Making Batamaloo Clean, Green

SAIMA BASHIR

SRINAGAR

To make Srinagar’s Batamaloo clean and green, authorities have extended a scheme giving financial assistance to households for constructing washrooms.

Batamaloo houses the main transport yard in Kashmir besides being a hub of economic activities. The residential area of Batamaloo has seen, what locals allege, official neglect for many years now.

“The worst part of the sanitation problem we are facing is the open defecation,” locals said. “Proper Sanitation in Batamaloo has been neglected for a long time,” said Showkat Ahmad Bhat, a local resident.

Addressing this problem the Municipal Committee of Batamaloo has taken a step under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan scheme, to ensure the proper sanitation standards to people.

“According to this scheme government will provide Rs 12, 500 to every family to construct a trench system Latrine,” said Abdul Hameed, Sanitary Inspector of Batamaloo. However, he added, “more investments are required to make it successful.”

Locals while hailing the step taken said that “it should be implemented fully without any bias”.

“If the mission goes on smoothly, it will be very beneficial, not only to the people of this area but to the public of whole city,” the Sanitary Inspector said.

The Municipal Committee officials informed that they have already submitted about 150 forms for the financial assistance.

“People seem cooperative as we are continuously receiving applications,” they said, “more than 250 new forms with us now.”

Locals of the area claim that they had been asked to pay Rs 300 as a “fee” for this scheme. But the official said that the locals had not cleared their dues. “People might have confusion as they (municipal commission) have received Rs 100 or so from them but that was their pending monthly sanitation fee,” they added. “People simply have to fill a form, and attach the required documents to avail the benefits.”

“First payment of Rs 5300 will be issued only after the verification is completed,” the Sanitation Officer said.

Appreciating the move, Zeenat Akhtar, a local resident of Diyarwani Batamaloo said, “We are very happy with this scheme as it will avoid the pungent environment around us. And will help to avoid diseases like typhoid that mostly rise due to open sanitation.”

(Saima Bashir is Intern with Kashmir Life.)

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