In 2016, a bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, now J&K and Ladakh High Court, observed that the situation at Achan duping site was “explosive.”
Besides directing procuring leachate treatments plants (LTPs) , the court had directed installation of an ‘mechanized odour control system’ and modular plant of additional capacity for treating the backlog leachate at the dumping site. The order had followed amid court’s observation that odour emitted from the site is of such a nature that it is not possible to stay in the adjoining areas and it calls for urgent remedy. More than five years down the line, the situation is more of the ‘explosive’ nature, according to people living close by. Untreated leachate sends out a stench that engulfs most of the city’s downtown and its outskirts. People of the area, not only living in close vicinity but those at some distance away diagonally like Hawal, Nowhatta, Lal Bazar, Bota Kadal, Nowshera, complain that smell becomes unbearable.
The Achan dumping site is close to Anchar Lake and SKIMS Soura, one of the premier health institutions of the Valley.
According to experts when garbage and litter remain dumped at some place for a long time, the underground water is polluted. PHE reports as submitted to the top court confirmed that underground water is unsuitable for drinking. The ordour should be controlled through scientific means. Those entrusted to run the leachate plants must ensure their running round the clock. If there are problems on account of finances or other means, the same ought to be addressed.
Leachate generation is one of the main pollutants associated with municipal solid waste (MSW). Leachate is a liquid that has seeped through solid waste in a landfill and extracted dissolved or suspended materials in the process, and usually contains a complex variety of materials and organic compounds. Dedicated treatment facilities are required before leachate can be discharged to the environment.
The need of the hour is to initiate a process of managing the waste on scientific lines. The process of suggested recycling, segregation and compose formation should be initiated by the authorities immediately. Sooner it is done; the better it will be for the environment and the general populace.
It is not only necessary, but it is the mandate of the law that management of waste is done in accordance with the law and rules in force.