Civil society members showed grim concern over the dumping waste by the Tehsil Municipal Administration near Swat River, turning the agricultural and scenic spot into filthy garbage area. They said that dumping of waste in agricultural and touristic spots by the TMA Batkhela near Swat River was a violation of the environmental regulations and the move would not only pollute the clean water of the river but also turned the tourist resort into garbage dumping site. Sholgara, the lush green agricultural area located between the Malakand and Lower Dir, connected through a bridge over the river and the area was a busy resort for tourists. “However, after the construction of the bridge, every day, early in the morning the workers of TMA Batkhela started throwing garbage and waste, collected from Batkhela bazaar and DHQ Hospital, at the riverside in open air, creating pollution and health hazards for the overall population in the surroundings. According to TMA workers every morning they collected garbage and waste from Batkhela bazaar including used-syringes, empty drips, needles and OT garbage from DHQ hospital and threw them at the riverside. We have no other option or proper arrangements to discard the wastage collected from the hospital and we are throwing it in the open air near the river”, they said, asking anonymity. “This is of high concern that the government institutions are violating regulations and laws. About three years ago the TMA started dumping waste along the Swat River in our area which is not only polluting the river water but also causing a reason to die fishes in the river, sometimes the local animals eat the polluted garbage and become ill,” said Naseeb Gul an active member of civil, adding that several time he approached TMA Batkhela to stop throwing the garbage near the river and also devise a proper system to process it, but they were constantly ignoring the concerns. Another resident of the area and former district council member Mufti Kifayatullah said that they discussed the issue many times tabled with the Deputy Commissioner and TMA official to plan a proper system for discarding the wastage but no action taken. “The open air garbage dumping provides an ideal ground for houseflies and mosquitoes breeding as well as in rainy seasons the polluted water flew toward the nearby houses where malaria and cholera are common these days,” he said. He added that the rain water also continued flowing towards the nearby river and contaminated the clean water with garbage. Due to the garbage dumping the river side also turned to a dirty place where no one can stay for a little moment due to the bad smell. “The useless needles and empty infusions spread in the nearest fields, many times we get injured due to broken glasses of ampoule and vials and used needles while working in the farms. The polythene bags flew to the surroundings fields with heavy winds and agriculture farms while the irrigation system is badly affected,” Gul Muhammad a local farmer said. Local said that it was an ideal area for vegetables and fruit cultivation but the flies rising from the dumping site sit on the fruits and vegetables badly affected it, after all we left the fruit and vegetables cultivation. When contacted the TMO Batkhela Noor Shah Ali said that TMA had no modern machinery for processing of the solid waste. “TMA Malakand faces financial issues to arrange the proper discard system. Three years ago, we started throwing wastage on the current location. We are in search for purchasing a suitable place but due to financial difficulties we acquired the current place on rent,” he said. He added that owing to the huge quantity of waste of Batkhela bazzar and DHQ Hospital were in intense need of waste processing machine but due to financial difficulties it could not be arranged urgently. He said that to eradicate the house flies and mosquitos they were conducting mosquitos repellent spray and pouring the lame over the dumping time to time, every year they excavated the dumping and processing it into the soil.