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.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Without a Civic Sense

To save Kashmir, we have to export Kashmiri habits out of there

67% City Dwellers Throw Waste in Water Bodies, Lanes: Report

Asem Mohiuddin (Rising Kashmir)

Srinagar: As many as 67 percent people in Srinagar city throw away waste and garbage in water bodies and public places like roads, lanes and by-lanes, reveals a report of Environment Committee 2011-12. “Only 23 per cent use dustbins provided by the SMC,” the report quotes the door-to-door survey conducted by Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).

However, according to the report, SMC claims to have initiated massive campaigns by involving NGOs, schools and community-based organizations to educate the masses to make use of dustbins.

\As per the report Dal Lake and Brari Nambal Lagoon suffer the most due to the people’s un-civic nature. To preserve these water bodies, SMC claims to have launched cleanliness drive of those unattended areas around the Dal Lake and Brari Numbal Lagoon. “With the help of special boats like Kuchues, the SMC has launched a drive for the retrieval of polythene and solid waste from these water bodies,” the report reads.

What has been the major hurdle for SMC in conducting cleanliness drive efficiently is shortage of scavengers. It has said in the report that SMC had only 2700 scavengers against the requirement of 3700 thus posing a major challenge to keep all areas clean and hygienic.

The report also reveals that SMC has inadequate, old and outdated fleet available to transfer the garbage to the dumping sites.

Even though the Pollution Control Board has lodged FIRs against many hospitals and served notices for failing to use modern treatment plants for bio-medical waste treatment, the committee said PCB, Health department and concerned agencies need to do a lot to ensure an eco-friendly environment.

“Despite the directions of Supreme Court to ensure use of modern Bio-Medical Treatment Plants by hospitals, work done by the Health Department, PCB and other concerned agencies is not up to the mark and all have to put lots of efforts to ensure eco-friendly environment,” the committee rued. The committee said that the State not only lacks modern devices and equipment but also faces shortage of manpower required in the process of bio-medical waste management. “The comprehensive action plan is required for the treatment of bio-medical waste. The sufficient budgetary provision is also required for the purpose of management of bio-medical waste of hospitals,” the committee suggests.

Interestingly, hundreds of crores of rupees have been pumped in for last many years to preserve the water bodies especially the Dal Lake, Wular and Hokersar.

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