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Srinagar stinks as garbage piles up
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April 10, 2007 13:59 IST

Jammu and Kashmir capital Srinagar is literally stinking as authorities have failed to clear huge piles of garbage accumulating in various localities over the past one week due to violent protests by residents of Eidgah, the major dumping site in the city.

Heaps of waste have been lying in various garbage collection sheds in Srinagar for the past six days as the staff of Srinagar Municipal Corporation did not come to collect it.

The process of removing garbage from the sheds was stopped when residents of Eidgah and the adjoining areas took to the streets last week protesting against the dumping of waste at Saidapora dumping grounds.

The protestors claimed that dumping was not carried out on a 'scientific pattern' and the waste was causing foul smell, which they said could lead to outbreak of an epidemic.

The protests turned violent and nearly 20 persons, including seven police personnel were injured in clashes. Srinagar Municipal Corporation Mayor Abdul Rashid Pandit told PTI that efforts were on to remove the garbage from all parts of city by Wednesday morning as authorities were in the process of finding three more alternate sites for dumping waste.

"We will reduce the load on Saidapora dumping ground by 75 per cent. But there have been some misgivings among the residents of the Eidgah area as the government had already sanctioned Rs 31 crore for upgrading the sewage treatment plant," he said.

Pandit said the dumping ground was a low-lying area spread over 30 hectares and had been notified as a garbage dump by the government.

"Objections were invited from the residents of the area at the time of notification but no one came forward at that time. The protests have come at a time when we were going to modernise the dumping ground. The fencing work had already begun," the mayor said.

He said the site has been earmarked even in the Srinagar Master Plan of 1971.

Pandit, who was elected as mayor only last month, said construction of residential houses was not allowed in the area surrounding the dumping ground under the master plan.
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