Garbage mounds take sheen off Srinagar

People from different areas of the summer capital decried failure of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to ensure proper sanitation measures.
Garbage mounds take sheen off Srinagar
File Photo

People from different areas of the summer capital decried failure of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to ensure proper sanitation measures. 

In absence of sanitation, garbage mounds dot various areas of Srinagar. The problem is compounded by emanating of pungent smell from accumulated garbage. 

"It is ironical that city's commercial hub Lal Chowk is littered with garbage. This place is thronged by tourists and garbage mounds give bad impression to them about Srinagar," said Latief Ahmad, a commuter. 

People from various areas said stray dogs rummage through garbage mounds and chase pedestrians. "This poses risk to children and aged," said Abdul Hamid of Hawal. 

To manage waste effectively, segregation of waste at source plays an important role. However, the project is yet to be implemented in Srinagar. 

"If we segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, the garbage can be recycled and converted into fuel. Otherwise everything goes in dumping yard," said Mushtaq Ahmad, a science student.

He added that absence of adequate sanitation has a serious impact on health, especially for children and aged persons.

"Though the authorities claim that garbage is cleaned regularly, the situation on the ground is totally different," said Ashiq Ahmad, a commuter.

Farooq Ahmad Dar, co-chairman Kashmir economic alliance said that sanitation in Srinagar city is poor. "I will say that it is only fifty percent cleanliness in city. People and authorities should make collective efforts to ensure proper sanitation," he said.

Experts said garbage mounds contribute to air pollution. Doctors said that number of patients with respiratory problems has increased manifold. 

Dr Mir Mushtaq said, "constant exposure to dust can lead to respiratory problems." "Diseases like lower respiratory tract infection can become common. Dust can also trigger asthma attacks," he added.

"Continuous exposure to the dust results in cough and allergy particularly among children and aged. We are also receiving many patients who suffer from bacterial growth, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems," said another medico.

Commissioner SMC, Peerzada Hafizullah, said "I will look into the complaints." Survey conducted by the union ministry of housing and urban affairs under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission had raised a question mark on the functioning of the civic bodies in J&K. 

J&K figured at rank 21 among the 31 states and the union territories surveyed by the ministry. Jammu city has secured highest marks among all the urban local bodies followed by Srinagar city.

"Jammu city has jumped 39 notches up to rank 212 at the national level. Previously the city had ranked at 251 in Swachh Survekshan 2017," the survey reveals. Srinagar has bagged 284th rank among 4203 participant cities and towns.

In 2017, the survey ranked Srinagar at 241st position in the list of cleanliest cities in India, while as the winter capital Jammu stood 251st. This year, the Jammu has marched over Srinagar by 72 ranks.

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