Waste disposal hits job-row roadblock

KATHMANDU: The politics of dirt seems to be never ending. Now, local residents of Aletar in Nuwakot, the alternative dumping site where authorities were all set to dump the Valley waste, have begun demanding jobs to a

member of each household of the area.

Such a demand comes even as the Solid Waste Management and Resource Mobilisation Centre (SWMRMC), under the Ministry

of Local Development, already agreed to provide jobs to 15 persons of the area a week ago.

The situation is likely to worsen as the government already decided to dump the garbage at Aletar after the capacity of Sisdole landfill site — the current site — ran out of its capacity nearly a week ago.

“The Maoists are manipulating the locals to put forth the never-ending demands,” said Dr Sumitra Amatya, general manager, SWMRMC. “We had agreed to provide job for 15 locals of Aletar. However, they are now demanding job for a member of all 42 households,” she said.

Ramesh Prasad Paudel, coordinator of the Sisdole Sanitary Landfill Site Struggle Committee, refuted the accusation. “The decision to provide jobs for 15 people was wrong, which invited the problem,” said Paudel, a UCPN-Maoist activist.

Earlier, the SWMRMC agreed to provide compensation for crops and environmental disturbance to the Aletar denizens. They will be given up to Rs 7,000 each household and an additional amount for the compensation to crops.

Paudel said that it was not reasonable to provide jobs only to 15 persons. “If the job is to be offered, a member of each household should be provided,” he said, adding that the list of the candidates which was already finalised was politically biased.

Dr Amatya was worried that the Sisdole site was already filled and they had planned to dispose garbage at Aletar from last Friday. “The garbage row is likely to bulge again. However, we are scheduled to discuss with the representatives of political parties tomorrow to end the row,” she added. “But we’re unable to provide jobs to each household.”

Expressing ignorance about the meeting, Paudel said that the locals should be convinced before

the garbage was disposed

at Aletar.

“Otherwise, locals will be compelled to disrupt the waste disposal there,” he said. Dr Amatya said that the government might suspend the Aletar project if the locals continued unnecessarily pressurising with illogical demands.

More than 400 metric tonnes of garbage collected from the Kathmandu and Laitpur is disposed at the Sisdole landfill site.