Locals in Pulwama resent garbage dumping along circular road
Locals in Pulwama resent garbage dumping along circular road as dogs are seen on prowl.

SRINAGAR — Observing that it was not concerned with the internal correspondence of the counsel with the State administration, High Court has asked Deputy Commissioner Pulwama to remain present in person before it as regards the PIL alleging use of different place than the one government had identified for dumping solid waste in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.

As the hearing of the PIL started before the court, senior additional advocate general B. A. Dar submitted that in pursuance to the order dated June 2 this year, he has written a letter to the Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama, but he has not received any response thereto.

“We are not concerned with the internal correspondence of the counsel with the State administration. The fact is that instructions in the matter are not forthcoming,” said the division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar.

“In view of the above, we direct this matter to be listed on 15th September, 2021, on which date the Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama, shall remain personally present subject to payment of costs of Rs. 10,000,” it said.

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The PIL has been filed by inhabitants of Parigam, Wanpora, and Tumchi Nowpora villages who submit that under the policy regarding J&K State Integrated Solid Waste Management Strategy 2017, 90 Kanals of land at Lethpora in Pulwama were earmarked for the solid waste management project. However, the counsel said that the solid waste is being dumped on other lands also.

In the PIL, the petitioners said the site at Lethpora was fenced at the expense of crores of rupees and thereafter utilised for disposal of solid waste for a period of more than one year. Thereafter the practice was suddenly stopped at the instance of “vested interests.”

“While showing deviation not only from the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016 but also the Jammu and Kashmir State Integrated Solid Waste Management Strategy, 2017, the (officials) have identified a piece of land at village Parigam Pulwama for disposal of Solid Waste. The site in Moza Jageer Parigam is admittedly the state land. However, it is not only in close vicinity of human population and surrounded by horticulture land/orchards,” it said.

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They said that land is also on higher elevation, making the human population prone to infectious diseases, pungent smell and polluted ground water.

They stated, “The petitioners are mainly dependent on their orchards for livelihood and the proposed dumping site would adversely affect the orchards and thus their livelihood.”

Pertinently, they said, the site is also in immediate vicinity of Government Boys High School Parigam Pulwama. The school management has raised a strong objection with regard to establishment of garbage dumping site in village Parigam in view of its adverse impact on the health of students and educational atmosphere of the school, the petitioners said.

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