*Arin Nallah a garbage dumping site for Papchan residents*
BY SUHAIL RATHER
Bandipora March 01:Arin Nallah that is a source of pure drinking water and habitat of freshwater fish-trout is slowly turning into a garbage dumping site at Papchan in Bandipora town as the locals living in the vicinity find it convenient to dump their waste in the stream in absence of a proper Solid-Waste Management in the district.
The residents of the Papchan and adjoining areas have turned the freshwater stream into a dust bin as they put all garbage of their households into this water body, choking not only the stream but becoming a major pollutant of Wullar lake.
Locals said during the rainy season, this garbage is washed away and goes directly into the Wullar besides blocking other channels. They said the municipal authorities till now have not been able to check the illegal practice nor have been able to provide alternative space for dumping.
“To save the Wullar, the Government should at least check the inflow of pollutants inside the Wullar which are coming from adjoining areas. For admin, Wullar has become a dumping yard and the slogan of saving Wullar is a farce,” said a local Mehboob Ahmad.
Bandipora district has time and again flagged the issue of solid waste management before the higher authorities but to date, no proper management plant has been established in the district.
Papchan residents said during summers foul smells emanate from these water bodies and become a toxic mess, threatening the lives of those who need them. Residents who live near and off of these canals found themselves in a disastrous predicament.
A series of water cuts throughout the summer, combined with extreme heat and dryness, resulted in the canals being largely transformed into toxic garbage dumps with little to no water able to pass through. “Even when the water returned after lengthy cuts, it was almost completely blocked, and whatever water managed to trickle through is putrid,” locals said.
This open dumping of garbage poses threat not only to humans but also to aquatic life. Once a major source of Fish, Wullar is also losing aquatic life.
Fed up with the mismanagement of dumping garbage, the locals have appealed to the authorities to look into their concern as, according to them, the lives of humans and animals are at stake.
They appealed to install dust bins and clean the Nallahs in their area and devise a proper waste management plan so that the water bodies aren’t polluted.
Chief Executive officer Municipal Council Bandipora, Wali Mohammad said they have started cleaning Nallas in Bandipora and the coming days the cleaning work on Papchan Nallah will be started. He said a long term solid-waste Management Project has also been formulated and hoped that the same will be approved by the government at the earliest.