NHRC tells authorities to curb pollution

Kathmandu, August 19

The National Human Rights Commission held a discussion with stakeholder agencies on the present condition of physical infrastructure development and its impact on environment and human rights, situation of law enforcement and protection of consumers’ rights.

NHRC member Sudip Pathak said that environmental pollution resulting from physical infrastructure development in Kathmandu valley, food adulteration and growing problems of waste management had an adverse impact on public health. He also alerted the concerned authorities to poor human rights situation in prisons and police custody.

Chief district officers and police chiefs of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur were present at the discussion.

Pathak directed the officials to apprise the NHRC of the activities carried out to address these problems within six months. The officials told the NHRC that they were committed to controlling environmental pollution and improving human rights situation.

Unplanned digging of roads, long delay in repairing roads, haphazard dumping of construction materials, laying of utility pipes of Melamchi Drinking Water Project, among other things, are responsible for increasing dust pollution in the valley. Pedestrians and people living in roadside houses have been hit the worst.

After grappling with potholes and deep craters on the road during monsoon, commuters and pedestrians in the city are compelled to battle dust with the onset of dry season.

Long exposure to dust is responsible for rise in the number of people suffering from respiratory problems, heart ailments, lung disorders, allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, bronchial asthma, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, according to various reports.

Similarly, piles of garbage can be seen on the streets due to difficultly in transporting waste to the Okarpauwa-based landfill site. Doctors have warned that poor waste management could trigger water-borne diseases and advised people keep their surroundings clean, especially during the monsoon season.