Poor waste management endangers public health in Bijbehara

Suhail Bhat
SRINAGAR, Dec 7: Unscientific waste management is becoming a major source of concern for residents of Bijbehara in Anantnag since it not only endangers people’s health but also has an impact on crops.
Residents told Excelsior that waste management remains a problem despite the fact that Municipal Committee Bijbehara spent a lot of money on dustbins, garbage trucks, and asking residents to sort out their trash, but nothing has changed in terms of waste dumping.
“The MCB issued hundreds of dustbins to people, instructing them to utilize separate dustbins for dry and wet waste. The rubbish is then separated into separate tracks for dry and wet waste”, a local said. He, however, lamented that despite all of the attempts of segregation, the trash is combined at the dumping site, rendering the entire procedure ineffective.
An official at the Municipal Committee said that the Government should look into it because the entire process appears to be focused on minting money and depleting the public exchequer. “You might bring in trucks or encourage individuals to segregate the rubbish at home, but the point is, why is the same material combined at the dumping site? It makes no sense”, he said.
He said that for years, the MCB has been dumping waste in an open dumping site near Kirkadal, in the outskirts of Bijbehara town. “It is a disaster in the making, and one can readily assess the situation by visiting the site. There is nothing hidden”, he said.
Locals complained that the MCB’s reckless spending was a waste of public funds and that an audit was needed to determine the true cause of such expenditures. “This is not the first time they have done anything like this. If we take a tour inside the MCB office compound, we will notice a lot of unused items that were purchased with large sums of money but never used”, a local stated.
Suhail Ahmad, the Chief Executive Officer of the Municipality Committee of Bijbehara, said that a waste management plan is being developed in the area at a cost of Rs 3 crores and that a full project report has already been provided to the executive agency.
When asked about the mixing of waste at the disposal site, he said that the goal was to instill sanitation-conscious behaviour in locals and that the consequences are already visible. “By the time the waste management facility is ready, people will be ready to deal with the rubbish”, he said.
He said that in addition to the waste plant, a slaughterhouse is being built on the property, and the tendering process is already started.