Kathmandu, August 14
The government is preparing to launch a new programme after Dashain and Tihar this year to promote cleanliness and greenery in the Kathmandu Valley.
As part of the programme, wards that prescribe to certain set environmental standards will be declared ‘environment-friendly’. The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development informed that the process of preparing guidelines for the project was under way.
The project is based on Environment Friendly Local Governance Framework 2013 that was passed by the Cabinet meeting on October 9, 2013.
Chief of Municipality and Environment Management Division and Joint Secretary at the ministry Gopi Khanal claimed that the move would change the ugly face of the Valley for better. “We believe this programme will turn this city from an ugly concrete jungle to an environment-friendly, clean and green city,” he said.
More than 100 indicators as per the Environment Friendly Local Governance Framework 2013 have been set as standards for a ward to be declared as environment-friendly. At least 90 per cent of households in a ward must be declared environment-friendly for a ward to receive that epithet.
Households must have a water-sealed latrine, flower plants or similar decorative plants, at least two perennial trees, and a supply of pure drinking water, and must practice rainwater harvesting/storing, adopt proper waste management practices, and all family members must practice basic sanitation for them to be declared environment-friendly.
Similarly, households must prescribe to advanced indicators such as having concrete permanent toilets with a septic tank or a systematic sewerage management, adhering to the ban on plastic bags, applying urban beautification measures, and following the building code.
Wards must protect drinking water sources, manage waste properly, construct artificial ponds and emergency safety area, encourage organic farming, form local disaster management committee and have at least one nursery, roads and drainage system.
There are 22 municipalities in the Kathmandu Valley.
The ministry has been consulting the Kathmandu Metropolitan City to implement the programme effectively. The ministry said the project has already been started in other parts of the country, and a few wards of Tanahun, Chitwan, and Dharan have already been declared environment-friendly.
A version of this article appears in print on August 15, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.