Residents demand solid waste plant
The absence of a solid waste plant in Baramulla town is directly impacting the health of the Jhelum here with tons of garbage and waste including human excreta daily finding its way into it.
Notably, the drinking water for the town comprising over 80,000 souls is being supplied from the Jhelum.
According to officials of PHE department Baramulla, more than six million gallons of water from the Jhelum are supplied to the town daily for drinking purposes.
The locals accused the district administration and the municipal council Baramulla of neglecting the river, which according to them formed the lifeline for the people of the town.
“The negligence on the part of the district administration and the municipal council Baramulla can be gauged from the fact that a huge chunk of land at Jetty Khawjabagh which is just two hundred yards away from the river bank has been converted into a garbage dump,” the locals said.
“During increase in the water level, or when there are rains there is every chance that the garbage dumped nearby would go into the river” Ghulam Rasool of Khawjabagh said.
He said, “Even otherwise, the muck from the garbage site falls into the river making its water poisonous. The same water is then supplied to the town dwellers for drinking purposes.”
According to locals, the local administration had been in the process of identifying land for solid waste plant for last more than a decade. “However, there has been no headway till date with the result the pollution of river has reached to an alarming level,” they said.
Surprisingly, the garbage dumping site at Jetty is in violation of the rules as the pollution control department Baramulla has served several notices to the municipal council authorities directing them to stop the use of land for dumping of garbage as the area “is close to the banks of river Jhelum.”
The locals said that the government should immediately set up a solid waste plant in the town, which according to them is the need of the hour .
Another factor responsible for polluting the river is the animal and biomedical waste generated from some shops in the town, the locals said.
“Every evening you can see some shopkeepers throwing chicken waste into the river. Also if you happen to take a walk along the banks you’ll find scores of syringes and other medical wastes scattered around the banks of the river,” Imtiyaz Ahmad, a local businessman said.