Needed: Collective Participation For Cleanliness

Swacch Bharat Mission Will Be Successful With Active Involvement Of Govt And People

by WebDesk
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Iqball Ahmed

On October 2, Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated to also give higher impetus to the Swacch Bharat Mission. The Mission campaign was initiated by the government to eliminate open defecation and improve solid waste management. To help the citizens in achieving open defecation free India, Government of India provided subsidy for the construction of toilets. An estimated 89.9 million toilets were built in the first phase of the campaign.

Swacch Bharat Mission In Kashmir

In Kashmir too, the mission was launched. In rural Kashmir, thousands of toilets were constructed. The change is visible. Thankfully we see no tin shed toilets, wooden or tarpaulin structures now which may be marked by open defecation.

It is also a good thing that there is greater awareness in the villages that they should not dump the garbage on the roadsides, public parks or on government land.

Many people have started composting of garbage in their kitchen gardens. We cannot see the open defecation in rural Kashmir. The rural places are clean and greener now.

Tourism Department Must Ensure Clean Toilets

The places with great tourism potential are prone to open defecation because of non availability of toilet blocks. The toilet blocks which are made by the Tourism Development either remain locked or have dirty conditions. The roadsides leading to the tourist places are full with human excreta. To maintain the beauty of Kashmir and preserve our water bodies, the Tourism Department must ensure the provision of clean toilet blocks at regular distances to avoid open defecation.

No Solid Or Liquid Waste Management Program In Kashmir

Not a single Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) Program has been launched in rural Kashmir. The Union Government passed several laws to manage solid and liquid waste in India. The laws govern the management of solid and liquid waste produced by households, factories, commercial establishments and other institutions. From the prevention to pollution in water bodies to scientific treatment of waste, these laws are supposed to work systematically. But the same has not been achieved at ground level.

The purpose of the solid and liquid waste management program is to set up a system for scientific disposal and treatment of such waste. The funds allocated for the implementation of SLWM are provided on the basis of the total number of households, Rs 7 Lakh for a gram Panchayat having 150 households and Rs 20 Lakh for more than 500 households. The rural development bodies in Kashmir have failed to achieve any progress on the Solid Liquid Waste Management program as the government has now initiated to undertake this program at the panchayat level.

Urban Areas Did Not Comply With Cleanliness Initiatives

In urban and sub urban areas with high population, there is a huge problem of dumping the wastes. The two reasons behind this problem is limited land available and second is lack of solid waste treatment plants. In Anantnag main town one out of ten houses have underground closed tank for toilet wastes. The remaining houses have well fabricated and furnished wash rooms but the entire waste is drained to open drains. The waste sometimes block the drains and roads get blocked.

The thing is that urban and sub urban people have well mannered and good communication skills but they fail in keeping their surroundings clean. The solid and liquid wastes are not segregated by these people. People tend to think that the municipalities alone are responsible for keeping our area clean.

Common Dustbin For All Waste

The waste bins placed on roads, streets and public places are common for all type of waste. In the Smart City Srinagar one cannot find the different waste bins for proper segregation of waste. The bins are emptied by the dogs roaming on the Srinagar roads.

Nobody dares to tread or walk in that particular area where municipality dustbins are kept for two reasons. The garbage is not properly put in dustbins. It is thrown from distances, it misses the dustbin. The waste spreads over the area and foul smell makes it impossible to move on such roads. And other reason being is the presence of dogs near dustbins. The dogs in dozens surround the dustbins and it becomes impossible to walk aside there.

Garbage Dumping Sites A Threat to Land Fertility

The urbanization and fast population expansion in Kashmir has resulted in production of piles of daily garbage. Srinagar city alone produces 450 metric tonnes garbage every day. The municipal solid wastes are dumped at different garbage dumping sites which are close to water bodies. There are no spaces identified to create scientific landfill sites across Kashmir. Nature has bestowed our valley with water wealth but the growing population and the mismanagement of waste has resulted in big environment challenges.

Limited Land Resource

Kashmir is famous for natural beauty all over the world. The pristine waters, snow clad mountains and the serene beauty presents the look of a real paradise on earth. Since it is a valley surrounded with mountains from all sides, the usable land in Kashmir is limited.

The limited land resource is very fertile due to the rivers flowing in all parts of the valley. The land is suitable for cultivation of Various Kharif and Rabi crops. In addition to this Karewas in Kashmir are of greater economical importance. More than 70 percent of the valley’s population is directly or indirectly dependent on the fruit industry. The horticulture of Kashmir is produced in Karewas.

The urbanization, growing population, limited land resource is becoming an issue which if not addressed could lead to the land crisis in the near future. Agriculture landholding in the valley has drastically come down due to massive urbanization. Shrinking farmlands may mean food insecurity in the future. Cultivable land is continuously been turned to construction areas.

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