Govt to punish garbage dumpers

Kathmandu, May 26

The government is set to strictly enforce the Solid Waste Management Act to bring to book the litterbugs as part of its move to promote and maintain environment cleanliness.

According to the policies and programmes of the government for the fiscal 2018-19, the authorities concerned will initiate legal action against the operators/directors of hospitals, industries, hotels and other large enterprises which do not manage and dispose of waste properly.

“Any person or organisation dumping waste in the rivers, lakes, canals, other water bodies and public places will also be penalised,” the policies and programmes states. Chief District Officer may impose a fine ranging from Rs 10,000 to 50,000 or award a jail sentence of up to three months or both to an offender under Section 30 of the act. But local levels have yet to implement the law.

The trend of burning waste is also a responsible for environmental degradation in urban areas. The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has already issued a circular to local levels, urging them to implement the government’s decision to impose ban on open burning of refuse.

According to Air Quality Management Action Plan for Kathmandu Valley developed by the Department of Environment, the average solid waste generation per capita per day is 0.50 kg and as such total waste generated every day is 1,750 tonnes which is not disposed of properly and five to 10 per cent of waste is burned openly.

The action plan says that in the valley there are 42 hospitals which have incineration facilities and other hospitals and health centres do not have incinerators. It is estimated that about 28.4 tonnes waste is generated by the hospitals every day and of which 59 per cent is segregated and sent to the municipality, the rest is categorised as hazardous waste.