Govt in search of alternative landfill sites

KATHMANDU: Owing to unabated demands of the people of Sisdole area -- the only site for the disposal of garbage produced in the Valley, the Solid Waste Management and Resource Mobilisation Centre under the Ministry of Local Development and Kathmandu Metropolitan City have now begun seeking alternative sites for the purpose.

The move follows the disruption of the garbage collection of the Valley for the 53rd time -- second consecutive day -- today, which has left the city stinking. A group of persons claiming to be members of Okharpauwa Landfill Site Struggle Committee obstructed the garbage dumping with fresh demands since yesterday.

"We're mulling over the alternative dumping sites in Kirtipur and Sundarijal areas to manage the garbage produced in the valley," said Dr Sumitra Amatya, general manager, SWMRMC. She also added that they already initiated necessary works for a permanent landfill site at Banchare Danda in Nuwakot district, a project of an estimated cost of Rs 2 billion.

"When we officially proposed to provide lands as the alternative sites today, locals of the two places responded positively," Dr Amatya said, adding that the representatives of SWMRMC, MoLD, KMC and Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City would visit Tusal of Kirtipur to inspect the prospective site.

A total of Rs 420 million had been already spent while addressing demands put forth by the Sisdole dwellers but it seemed their demands would never end, said Amatya.

Rabin Man Shrestha, chief, Environment Section at the KMC, said the people of Kirtipur, Sundarijal, Dhapakhel and Jeetpur were interested to provide land for the sites. "People of Kirtipur and Sundarijal have submitted official letters saying that they would allow garbage dumping there," he said.

The Sisdole residents and KMC staffers disrupted the collection and disposal of garbage for altogether 207 days -- 53 times since 2005 -- as a tactic to exert pressure for fulfilling their demands. Of which, Sisdole dwellers obstructed garbage disposal for 178 days while municipal staff halted the work for 29 days. According to Amatya, an individual produces 0.416 kg waste per day in the Valley. About 500 metric tonnes of garbage is being disposed at the Sisdole site every day.