Residents of southern Kashmir’s Pulwama are angry at the government’s failure to designate a dumping site for the town’s garbage which lies scattered in heaps along main roads, paddy fields and public spaces.
Residents fear spread of disease as garbage and hazardous waste lying around the town, mocking at a purported sanitation drive by Municipal Committee Pulwama (MCP).
Anger among the residents has been mounting against the municipal authorities for dumping solid and non-biodegradable waste in the open, risking lives of the people.
They say that Pulwama despite getting district status some 25 years ago still does not have a proper garbage dumping site.
Many a time in the recent past, the MCP attempted to dump the town’s garbage in other towns including Tral, Pampore and Awantipora but faced wrath of the locals pushing them back.
Consequently, the MCP has continued to dump garbage from the town in public places that now stink so much that it makes pedestrian movement difficult.
“Dogs are always seen in these areas as they keep searching for food in these dumps, posing a threat to locals particularly students,” said Abdul Rashid, a resident of Nehama locality of Pulwama town.
The garbage littered along the roads makes it difficult for everyone including school-going children, said Shabeer Ahmed, a resident of Kakapora.
“The problems get compounded with increase in temperature which has mostly affected patients,” Mushtaq Ahmed of Rajpora said.
Residents say they have apprised the authorities several times and requested not to dump solid waste in the open, but authorities have turned a deaf ear to their repeated pleas.
They demand the stinking town be urgently sanitised to prevent an outbreak of disease.
Officials said that there was no land available where garbage from the town could be dumped.
Executive officer of the MCP, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, said a proper site for depositing the town’s garbage has finally been identified.
“After struggling all these years we have found a proper dumping site at Waibugh Pulwama. The site, without effecting environment and proving hazardous to people, can bear tons of garbage for years together,” Wani told Greater Kashmir.
The townspeople in the meanwhile are waiting for the residential areas and roads to be cleared of all accumulated garbage.