Garbage woes plague Kathmandu valley

Kathmandu, July 15

Piles of garbage can be seen on the streets of Kathmandu due to difficultly in transporting waste to the Okarpauwa-based landfill site.

Officials of Kathmandu Metropolitan City said only around 50 per cent waste collected in Kathmandu was being transported due to sorry condition of the access road to the landfill site. The problem is likely to worsen in the days ahead.

Officials said KMC used to transport 300 metric tonnes of waste to the landfill site daily. However,  only 125 to 130 metric tonnes of waste is being ferried to the landfill site these days.

Head of Environment Department at KMC  Hari Kunwar said, “The access road to the landfill site cannot be blacktopped as the area would be later used to dump garbage. However, incessant rain has severely damaged the temporary road, making it difficult for us to transport waste.”

The waste transfer station at Teku has been filled to capacity. The transfer station stores waste collected in Kathmandu valley.  The Sisdol landfill site was constructed as a temporary waste disposal site 12 years ago. The government had also bought land at Banchare Danda, some 2.8 kilometre north of Sisdol, to construct a permanent landfill site. However, the permanent landfill site has yet to come into operation.

Kunwar said that the then Ministry of Local Development, which had bought the land 10 years ago with the aim of constructing a landfill site, didn’t undertake its responsibilities properly. “We have only been asking the government to build a 2.8-km road and three bridges to bring the landfill site at Banchare Danda into operation. But the government has turned a deaf ear,” Kunwar said.

Secretary at Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration Dinesh Thapalia said the government had invested Rs 590 million to buy the land.

Docs warn of epidemic outbreak 

KATHMANDU: Doctors have warned that garbage piling on the streets could trigger water-borne diseases and advised people keep their surroundings clean, especially during the monsoon season. They said chances of epidemic outbreak increased by 60 per cent during the rainy season. According to Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, virologist at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku, unmanaged waste could trigger the spread of diseases such as  typhoid, diarrhoea and hepatitis A and E. Dr Pun has also advised people to avoid eating stale food.