As the strike called by Sweepers of the Sopore Municipal Corporation entered its 11th day on Wednesday, the Sopore township of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district has started stinking with garbage piles emanating foul smell all over.
Dozens of Safai Karamcharis associated with MC Sopore are demanding regularisation of services.
The strike has resulted in piles of garbage across Model Town, Down Town, Sidiq Colony, Noorbagh and others areas of Sopore township. The workers have threatened that they will continue their strike if their demands are not met.
Locals said that the whole Sopore township is filled with garbage, and with each passing day the accumulation of garbage is creating problems. They fear a major disease outbreak is not far away if the situation remains the same.
“The areas, streets, road are filled with garbage and even heaps of garbage are lying at the various spots in the town. Neither the officials nor the sweepers are bothered about problems of general public,” the locals said.
Abdul Rashid, a Safai Karmchari said, "We don't like to be on strike or make people's lives miserable but it has become a routine matter for MC Sopore to not to solve our problems. We are demanding our regularisation and the officials are not paying any heed to our appeals. We will extend the strike if needed,” he said.
The protesting employees, demanding regularisation accused Executive Officer Sopore of misleading by claiming ‘lack of funds’.
Executive officer Sopore, Mohammad Lateef Mir Sopore, refuted allegations saying ‘they are baseless’.
“Due to the strike, there has been no cleaning around. Sweepers are being used by some petty fellows and are being provoked against me. A case has also been registered by police in this regard,” Mir said.
He said that a team of officials from Srinagar met the Safai Karamcharis and hopefully the strike will be over soon.
Sopore produces 16-17 metric tons of garbage on a daily basis and without a proper dumping site, MC Sopore uses landfill techniques to dump the garbage.
Locals have time and again appealed the Director of Urban Local bodies and State administration to identify the dumping yard for the subdivision Sopore so that the beauty of Sopore could be restored.