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Rapid unbanisation, unregulated tourist flow increase garbage crisis

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Srinagar generates 400 MTs of waste daily

Srinagar: The valley’s garbage crisis has increased due to rapid urbanization and unregulated tourist flow to various destinations.

The tourist boom has brought in increased revenue and created employment but it has hugely impacted the cleaning arrangement for the valley and disposal of garbage, which together is described as Solid Waste Management (SWM).

The summer capital Srinagar generates 400 metric tons of waste each day, an official of Housing and Urban development (H&UD) told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

This waste generation has witnessed an increase of over 10 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,” the official said adding the average collection of waste/day was 350 MTs in 2013.

The official said, “Looking at the rapid urbanization and growing population, this sector needs immediate attention. Being a popular tourist destination, issues pertaining to solid waste are on the rise in Kashmir and need to be addressed immediately.”

He said the valley’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 a population of over 12 lakh, spread over an area of 294 sq km on both sides of the Jhelum river, a small percentage of residential areas or commercial establishments in Srinagar have the facility of segregation of solid waste, and much of the waste is dumped into water bodies like the 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. (KINS)

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