Case filed against govt for failing to manage waste

Kathmandu, September 17

A case was filed at the Supreme Court today against the government, its bodies and the three local levels of Kathmandu valley regarding their inability to manage solid waste in the capital as envisioned in laws related to environment and pollution.

‘Effort Lab’ a non-government organisation filed the case against government bodies stating that ‘they had failed to take measures to control waste management. The litigant stressed that the government had failed to segregate waste properly before dumping or reusing it, find alternatives to Sisdol landfill site which has been overused for the past couple of years, and to receive waste from the homes of Kathmandu denizens to prevent waste piling up at roadsides.

Waste management in Kathmandu has become a growing problem in the capital for the last couple of months. Government officials have been saying that the only landfill site at Sisdol is unable to hold any more waste.

Piles of garbage are seen on the streets of Kathmandu every now and then due to difficultly of dumping the waste at the landfill site.  The government had also bought land at Banchare Danda, some 2.8 kilometre north of Sisdol, to construct a permanent landfill site. However, the site has yet to come into operation.

Advocate Padam Bahadur Shrestha also a representative of Effort Lab said, “While the government is largely unable to manage waste in Kathmandu, it has also not made efforts at the public level that could drastically improve waste management in urban areas.” Shrestha said proper segregation of waste into biodegradable and non-degradable could lessen the waste management problem by more than 60 per cent.

Environmentalist Shankar Prasad Poudyal of Department of Environment said, “Only 11 per cent waste of Kathmandu, that cannot be reused or recycled will have to be dumped at the landfill site if the segregation of waste is undertaken effectively.”

The Solid Waste Management Act 2011 states that local government must segregate the waste and transport it to a particular destination such as transfer station, recycling station, compost plant, biogas plant or landfill site. A DoE official, however said no such initiative had been taken by the government nor were there any awareness programmes on segregating waste before dumping.

According to Kathmandu Metropolitan City, a total of around 1,000 metric tonnes of waste is dumped into the Sisdol landfill site every day. An employee of Environment Department at KMC, on condition of anonymity,  said, “Segregation of solid waste in the current context is almost impossible looking at the source and finance it receives.”

The KMC’s directives on solid waste management has also stated that ward offices should conduct awareness programmes, every shop inside KMC needs to place separate waste bins to hold waste of various kinds, private vendors who collect waste from households need to be regular about schedule and such vendors themselves need to segregate waste.

The first pleading of the case will be held tomorrow.