has constituted the State level Advisory Committee and District level Monitoring Committee. Similarly action has been taken regarding implementation of Construction &Demolition Waste Management Rules, e-Waste, Plastic Waste Management Rules and Hazardous & other Waste Management Rules.

According to the official spokesperson, Commissioner Secretary, Forests, Sanjeev Verma presented the status of cleanliness of various water bodies here including lakes and rivers.

“He presented the studies of 4 lakes including Dal, Wular, Mansar and Surinsar lakes. He divulged that the PH, Oxygen Demand, and Biological oxygen demand are all within permissible limits in these water bodies. Further he informed the committee that the desilting, deweeding and extraction of lily pads is going on at a brisk pace,” he added.

Also, the official spokesperson said that the Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) explained before the Parliamentary Committee that the Corporation is catering to about 1.55 million population having nearly 1.84 lakh households. He mentioned that the corporation is scheduled to collect about 526 tonnes of waste daily. He gave out that 60% municipal area is serviced by door to door collection from households.

“He also said that SMC is working on an innovative idea of ‘Sunday for Srinagar' to clean areas that are neglected or vulnerable for garbage accumulation. He further made out that SMC has poultry waste collection service in all 74 wards besides providing service of construction & demolition waste service on minimal charges by applying online,” he said.

“The Commissioner also said that to tackle the menance of polythene pollution SMC is currently running a 6R campaign of reduce, reuse, recycle, remove, refuse and report. He revealed that the corporation deals with the waste on scientific lines as they have 3 scientific cells established at Achan land fill site,” he added.

As per the official spokesperson, the MPs panel appreciated the measures taken by the UT administration in achieving certain goals and fulfilling the parameters of Swachh Bharat Mission.

“They said that ‘Sunday for Srinagar' initiative is an impressive idea and should  be adopted nationwide,” he said.

“The Committee exhilarated upon the officers that the efforts needs to be doubled so that next time Srinagar comes up as a cleanest hill station instead of its current ranking of 36th,” he added.

Later the Committee members also visited the interiors of the dal lake and took first hand appraisal of the cleanliness measures taken by the Lakes and Waterways Authority. The committee then visited the Swerage Treatment Plant (STP) at Laam, Nishat and asked about the scientific method of treatment of waste there.

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