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Slum town of Rajouri

Rajouri like Poonch is a border district of Jammu region. Though only a district now, history tells us that at one time, Rajouri was a vast and powerful kingdom controlling the strategic entry to Kashmir valley after crossing the Panchali Mountains through known passes. The kingdom survived up to the occupation by the Mughal ruler Akbar in around 1586 AD. This kingdom played great role in the history of Kashmir and Kashmiri warlords like Damras, Lavanyas, Margeshas etc.often sought refuge with the kings and rulers of Rajouri whenever they were chased out of the Valley.
Strange are the quirks of destiny. Rajouri has shrunk immensely and today only a small district of that olden kingdom remains with Rajouri town as the district headquarters.  The condition of this town laid out in slopes is pitiable. Its natural beauty and purity of air have been polluted and made obnoxious by human beings who have lost all taste for aesthetics and cleanliness. The civic body called Municipal Committee which has the responsibility of maintaining cleanliness of the town is dysfunctional. Drains are choked or broken thus spilling dirty water over the streets. Sewage and other sanitary pre-requisites are absent. Migration has put pressure on public services.  Solid Waste Management (SWM) is emerging as one of the major environmental issues. Improper management of municipal solid waste is of hazardous dimensions. Research has revealed that solid waste disposed-off unscientifically in open, poses threats to public health and environment. Roughly 18-20 Tons a day of solid waste is generated in Rajouri town. Municipal Committee fails to handle the increasing quantity of waste, which leads to the littering of waste on roads and other public places, especially the slums areas grown in the vicinity of water streams. The untreated solid waste remains scattered along the roadsides, open spaces and water sources contributing to filthy living conditions. People carelessly dump the household garbage onto roads and slopes or in drains. Unplanned discarding of solid waste is triggering the ground water contamination. Surface water contamination by runoff from the garbage, foul smell, pests, rodents, stray animals and wind-driven garbage around the dumping sites are repugnant giving obnoxious look to the entire landscape. Who will take care of it, is a ticklish question.


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