Despite HC directions, bioremediation of dumping site near Tawi yet to begin

No headway on setting up of Solid Waste Mgmt Plant at new place

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Feb 19: Despite explicit directions from the Division Bench of the State High Court, bioremediation of garbage dumping site at Bhagwati Nagar near River Tawi has yet not been started by the Jammu Municipal Corporation as a result of which swarming birds continue to pose threat to the aircrafts operating from Jammu Airport. Moreover, no headway has been made on setting up of Solid Waste Management Plant at a site near Kot Bhalwal, which has now been chosen for dumping of waste.
In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) titled Rajinder Singh Versus State of J&K and Others, the Division Bench of the State High Court had on December 20, 2017 issued direction for stoppage of dumping of solid waste at Bhagwati Nagar keeping in view threat being posed by the swarming birds to the aircrafts operating from Jammu Airport and in order to check further pollution of River Tawi.
On last date of hearing, the highest court of the State was informed that Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) has stopped dumping of solid waste near River Tawi in Bhagwati Nagar area and a new site at Kot Bhalwal is being used for this activity.
Accordingly, the Division Bench had directed the JMC to immediately start bioremediation of the site near Bhagwati Nagar so as to completely avoid threat to aircrafts from the swarming birds and to beautify the area by developing a park.
It is pertinent to mention here that bioremediation is a waste management technique that involves the use of organisms to remove or neutralize pollutants from a contaminated site. Due to bioremediation, bio-degradable waste gets completely destroyed and paves the way for easy segregation/collection of non-biodegradable material.
However, the Jammu Municipal Corporation has yet not taken a final decision about start of bioremediation exercise although meeting in this regard was held with the Pollution Control Board, sources told EXCELSIOR, adding it has yet not been decided as to from where the material to be used for bioremediation would be purchased by the Jammu Municipal Corporation.
“No doubt the garbage dumping site has been shifted from near the airport and River Tawi but swarming of birds will come to an end only when the bioremediation exercise is completed”, sources further said, adding “the birds are still being attracted by the garbage dumped over the years thereby continuously posing threat to the aircrafts operating from Jammu Airport”.
Moreover, no major headway has been made on establishment of Solid Waste Management Plant at Kot Bhalwal, sources said, adding “even at new site the Jammu Municipal Corporation is dumping garbage in most unscientific manner thereby inviting sharp criticism from the people living in the vicinity of the site”.
They informed that JMC had floated tender for setting up of Solid Waste Management Plant on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode but the process failed to yield the desirable results because of certain tough conditions. “None of the participants could fulfill the conditions laid down by the JMC”, they added.
“Now, the fresh tender has been floated as such no major progress could be made on establishment of Solid Waste Management Plant”, sources said.
An officer of the Jammu Municipal Corporation, when contacted, confirmed that final decision about bioremediation of site at Bhagwati Nagar has yet not been taken. “We are going to hold another round of meeting with the Pollution Control Board in the coming days on this subject”, he added.
Expressing inability to specify any time-frame for start of work on Solid Waste Management Plant at Kot Bhalwal, he said, “everything depends on the response to the fresh tender floated by the Corporation”.
It is pertinent to mention here that every day around 380 metric tons of garbage is being generated in Jammu and unless scientific disposal of the same is ensured health and environmental hazards will continue to loom large over the area where the same is being dumped.