The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir is taking a leap to join the club of rare cities of the country where there is no roadside dumping sites, to emerge as a model city.
To realise the dream, Srinagar Municipal Corporation commissioner GN Qasba said the corporation has put in place a mechanised treatment of garbage and upgraded the fleet of compactors and hoppers. Earlier, the corporation carried out only manual lifting of garbage.
"With introduction of garbage compactor vehicles and hoppers, around 150 open garbage points were replaced with smart bins in the city," said Qasba.
The SMC introduced four more compactors, besides 11 functional ones, and 20 hoppers, besides 12, on Tuesday. It claimed that open garbage dumps on city's key locations, including Batamaloo, Karan Nagar, Lal Chowk, Dalgate, Nishat, Hazratbal and Zakura, will be removed now.
"Srinagar produces 600 metric tonnes of garbage daily. We are able to collect and process only 400 metric tonnes," admitted state minister for urban development and urban local bodies Nawang Rigzin Jora, while flagging off new vehicles at Srinagar's Lal Chowk area.
Jora, however, said that `91.97 crore has been approved by the central government under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JuNURM), which will give boost to treatment of garbage.
"Under this project, `50.42 will be incurred on integrated municipal solid waste processing facility at dumping site Achin and rest of the amount will be spent on garbage collection," said Jora, while praising the economic reconstruction agency for their efforts in upgrading dumping site.
The SMC is hopeful to cover 8,000 households in Srinagar under house-to-house garbage lifting. "Around 11,000 households have already been covered," said an SMC official.
The SMC claimed that 40,000 bins have been distributed among the city dwellers in with population of 11.47 lakh. "Out of 68 wards, there will be no roadside dumping site in at least five wards now," said Qasba.
Meanwhile, minister Jora asked people to develop civic senses. "If we have to convert Srinagar into a model city, people will have to cooperate," said Jora.
Jora said the Achin dumping ground would go a long way to address garbage issue. "There was some vested interest who wanted to stall the project. However, we stood our ground," revealed Jora.