Kathmandu, September 9
Locals of Okharpauwa in Nuwakot district today agreed to halt their obstruction to the disposal of waste from Kathmandu Metropolitan City at Sisdole landfill site after concerned authorities pledged to address their demands.
The understanding to this effect was reached after talks between the protesting locals and the authorities that ended at 2:00am this morning. According to KMC, the talks had begun on Friday evening. A task force headed by KMC Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi Shrestha had represented the metropolis in the meeting.
Chief of Environment Management Division at KMC Rabin Man Shrestha, who was also present in the meeting, said the agitating locals agreed to halt their obstruction after KMC pledged to address their demands on short-term and long-term bases.
Speaking to The Himalayan Times, Shrestha said, “As the locals have agreed to lift their obstruction, waste accumulated across Valley will be collected from Sunday.”He, however, expressed his doubt whether the locals would stick to the understanding.
“There was a similar deal reached with the locals earlier. But they came up with a new set of demands later that resulted in the recent road obstruction.” Shrestha further added. As part of KMC’s short-term commitments under the new agreement, the metropolis would provide an ambulance to the locals and dump garbage at the landfill site in an organised way, among other things.
Likewise, KMC will make arrangement for providing compensation to Okharpauwa locals in future. KMC, however, made it clear to the locals that it could not provide them jobs, one of their key demands.
With persistent obstruction by locals to disposal of KMC’s waste at the landfill site in Okharpauwa of the district, garbage on the roadside and at various intersections across the city had started piling up every day over the last few days that has not only affected traffic movement and pedestrians but also has posed serious health risks to the public.
The continued obstruction had prompted KMC earlier this week to request city dwellers to manage waste by themselves for the time being.
The estimated garbage backlog across the city is around 1,000 metric tonnes.
Also earlier on August 25 and 26, locals of Aathmile and its vicinity in Nuwakot had obstructed waste disposal demanding construction of a road in the locality. On August 26, they withdrew their obstruction following their talks with KMC, the Department of Roads, transportation entrepreneurs, police, traffic police and political parties.
A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.