New Delhi: Siachen glacier, the world’s highest battlefield, is getting a “makeover”, with the Indian army launching a cleanliness drive, under which, it has disposed of 130 tonnes of garbage since January 2018. The problem in Siachen is that due to very cold temperatures, even biodegradable items do not decompose and so waste keeps on piling year after year.
“On an average, 236 tonnes of garbage is generated in Siachen every year. Our aim is to remove at least 100 tonnes of waste every year,” a senior official said. He said that presence of sizeable numbers of troops saddled the glacier with tonnes of waste and the Army is determined to rid the area of pollutants.
“The process of waste generation is essentially rooted in the survival of troops present on the glacier and their need to be operationally prepared and logistically supported to undertake combat operations in such terrain and weather conditions,” the official said.
Notwithstanding the challenges, he said that the ecology in the glacier, which is an abundant source of fresh water can’t be allowed to degenerate due to prolong presence of troops and resultant generation of waste.
The Swachh Siachen Abhiyan was launched by army in January 2018 to preserve the ecology in the region. Army has put up a paper bailer machine, which converts paper cartons and other such things, which are reusable. As far as non-metallic waste is concerned, army has put three incinerators at three different places and is looking for industrial crushers which can help in disposing off metallic waste. The army is also sensitising soldiers on waste management.
Out of 130.14 tonnes disposed-off so far, there was 48.41 tonnes of bio-degradable, 40.32 tonnes of non bio-degradable (non-metallic, like plastic) waste and 41.45 tonnes of non bio-degradable (metallic, like ammunition shells) scraps....