Tue. Dec 1st, 2020

Gilgit: The polluted road to the Karakuram International University

Dead stray dogs, most probably shot by the police, have been dumped in the area. Photo: Farman Karim Baig

Gilgit: Some people are throwing trash in the river, close to the road that connects rest of Konodas with the area where the KIU campus is located
Gilgit: Some people are throwing trash in the river, close to the road that connects rest of Konodas with the area where the KIU campus is located. Photo: Farman Karim Baig

Pamir Times Report | Photographs: Farman Karim Baig  

Gilgit, August 31: The Karakuam International University is Gilgit-Baltistan’s only institution of higher learning. Nestled at the juncture of Gilgit and Danyore, two towns separated by the Gilgit River, the KIU’s campus is located at the toe of a huge mountain overlooking the city. The building is beautiful and constantly being developed.

Dead stray dogs, most probably shot by the police, have been dumped in the area. Photo: Farman Karim Baig
Dead stray dogs, most probably shot by the police, have been dumped in the area. Photo: Farman Karim Baig

Aiming, in the long run, to be a superior choice for scholars from across the mountain communities of South and Central Asia, the university needs to be located in a conducive environment, where matters of mind and heart are explored, learnt and taught. There is a problem, however. The road to the university is full of filth, stray dogs and rubbish dumped by the city’s municipal administration every day.

Some young kids can be seen picking garbage from the dump under highly unhygienic conditions . Photo: Farman Karim Baig
Some young kids can be seen picking garbage from the dump under highly unhygienic conditions . Photo: Farman Karim Baig

The road side is being used not only to dump trash collected from the houses and markets of Gilgit city, it is also a spot where the bodies of stray dogs shot by the Municipal workers are thrown, in the open air.

It is pertinent to note that not very far from this area are located the buildings of the Aga Khan University’s Professional Development Center (PDCN), Shah Karim Hostel and the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School some of the premier learning institutions of Gilgit-Baltistan.

A dead animal has been dropped in middle of the road, which can cause an accident. A motorcyclist is passing on the road. Photo: Farman Karim Baig
A dead animal has been dropped in middle of the road, which can cause an accident. A motorcyclist is passing on the road. Photo: Farman Karim Baig

It is high time for the city authorities to find a solution to this chronic and ignored issue, and save the Gilgit River from pollution, while also making the area more conducive for the teachers and students and other commuters.

2 thoughts on “Gilgit: The polluted road to the Karakuram International University

  1. I first of convey my sincere gratitude to the writer for putting his observations into words on such an important issue which seeks our attention as a society and as a nation. While it has been in our mind set that apart from our own residence, we avoid taking any responsibility for any public place, facility and service leading to create it as liability on us. The issue of solid waste management is increasingly emerging as a threat for our survival. Use of polythene bags, tetra packs, pampers, substandard edibles, cans, bottles etc. etc. and throwing them into the streets is increasingly threatening our survival. Use of Konodas at the KIU road as a place for solid waste is but one example our social irresponsibility. Why the responsible institution (Gilgit Municipal Corporation) is thinking that by dumping the solid waste in such places is a safe way? Putting the garbage on fire every day is an additional irony since it adds smoke as a pollutant into the limited atmosphere of Gilgit City. So what is the way out to address such an important challenge? I would suggest two of them as under;
    1. Organize mass awareness campaign for public on social, electronic and print media regarding no use of polythene baigs for any domestic or commercial purposes, recycling of tetra packs, bottles and such other packaging material.
    2. introduce a more safer plan on war footings for solid waster management by government agencies.

  2. Gb is considered heaven on earth due to its snow capped mountains, natural scenes and beautiful valleys. It is obligation of our all well wishers to contribute for its development according to their capacity. At the same time there are systems in place to address such emerging issues. Unfortunately lack of visionary leadership or having dysfunctional systems or lack of accountability of relevant authority things go in wrong direction and these institutions become cause of troublesome instead of relieving and service delivery to public..i.e the collapse of Khizer abad Hunza bridge, Dushkin Astore bridge and Chalt Nagar bridge are its live examples. All these things indicate our bad governance and senselessness of our society that is not ready to raise finger towards wrong things. All these can be improved through embarking good governance principles like accountability and transparency in systems.

    As far as making the heaven suffocated and polluted through garbage and wastage throwing on the road or beside the KIU is concerned is also result of our mismanagement and lack of planning.

    Here we propose to Municipal Corporation and district leadership and management to ensure the applicability of fourth Rs

    1. Reduce
    2. Reuse
    3. Recycle
    4. Recovery of Energy

    In 40 countries more than 700 facilities are producing clean electricity by this garbage and million houses are utilizing this electricity.

    Today I was reading in news paper that the discussion of feasibility report is under process and Engineers have committed to manage this wastage. I have no doubt about skill of engineers but due to unaccountability we have seen the hazard with above mentioned bridges.

    My request would be with KIU and GB government to make an agreement with China Govt, or Japan or any European country to install a plant of producing electricity that is done in their countries. Without developing concrete strategy by municipal or GB Govt for future it would be difficult to travel on the roads with availing relief and fresh air.

    We have many expectations with present Chief Secretary and his team to continue their struggle in streamlining the systems and taking steps to ensuring service delivery to public. It is also hoped that he would further accelerate his mentoring and monitoring system to make the institutions functional and revival.

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