Shopian: It is quarter to 9 am. A garbage pickup vehicle screeched to a halt in Shopian town's municipal ward number 11 and began playing an enchanting song on a loudhailer fitted atop the vehicle. Soon some children pile out of their homes and belt out in chorus --Gadiwala aaya ghar se kachra nikal. A little later, a flock of women with litter bins in their hands make a beeline for these vehicles.
This is Municipal Council Shopian's door- to -door waste collection service, which began last month and has been running like clockwork since then.
A fleet of eight garbage vehicles to collect the muck in all the 17 municipal wards of the town in segregated form have been pressed into service.
"We have hired 20 more sanitation workers to work more efficiently", says Suhail Malik, Executive Officer, Municipal Council Shopian (MCS).
Malik said that they were elated as the residents were cooperating with the MCS. However, he said that people need to segregate the waste.
Every garbage vehicle has two chambers painted green and blue. While the green coloured chamber is meant for biodegradable waste, the blue coloured is designed for non-biodegradable waste.
"The dustbins for the purpose of segregating the garbage have already been provided to the residents", said the official.
He said that the MCS was making every possible effort to make the town neat and clean.
"For the waste management, a treatment plant will come up soon in the area", said the official.
The town with a population of around 20,000 is inching towards a zero waste community.
"There has been a reduction in the number of residents throwing the garbage indiscriminately into the streams passing through the town since we rolled out the door-to-door waste collection system", another MCS official said
Mohamamd Iqbal, who drives a garbage vehicle told Greater Kashmir that children came out of their homes and began singing behind his vehicle as soon as he showed up.
"I think it will help develop a civic sense among them", said Iqbal.