Waste piling up on Valley streets

Kathmandu, September 8

With persistent obstruction by locals to disposal of Kathmandu Valley’s waste at the landfill site in Okharpauwa of Nuwakot district, piles of garbage on the roadside and at various intersections across the city have started accumulating over the last few days.

According to Kathmandu Metropolitan City, locals at Sisdol have been obstructing the passage of municipal trucks carrying garbage to the landfill site. KMC said talks held so far between the locals and the metropolis was making no headway.

Waste piled up at major intersections of Valley day after day is not only affecting traffic movement and pedestrians but also has posed serious heath risks. With talks with the locals continuing to fizzle out, KMC has requested city dwellers to manage waste by themselves for the time being.

In a notice issued to the public, KMC said though it was trying every possible way to resolve the issue, the obstruction by locals still remained. The metropolis said it was seeking a way out through dialogue. According to KMC, the locals asked compensation and demanded jobs for them. Kathmandu Valley produces more than 300 metric tonnes waste every day. It had long been using the Sisdole landfill site to dump waste. Now the estimated 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.

The locals had, then, stopped their protest after the road department agreed to repair the highway and transportation entrepreneurs pledged to operate thee commuter buses on the route.

The government had chosen Okharpauwa as the landfill site for two years. It has planned a huge landfill site at Banchare Danda to be used for next 50 years.

According to KMC, obstruction to waste disposal at the dumping site has remained a long standing problem for the metropolis.

A study by Alternative Energy Promotion Centre said Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City, Bhaktapur Municipality, Madhyapur Thimi Municipality, Kirtipur Municipality and Kalimati fruit and vegetable market alone produce 331 tonnes urban waste daily. After daily collection of waste at Teku waste carrier trucks carry waste to the Okharpauwa landfill site daily through more than 20 trucks.