When will Govt wake up to garbage crisis in Cantt Board areas?

Heaps of garbage in various localities of Badamibagh Cantonment Board has turned into a health hazard as authorities continue to delay decision on identifying a site for dumping waste generated from these areas. 

On an average at least 30 metric ton of waste is produced in these areas every day, said an official, adding since there has been no garbage collection for past 56 days at least 1600 metric tons waste was lying on roads, streets and in overflowing dustbins.

Though the Board authorities have repeatedly written to divisional administration about impending crisis and the need for identifying the dumping site there has been no progress on the issue.

A source said the divisional administration had decided that Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) dumping site will be used for “some days” by Board for dumping the waste from cantonment areas till alternative site is identified  the SMC in turn didn’t agree.

“What makes things worse is that the SMC refused to lift the garbage from worst hit areas even after the Board had agreed to bear the charges,” said Abrar Ahmad, a local of Shivpora.

The worst affected areas like Shivpora, Sonwar, Indra Nagar, Batwara and Athwajan have turned into garbage dump with heaps of waste lying scattered, not only in residential areas but also in front of many schools and on roads and streets.

Locals said the situation has made people, particularly children vulnerable to infectious diseases.

Earlier, Board was using 197 kanals of land as dumping site at Panthachowk. Subsequently, on the directions of High Court, Board gave up the land and was provided an alternative land of 55 kanal at village Lethpora as garbage dumping site.

Upendra Kumar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Badamibagh Cantonment Board said from 12 March this year authorities at J&K Police Commando Training Centre situated at Lethpora didn’t allow them to dump the garbage at the site.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary said the SMC lifted garbage from the areas regularly for one month.

However, Upendra Kumar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Badamibagh Cantonment Board contradicted the DC saying the SMC lifted garbage only twice that too only at GB Pant hospital and Batwara.

“We have sent a fresh written communication to divisional administration underscoring the need for providing dumping site,” he said.

Divisional commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan said the “process” was on to identify the dumping site.