Govt forces, people openly defy SMC’s prohibitory orders
Violators will be dealt strictly under law: CSO SMC
: Despite blanket ban on burning of fallen leaves and twigs in Srinagar, people in many areas of the city can be seen busy in violating the ban and adding to the pollution levels.
In November 2017, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) had asked people to stop burning of leaves and twigs as it causes severe air pollution during winters.
Rafeeqa Bano, a local at Chinar Park Dalgate said they use fallen leaves to get charcoal used in traditional fire pots (Kangri). The burning of Chinar leaves is our source of income during winters, she said.
“Every year we burn fallen leaves here and twigs in this park and then sell charcoal in the market,” Bano said.
She added that if the government wants to control air pollution, they must first ban the brick kilns and old vehicles which emit toxic gases throughout the year.
Another woman, Zaiba Begum who was collecting fallen leaves near Abdullah Bride said since decades her family has been using the burnt leaves to get warmth during harsh winters and also earn livelihood.
“We make around 30-35 bags of charcoal every season and sell major portion of it in the market to earn livelihood and rest we keep for our own use,” she said.
Chief Sanitation Officer, SMC, Ghulam Rasool told Rising Kashmir that they have already issued an advisory for implementing a complete ban on burning of fallen leaves in the city.
“Violators are dealt with strictly under the rule of law. From past one month SMC squads have strictly ensured the blanket ban,” Rasool said.
During the morning and evening hours in many areas, government forces are seen burning fallen leaves and SMC has already taken cognizance of that, he said.
“The biomass waste burning is banned as it is harmful and illegal and needs to be stopped immediately,” Rasool said adding that they have invoked section 305 of Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000 to implement the ban.
He said fallen leaves are taken to Achen dumping site, where it gets segregated into bio and non-biodegradable waste. After decomposition it can be used for fertilizers in various public gardens and parks in Srinagar city, he added.