|Early Times Report |
SRINAGAR, Jan 20: Growing by heaps and mounds, the Jammu and Kashmir garbage crisis has increased due to emerging tourism destinations, says a government document.
The tourist boom has brought in increased revenue and created employment but it has hugely impacted the cleaning arrangement for the state and disposal of garbage, which together is described as Solid Waste Management (SWM). "Being a popular tourist destination, issues pertaining to solid waste are on rise in the state and need to be addressed immediately," reveals the Housing and Urban development (H&UD) document.
It says that sold waste generation has witnessed an increase of over 8 percent in a decade. "The CPCB report estimates that a total of 400 metric tons of waste is generated per day in Srinagar, 62 percent of this waste is organic in nature while the remaining is inorganic including 7 percent of plastic waste," reads the document.
An official of H&UD said looking to the rapid urbanization and growing population, this sector needs immediate attention. He said, "The state's non-dumping options to manage waste have also shrunk drastically. Burning waste no longer seems viable because of environmental concerns and poor segregation of waste. Compost plants are not doing well because manure doesn't sell, and again becomes garbage."
With population of 12.36 lakh, spread over an area of 294 sq km on both sides of the Jhelum river, not even in a single residential area or commercial establishment in Srinagar has the facility of segregation of solid waste, and much of the waste is dumped into water bodies like Dal Lake. "Civic bodies blame residents for not segregating waste but what's the point when everything will eventually be mixed-up? Segregation by residents will only work when the corporations have a complete door-to-door waste collection system and trash pickups have separate containers for dry and wet waste," said the official. He added, "For segregation, greater civic awareness is a must. But municipalities must also set up the infrastructure and notify their solid-waste management policy under the 2016 rules. So far, it has remained confined to papers only."