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.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Trashing of Kashmir

Tariq exposes a serious environmental hazard near the Wular Lake

Bio-medical Waste Dumped Near Wular Lake

Tariq Rasool (Rising Kashmir)

Bandipora: Flouting the guidelines of bio-medical waste management, the Municipal Committee here is dumping the trash generated at district hospital and health centres near the world famous Wular Lake.

The district lacks the bio-medical waste treatment plant forcing the Committee to dump the material near the lake, which according to experts was not only polluting the water body, but was dangerous for the local populace.

“The waste gets mixed with other solid trash disposed in the Lake vicinity, which most of the times gets drained into the water body,” an environmentalist told Greater Kashmir adding the pollution level in the lake had shown a steep rise.

According to the health experts, the bio-medical waste if not disposed off properly could be misused. “The waste could be collected by rag pickers and misused later on,” health experts warned adding that sharp waste could be dangerous if picked by children.

He said the area lacks the facility for scientific disposable of bio-medical waste. “Despite the fact that many private nursing homes and chemists shops have come up in the area, the government has failed to establish a treatment plant,” he said.

An official working in the district hospital told Greater Kashmir that there was no plan to install an incinerator.

District Executive Officer Bandipora Municipality, Abdul Rashid Shah said “we have sent a proposal to the government for setting up of dumping site.” “All the bio-medical waste will be disposed off scientifically after setting up of the dumping site,” he said.

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