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Choked with garbage, once famous streams Chount Koul, Sonar Koul, Gagribal gasping for breath

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Nobody owning tributaries, Govt must fix responsibility: Expert   

Owais Gul

(Asian News Hub) – There was a time when people especially children used to bath in the tributaries in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, but now the situation has changed as the tributaries here are almost on extinction and the garbage mostly polythene could be seen piled up on the embankments as well as in the water.

The locals while talking to the news agency—KNO at the once gushing three tributaries including Chount Koul, Sonar Koul and Gagribal said that the tributaries have lost its glory as the successive government failed to give it proper attention.

Abdul Majeed, a local resident at Aabi Karpora area near Gagribal tributary said that the though government is taking steps to clean stream, only at the front side.

“The backside of the tributary where we live has not been cleaned from the past several decades. It is we (locals), who clean it almost every week,” he said.

He added that during the tenure of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, it was told that the people living in this particular area will be shifted to other places to take requisite measures to preserve the tributary.

“The poles regarding the measure were erected in the locality during that period. However, since then no step has been taken,” Majeed told.

Majeed also said that such is the height that the locality has no drainage, thus resulting in further deterioration of Gagribal tributary.

At Sonar Koul, locals said that after the floods hit Kashmir in 2014, the government started dredging process in this tributary, but it has not been cleaned for a long now.

“There was a time when people especially children used to bath and women folk used to wash clothes or utensils at the tributary. However, the charm and glory are no longer visible. It won’t be an exaggeration to say than the tributary is dead. It has reduced to a useless place, which is being used for throwing garbage,” Manzoor Ahmad, a local resident said.

At Chount Koul, one can imagine the similar situation of Achan, a garbage dumping site and this tributary. “It is a well-known fact that the government never paid heed to preserve these tributaries, but at the same time, the local populace  are also responsible for the current mess as we as a local should have taken care of it, but we used these tributaries as garbage dumping place,” Ghulam Muhammad, an elderly said.

He said in his childhood, people used to drink the water of the tributary, now it is not only filthy but poisonous too. He added that the government needs to take special care of these tributaries to preserve it for the generations to come.

Environmental Expert M RD Kundangar told KNO that it is unfortunate that the major departments including Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) and Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) don’t own the tributaries.

“The government at the topmost priority must fix responsibility in this regard,” he said.”Once the responsibility is fixed, the department concerned would take apt steps accordingly to keep the tributaries alive.”

Kundangar said that the Chount Koul, which is basically the exit channel of Dal Lake and river Jhelum, was also being used for water transportation while Sonar Koul was a tributary of river Jhelum.

He said that both the government apathy, as well as the negligence of people, is responsible for the current mess of these tributaries, adding that the government must speed up the rehabilitation process.

“In Gagribal, there used to be a residential area in the ancient time as well. But, the rehabilitation process is must also to preserve the tributaries,” he said.

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Ganderbal residents raise concern over rise in stray dogs

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(Asian News Hub) – The increasing numbers of stray dogs in Ganderbal district have become a cause of grave concern for the inhabitants of the district who are not able to move around freely.

Locals of several villages in Ganderbal told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the situation has turned into a serious problem with concerned authorities turning a deaf ear to the public outcry.

Also Read: Manpower shortage mars SMC: Against requirement of 7000 sweepers, corporation has only 2700

Locals said that herds of dogs can be seen on the prowl at various areas of the district and sub district.

“The increasing number of stray dogs are posing a grave threat to the life of people and the movement of people, especially children, elders and women has become difficult during morning and evening hours,” locals said.

People have alleged that the steep rise in dog population was due to their transportation from urban areas during night hours and have appealed to the concerned authorities to tackle the menace at an earliest so that people heave a sigh of relief.

Inhabitants alleged that the authorities are doing nothing to control the menace.

“Scores of dogs are seen on the prowl at various areas of the district including busy markets of Kangan, Ganderbal and other places,” they said.

Locals said it has become difficult during morning and evening hours to move at ease.

“We are living under threat due to the dog menace. We cannot move freely on roads and go to mosques during wee hours,” said Wani Bilal, a local resident of Ganderbal.

He said that our school going children are vulnerable to attacks by stray dogs which forced us to stop them from attending school.

Locals said that municipal authorities have failed to look into the matter despite repeated requests to them.

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Manpower shortage mars SMC: Against requirement of 7000 sweepers, corporation has only 2700

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Corporation mulls to outsource sanitation, approval sent for necessary action: Dy Mayor

(Asian News Hub) – The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is facing an acute shortage of manpower with officials stating it has sent an approval to the concerned authorities to outsource the sanitation in Srinagar.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the officials said that SMC requires a total of 7000 sweepers, but it unfortunately has only 2700, which means the corporation is facing shortage of over 60 percent shortage.

Also Read: Moderna chief predicts existing COVID-19 vaccines will struggle with Omicron variant

They said that with the shortage of the manpower, the sanitation has finally got affected, besides pushing the existing manpower to the wall.

“The amount of garbage being lifted per day has also increased as against a total of 300 tons per day, the SMC is lifting 650 tons of garbage every day from Srinagar including its outskirts,” the officials said.

They said that there is a need to increase the manpower to ensure that the sanitation is not affected and the safayi karamcharis are not overburdened.

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor SMC, Parvaiz Qadri, when contacted admitted the shortage of manpower, saying that such is the situation that the representatives from every wards is suggesting to go for outsourcing of sanitation process here in Srinagar as the fewer number of sweepers are not able to cater all the areas with corporation’s jurisdiction.

He also informed that the corporation has sent an approval to the Executive Committee with regard to the outsourcing of sanitation in Srinagar.

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Plastic Factory gutted in midnight blaze at SIDCO Pulwama

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(Asian News Hub) – A plastic factory was reduced to ashes in industrial area of SIDCO Lassipora in Pulwama district in a massive fire that broke out on Monday late night.

Reports reaching the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the fire broke out at the factory namely ‘Stalwart plastics’ on Monday at around 10 PM and engulfed the whole factory.

Also Read: Give us citizenship rights or send us back: PaK brides urge PM Modi, J&K LG Manoj Sinha

Officials said that 44 RR headquarter, which is near the factory rushed to the spot to douse the fire, adding that the fire tenders from defence forces were also roped in to douse the flames.

They said that on priority, the civilians were evacuated and then team of Army, police and fire and emergency started operation to control the fire.

They said that the fire was doused after almost two-hour-long operation, adding that no loss of life has been reported while the industry was reduced to ashes while the cause of fire is being ascertained.

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