Growing resentment over garbage problem in Kohima’s Supermarket area
Kohima, Sep. 27 (EMN): For decades, the garbage which are widely exposed with stench of urine and liquid wastes, rotten vegetables, stale fruits and other wastes from Supermarket area and discarded at the northern entrance of Khuochiezie (local ground), have been causing public inconveniences in the state capital.
The area behind Khuochiezie is a jam-packed business centre where a horde of shopkeepers and vendors, including Nagas and non-Nagas, run their daily activities right from the southern gate area to the end of the northern gate of the playground and beyond.
Located only a few metres away from the building of Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) and Kohima Smart City Development Limited (KSCDL), the spot at the northern gate of the playground has become a usual disposal site for the shopkeepers and roadside vendors.
Converting an area for disposing waste materials in a hub of commercial activities, which is also the entrance of a public playground, poses more harm to the health of those operating their commercial activities near the hazardous site and to those hundreds who cross the area every day.
An employee manning a rental shop located close to the garbage site, while speaking to Eastern Mirror, informed that not only shopkeepers and vendors behind Khuochiezie, but even the shops beyond Axis Bank, Kohima branch, dump their wastes which mount up in the morning for KMC sanitation workers to collect.
He said that people keep throwing their wastes in broad daylight even when the authorities have instructed them only to dump their rubbish in the evening.
His shop’s owner shared her concern that since many tourists visit the area, “it is a shame for us to expose our rubbish in such an annoying manner”.
“I wonder why this should be a dumping place when visitors come and take photographs of the area and the traditional gate (northern gate of Khuochiezie). We don’t even have decorations and piling up wastes openly at the site doesn’t look very nice,” she said.
“It will be better to locate the dumping site somewhere,” she said.
She shared her desire for placing flower pots in the area instead of using it as a disposal site for waste materials. “Under Smart City, many plans are going on and it’s up to them whether to sanitise such public places and keep the main ground clean,” she said.
Like the southern gate, the northern gate of Khuochiezie was constructed with large traditional stone pillars and was inaugurated on February 20, 2012.
Waste materials at the site have already stained the name plate attached to one of the pillars at the northern gate.
A basketball arena is also located near the northern gate where players come for regular games and practices. One of the players of Orca, a popular basketball team in Kohima, who comes to the court regularly shared that it was “discouraging” to see the sight of garbage at the entrance of any playground, which “doesn’t look very good”.
‘There is not even a garbage container and litters are scattered everywhere,’ a player also said.
Vendors sell their goods “very near to the trash”, said another player adding that such practice is very unhygienic while there are possibilities of dirt from the wastes getting mixed with their products which they sell without packaging.
“More wastes will only affect people’s health with more issues”, another one added.
Two college-going girls standing beside the unhygienic site near Union Baptist Church, also shared their views that the authorities concerned should not allow people to throw their wastes ‘freely’.
However, there are even more disturbing sights: of elderly women vendors who sell their items close to the litter.
Some of them informed that they had to sit at the same spot and put their items on sale owing to financial problems and poverty.
On being asked if they have problems sitting besides the litter for eight-nine hours daily, they said they feel ‘little dizzy and get headache sometimes’.
Meanwhile, it was also claimed that many shopkeepers pee in containers and splash it over the garbage, which often flows downward towards Dierhezo market and beyond the entrance of KMC building.
A vegetable vendor narrated how they had asked neighbouring shopkeepers and others not to pour their urine and liquid wastes over the litter as it spills over and flows downward to the town area. She claimed that many times, they had to fill up the liquid with soil.
‘During summer, the foul smell from the garbage becomes unbearable while during the rainy season, the liquid wastes are spread everywhere,’ she said.
A KMC official, when contacted, informed that they could not relocate the disposal site as they don’t have any alternative place at the moment.