Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Disposal of Bio-Medical Waste in the Valley is Creating a Controversy

A lack of clear laws, coupled with mis-governance, is leading to a stinking cause-and-effect which may lead to some serious health issues in the future

Between LD Hospital, SMC Bio-medical waste segregation triggers controversy

Samaan Lateef (Rising Kashmir)

Srinagar: A row on garbage has left hundreds of patients and their attendants in valley’s lone maternity hospital, Lalla Ded (LD), incensed by stinking stench that emanates from the alleys of the medical institution as for days heaps of leftover lie unattended.

The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), and the hospital authorities are passing the buck when it comes to the segregation of bio-medical waste dumped into the garbage in the hospital premises.

It was only after this correspondent visited the hospital premises and sought explanation from the administrators that the 14 days garbage was lifted from the hospital.

The question of segregation of bio-medical waste remains as SMC officials have refused to lift the garbage from within the hospital premises.

“Please tell me how can our men segregate the bio-medical waste which is the job of hospital official and they are being paid for that by the department,” said SMC’s top official on condition of anonymity.

The hospital administration after getting strong note of caution from the SPCB on dumping bio-medical waste on river side are on the scanner and they want municipal officials to lift the dump.

Medical Superintendent LD hospital, Muhamad Shafi Shah told Greater Kashmir that, “Every day more than hundred kilos of garbage, kitchen wastes, bio-medical wastes come out of the hospital. And from last 14 days SMC has not lifted the garbage from the hospital premises. SPCB and SMC are not monitoring the other parts of city and have made hospital the main target.”

This correspondent saw heaps of polythene and garbage left in the premises of the hospital.

“Huge mounds of garbage, both domestic and bio-medical, lies unattended reeking of noxiousness. Stagnant water in trenches provide congenial environment for mosquitoes to breed and proliferate causing malaria and other dangerous diseases to the patients,” said Ghulam Rasool, a former teacher and an attendant of a patient at Ward No 203.

Shagufta Ashraf, a patient from Palpora Anantnag said, “The stink in the ward is making me feel that I am in a tank of garbage. The odor from the garbage accumulated in the premises of the hospital has enveloped the whole complex and the hospital authorities are working as mute spectators.”

SMC officials are passing the buck to state pollution control board and hospital authorities by saying, “We are not supposed to lift the garbage from the hospital. Hospital authorities have mixed the non-biodegradable material and wastes with degradable wastes and material. Now it is the concern of hospital authority and state pollution board to dump the garbage.”

Regional director state pollution control board, Mian Javaid Ahmad said, “We are only to monitor the smooth working of rules and regulations and take action against the violators of the law."

No comments: