Due to the burning of garbage in Bomb guard near Diskit Tsal on 14 November, a thick smoke enveloped the adjacent area for two-three days consecutively.
Referring to November 14 incident, ADC Leh Moses Kunzang said, “As the cold weather sets in, non-local people uses wood and other substances for heating. And a fire trash of the substances caused the fire.”
The present garbage-dumping site at Bomb guard is ill planned. The population growth, change in lifestyle and rapid urbanization has increased the waste generations in the city over the years.
He informed that a total quantity of 13.53 TPD (Tonne Per day) of waste is generated in Leh Town out of which 6.27 TPD is Biodegradable, 3.27 TPD is recyclable and 1.84 TPD is construction waste.
The waste problem has grown from the beginning and as now, it has become a major environmental issue. Open garbage dumping and burning is still the most common final disposal method practice in Leh town.
“However, the first ever engineered landfill site of 661 kanal area is identified at La-ser-mo and its first stage is completed. The cost of the new dumping site project is 1094 lakh and the fund released is 164.15 Lakh. The project is under Leh beautification project and Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small & Medium Town (UIDSMTT),” said Moses Kunzang.
The 661 kanal of land was transferred to the Municipal Committee Leh on November 11, 2016, in the Executive council meeting. The site near housing colony (bomb guard) was proposed but found not feasible for the facility.
He further added, “In the first phase we completed the land identification and the construction of the metallic road at the new dumping site have already begun.”
The proposed Solid waste management system includes safe and efficient collection, storage, and transportation of municipal solid waste of Leh Town.
The project mainly consists of:
• Primary collection of waste: the collection of waste from every household.
• Secondary storage of waste: collection of waste from secondary sources (hotels, restaurant etc.)
• Transportation of waste to the Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) facility plant.
• In-vessel compost plant: for processing of biodegradable waste.
• Sanitary Landfill: for final disposal of inert waste (waste which is neither chemically or biologically reactive and will not decompose. Examples sand and concrete)
• Common Facility: for proper management of the above
Phuntsog Wangdan, Lower Leh, Councillor said, “After the incident, JCB and fire extinguisher were deployed immediately. I requested CEC Dr. Sonam Dawa and the concerned administration about the permanent solution and to take immediate action on the identified new dumping site.”
He further added, earlier around eight sites were identified but the work could not be started owing to the objection raised by concerned regional authorities. However, the work at the new dumping site at La-Ser-mo will begin from March 2017.
“Leh being a city, pollution caused by traffic is immense. As winter starts, people uses fire woods and other heating substances to heat the room. Moreover, the incident happened on 14 November effected the environment immensely, added Phuntsog.
Diskit-tsal residence Chuskit Angmo said, “The smoke from Diskit Tsal emits often. But no action was taken from the public well as from the administration. Keeping the environment sound is not the responsibility of one or two people, indeed it’s the responsibility of all.”