7 years on, authorities fail to set up waste treatment plant

Suhail Bhat
Pulwama, Aug 18: Lack of funds and administrative apathy has hit the ambitious project of setting up first solid waste treatment plant in Lethpora area of South Kashmir.
Several areas are reeling under the blanket of unwanted waste causing a nuisance to the residents who are awaiting the installation of machines for the effective disposal of the waste ever since the identification of land in 2011.
Seven years ago, State Government notified a sprawling 90 kanals of land for setting up of a waste treatment plant at Lethpora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The officials of different Municipalities said that the idea was to bring in environment-friendly mechanism to dispose of waste generated in six major Municipal areas- Pulwama, Tral, Pampore, Khrew and Shopian- of South Kashmir. Despite the submission of a detailed project report, the project has failed to get funds.
The residents of several areas complained that due to the lack of a proper waste management, roadside and stream banks are covered with litter piles which are causing a threat to the environment and at the same time may lead to diseases. Polythene and other wastes are being thrown into roadsides and health institutes, which is posing health threats.  “The Government should introduce a scientific mechanism to recycle the domestic waste to reduce the risk of any disease,” Ali Mohammad, a local from Pulwama said.
An official at the Municipal Committee Pulwama said the detailed project report amounting to Rs 23.50 crores has been prepared and tenders have been issued for the installation of machines and other works. “We have issued the tenders but we are yet to receive any response,” an official at one of the Municipality said, adding there were enough funds available for the purpose under Swachh Bharat Mission.
Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Ghulam Mohammad Dar, when contacted said the project has scarcity of funds. “Recently the committee which was formed to assess the project, submitted its report and DPRs were accordingly prepared. We are waiting for the release of funds now,” he said.