Save the river: Municipal administration officials dump waste into Gilgit River
Gilgit River became a breeding ground for pollution after a group of low-grade officials of the municipal administration started disposing waste by it earlier this week.
According to insiders, the officials began dumping waste near the Reinforced Concrete (RCC) Bridge in Konodas. This has negatively impacted the scenic beauty of the river and contaminated the water for people living downstream.
A heap of waste was first noticed in the river by Abdul Rahman Bukhari and Essa Haleem, two Gilgit-based journalists. They immediately lodged a complaint with the police and urged them to take action against the perpetrators.
“I was shocked to find that the river was filled with garbage and waste,” Bukhari told The Express Tribune on Thursday. “Moreover, it was worrying to see the relevant departments remain silent about the matter.”
Following the complaint, SHO Murtaza Shah summoned Javed Iqbal, chief officer of the municipal administration, to the police station for further interrogation on Wednesday. However, Iqbal denied that the municipal administration was involved in this practice and vowed to investigate the matter.
It was later revealed that some low-grade officials of the municipal administration had been dumping waste on the request of a resident of Haider Pura who needed help ‘levelling his land’.
Bukhari, who is also a member of an environmental group, said improper waste disposal practices are likely to have an adverse effect on the environment.
“Apart from heaps of garbage, the river is also filled with carcasses of dead animals,” he said. “Improper waste disposal practices have marred the beauty of the area.”
During winter, a cold wave grips Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and causes temperature to plummet below zero degrees Celsius. As a result, glaciers stop melting and the river begins to shrink.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2015.