PCC projects gloomy picture about waste management in Bhaderwah before NGT

Special committee framed to prepare comprehensive report
*5 tonnes of waste remains untreated every day

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Feb 29: Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee (PCC) has projected a gloomy picture about waste management in Bhaderwah valley of Doda district before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and sought four weeks’ time for submission of a comprehensive report.
While taking cognizance of reports regarding increasing pollution in the water bodies of Bhaderwah valley, also known as Mini-Kashmir, the National Green Tribunal vide notice dated February 21, 2024 in Original Application No. 178 of 2024 directed the Member Secretary of the J&K Pollution Control Committee and District Magistrate Doda to appear before the Tribunal on February 28 through physical hearing (with hybrid option) either in person or by a pleader duly instructed with report.
In compliance to the notice, the Pollution Control Committee has informed the National Green Tribunal that as per the annual report submitted by the Directorate of Urban Local Bodies, Jammu for the Financial Year 2022-23, Bhaderwah Municipal Committee is generating 5 tonnes of municipal solid waste every day, which is being collected but not being treated properly.
The Pollution Control Committee has further informed the National Green Tribunal that the material recovery facility shed at Dranga in Bhaderwah is not fully operational and the vermin-composting beds are partially operational and many of them are lying defunct. Moreover, the site was found vacant for many months as no waste is transported to the site as of now.
The Pollution Control Committee has again informed the Tribunal that a special committee has been constituted to assess the current status of waste management in Bhaderwah town and adjoining areas including solid waste, liquid waste, plastic waste and construction and demolition waste with the direction to submit a report by 5th of March.
The committee will assess and make a report of the solid waste generation, sources and all measures adopted by the concerned agencies/establishment for the management of solid waste. Further, the committee shall take photographs of all the spots /sites where solid waste is being disposed off and managed by the Municipal Committee Bhaderwah. Moreover, the committee will also make an assessment of liquid waste generation within the district indicating the source of generation and their scientific treatment as per the standards.
The committee will also submit a comprehensive report of plastic waste management being done in the district as per the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and status of disposal of construction and demolition waste.
With these submissions, the J&K Pollution Control Committee has requested the National Green Tribunal to grant four weeks’ time for filing of fresh status report on the basis of the findings of the special committee.
It is pertinent to mention here that once known for their crystal clear and sweet water, half a dozen of the streams flowing through Bhaderwah are fast turning into stinking Nallahs as all the garbage of the town including bio-non-degradable wastes besides human wastes are unabatedly thrown into these water bodies.
Numerous fresh water bodies of Bhaderwah like Puneja Nallah, Halian, Haloon and Hanga besides sacred Neel Ganga flow through the town and their water was once used for drinking and irrigating fields but now these water bodies have got dangerously polluted as all the human and other wastes are being thrown into these water bodies.
Water pollution has reached a critical point and pollution of water bodies has extremely affected lives of aquatic animals and it leads to the disruption of aquatic ecosystems. Once heaven for different varieties of cold-water fishes, these streams have now turned into stinking toxic water bodies.