Baramulla: For over 23 lakh population of north Kashmir, the solid waste generated from residential houses and commercial places has no place to be disposed off.
Resultantly, lakhs of people here are prone to infectious diseases while improper waste disposal is severely affecting the environment.
In Kupwara district, the municipal council authorities had identified several places for dumping waste.
However, due to objections raised by the locals, the issue often landed in controversy.
“The waste dumping site is a big issue here. So far, we have identified four dumping sites after the objections raised by the people around the identified area, the proposal could not be executed,” said Riyaz Ahmad, an official of the Municipal Council Kupwara.
Similarly, in the Baramulla and Sopore town of Baramulla district, the lack of dumping sites has led to the pollution of water bodies.
Solid waste generated each day from Baramulla and Sopore town could often be seen dumped on the river banks, which is lifeline for the people of Baramulla district.
“The authorities have so far failed to address this grave issue. The result is Sopore town has turned into a dust bin. The once most vibrant town of Kashmir has now turned into a filthy town,” said Fayaz Ahmad, a local.
Similarly, the Baramulla town is struggling with improper waste management.
Around five metric tones of waste are generated from the town each day.
In absence of the dumping site, the waste was being dumped on the banks of the water bodies, polluting it beyond repair.
“The solid waste from Baramulla town is dumped near the river bank at Jetty Khawja Bagh, Baramulla despite court ruling that solid waste can't be dumped near the water bodies. The issue becomes more serious as water from the River Jhelum is being used to supply tap water for the entire population of Baramulla town,” said Farooq Ahmad, a member of the civil society.
The situation in district Bandipora is no different.
The authorities here also have failed to identify a dumping site.
With the result, people are prone to contract infectious diseases.
As per the official record, more than 20 metric tonnes of solid waste are collected from the three districts of north Kashmir.
The absence of solid waste disposal mechanism is posing a serious threat to the locals here.
The locals here believe that with the growing population and urbanisation, the solid waste disposal on modern lines, if not initiated immediately, would have a serious effect on the health as well as environment.
“The improper solid waste disposal on the banks of the water bodies has a serious threat of environmental degradation. Besides, it has potential to spread infectious diseases. The administration must set up solid waste disposal mechanism on scientific lines so that it is addressed in the interest of the common people,” said Shahid Imran Bhat of Baramulla town.