An almond orchard surrounding Plastic Waste Management plant in Newa Pulwama
An almond orchard surrounding Plastic Waste Management plant in Newa Pulwama

PULWAMA — The much-hyped Plastic Waste Management plant in the Newa area of southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district has become a dumping ground, causing distress to the local population.

According to locals, who spoke to the news agency KNO, the Rural Development Department (RDD) of Pulwama recently constructed a segregation shed, composite pit and plastic recycling project to ensure proper garbage disposal in the area.

However, the segregation shed now lies defunct, with all the garbage from surrounding panchayats being indiscriminately dumped at the recycling plant, locals lamented.

“The scattered garbage near the shed has become a breeding ground for a large number of stray dogs, posing a serious inconvenience to people,” said Ghulam Nabi, a resident.

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“The growing number of the dogs attracted by this waste risks our sheep herds on which we are dependent for livelihood,” he said. “It is disheartening to see that instead of recycling, the site has turned into a dumping ground, causing immense suffering to the entire community.”

Locals expressed disappointment, saying that authorities had previously assured that proper waste disposal measures would be implemented during the infrastructure’s construction. “But now, the area is now overwhelmed with garbage,” they said.

Sajad Ahmad Bhat, another resident, said the entire area’s waste is being dumped in Newa, which has created a chaotic and unsanitary environment. He urged the government to address the issue at the earliest, especially in line with initiatives like the Swachh Bharat Mission and Shweta Hi Sewa.

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Despite repeated pleas to higher authorities, including the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of Development (ACD) of Pulwama, locals said their concerns have been overlooked. They reiterated their appeal to the officials to intervene urgently to alleviate the community’s suffering.

Meanwhile, an official from the department said there is a need for electricity at the site to initiate proper waste disposal procedures. “Efforts are underway to make the project operational within the next two months,” he assured.

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