Brave Indian Army Jawans Remove 130 Tonnes Of Waste As Part Of 'Swachh Siachen Abhiyan'

26 Sep 2019 5:59 AM GMT
Brave Indian Army Jawans Remove 130 Tonnes Of Waste As Part Of
Image Credit: The Times Of India

In a mega drive to clean the Siachen glacier, the Indian Army has removed 130 tonnes of solid waste from the world’s most dangerous battlefield. The drive called ‘Swachh Siachen Abhiyan’ aims to keep the glacier clean and also preserve the region’s ecology. The drive began one and a half years ago with an aim to make Siachen garbage-free in 12-15 years.

A large number of troops saddled the glacier with tonnes of waste and the Army is determined to rid the area of pollutants, Army officials said.

A total of 130.18 tonnes of waste has been disposed of till now, which included 48.41 tons of bio-degradable waste, 40.32 tonnes of non-bio-degradable non-metallic waste and 41.45 tonnes of non-bio-degradable metallic waste.

On average, 236 tonnes of waste is generated every year on Siachen glacier. The capacity of each person to carry is 10-15 kg due to the extreme weather. As a part of the drive, efforts are being made to increase the disposal rate to 100 tonnes a year.

The Indian Army installed incinerators at Partapur near Siachen base camp and Bukdang in Leh, to convert non-metallic waste into manure. The wastes burnt in the incinerators do not produce Carbon Monoxide, only the ash is later used as manure. Cardboard recycling machines were also set up along with awareness programmes conducted in Leh and adjoining areas.

The toughest challenge, according to officials, is to keep the glacier clean at 21,000 feet, where soldiers sit at their highest peak and the sub-zero temperatures do not allow microorganisms to exist, that help degrade waste.

The biodegradable waste at such a height is not naturally broken down and the waste piles up.

“Since every item inducted into the glacier is a potential source of waste, the entire process of waste generation needs to be viewed holistically through total tonnage inducted into the glacier for requisite logistics support to these troops,” said an Army concept paper on steps to protect the glacier.

At the height of 20,000 ft in the Karakoram range, the Siachen Glacier is the highest militarized zone in the world.


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