Abid Hussain

Doodhpathri becomes dumping ground, courtesy DDA

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Doodhpathri (Budgam), June 27: The presence of heaps of garbage at Doodhpathri which is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Valley has raised questions over "defunct" Doodhpathri Development Authority (DDA).

Mounds of waste material could be seen in and around bowl-shaped meadows here and no efforts are being made to make the picturesque spot garbage-free, locals and visitors rued.

While expressing dismay over the DDA's lackadaisical approach, locals said that officials at the helm have never taken interest in removing the garbage from Doodhpathri. "Neither DDA is providing sufficient facilities including much-needed waste containers nor cleaning the waste material from meadows. The district administration is also unmoved," they complained.

Last year in September, Kashmir Images had highlighted the issue and brought into the notice of concerned authorities, but no official felt it necessary to take some measures. Due to the apathy of the DDA, Doodhpathri presents a look of dumping ground where foul smell emanates from the scrap.

"Instead of developing our tourist resort, the concerned authorities have taken a lead in ruining the ecologically-fragile place. I have heard Doodhpathri has its own development authority, however, I have never seen any official performing duty on the ground," Sajad Hussain, a local resident alleged.

Besides tourist attraction, the well-being of Shaliganga river which passes through Doodhpathri has also become a major concern for people. "Fresh water is flowing in Shaliganga which is used by thousands of people for various purposes. But spilling of garbage into the natural water body has polluted it," Bashir Ahmed, another local said.

Apart from official apathy, visitors held common people also responsible for polluting Budgam's hill station. "People come and throw polythenes, chips packets etc. here and there. At least, if the DDA has failed to provide sound sanitation facilitates, people should restrict themselves from polluting the place."

Interestingly, the DDA is headless for many years now. In absence of its permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the government had given additional charge of CEO DDA to former Additional District Development Commissioner Budgam Khurshid Ahmad Sanai. He was transferred early this month and posted as Commissioner Municipal Corporation Srinagar. He is still holding the charge of CEO DDA.

When contacted, Sanai said that the DDA officials regularly pick garbage from Doodhpathri.

Meanwhile, Additional Deputy Commissioner Budgam Mushtaq Ahmad Simnani who is likely to get DDA's CEO charge, said that after taking charge, there would be a visible change in Doodhpathri.

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