Jammu, June 1: After banned from dumping garbage in river Tawi, Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) has discovered forest area on city outskirts as new dumping yard evoking strong opposition from the forest and Wildlife departments.
Heaps of fouled garbage along national highway between Narwal by-pass to Sidhra and in the area falling along Manda Park to Nagrota corroborates the indiscriminate dumping of trash by the civic body.
Sources said, taking serious note of the illegal garbage dumping, the Forest and Wildlife departments recently seized JMC vehicles found unloading the city trash in the protected areas.
The area between Narwal by-pass to Sidhra falls under the jurisdiction of Jammu Forest Division while Mubarak Mandi to Nagrota is under the control of Wildlife department. Conservator wildlife Jammu Asif Mehmood said that the depar5tment has taken stern action against the violators and also seized the JMC vehicles. "After strict action taken by Wildlife department, the violators started dumping the waste on the roadsides during late night hours. Now it is the responsibility of PWD to take action against the violators" he said, adding that he had also taken the issue with PWD but got no response as yet.
Sources in the Wildlife department informed that the dumping of garbage in wildlife area is the violation of Supreme Court guidelines, which strictly prohibit any intervention in wildlife habitats. "The wildlife in the state is already under threat and the garbage dumping in habitats will prove more fatal spreading diseases and infections among the animals. The garbage also contaminates water resources in the wildlife area, while it also increase growth of weeds which ultimately lead to habitat destruction" wildlife officials rued, while condemning the JMC.
They also informed that despite warning boards by Public Works Department, the civic body is now dumping the trash on highway .
Expressing concern over the issue, an environmentalist Vijay Parimoo said dumping of garbage and refuse was posing serious threat to the wild life in the area. "All the rivulets where the garbage has been dumped in forest areas ultimately submerge into river Tawi, which is also endangering the flora and fauna" he rued.
He further added that huge quantity of polythene-carry bags and other non bio degradable waste is also being dumped in forest areas, posing threat to the water of river Tawi and also the environment.
Employees of Forest Department on the condition of anonymity said that during late night hours or early in the morning the garbage laden trucks of JMC and some private operators stealthily dump the waste. "Many times we asked the JMC truck operators to stop dumping but they never bothered. We are also unarmed and afraid of being attacked by the violators" they added. They further said that people are also dumping rubble of old buildings into the forest area.