Joint Secretary Krishna Prasad Dawadi, MoUD spokesperson, said the remaining construction work at the landfill site was being carried out on a war footing to meet the deadline of mid-March. Earlier, the MoUD had claimed it would be completed by mid-October 2020.

"Construction works could not be completed on time due to obstruction in transportation of construction materials. We have requested the Ministry of Home Affairs to facilitate the supply of such materials," Dawadi said.

The landfill site will be used for sustainable management of waste produced in 18 municipalities of Kathmandu valley.

Last week, a team led by Minister of Urban Development Prabhu Sah had carried out on-site visit of the under-construction landfill site to take stock of the progress. During the visit, he instructed the contractor to hand over the new landfill site within the stipulated time. The new landfill site is expected to hold waste for at least 20 years after its completion.

The government has accorded high priority to construction of Bancharedanda-based landfill site and closure and post-closure maintenance of Sisdole landfill site in Nuwakot. After the new landfill site comes into operation, the government will close down the old landfill site.

Once the landfill is closed, the authorities will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the landfill cap, decomposition gas control system, storm water management system, water quality system and leachate management system.

Contract for construction of the new landfill site was awarded to Lumbini-Koshi and Neupane JV with the deadline of 5 May 2019. The contractor failed to complete construction work even within the revised deadline of 7 January 2020. The under-construction project spreads over 1,792 ropani land acquired by the government.

The project cost is around Rs 346.8 million. According to MoUD, it is very important to carry out systematic development of the landfill site to address the problem of waste management plaguing the valley for decades.

The valley produces an average of 1,045 metric tonnes garbage daily. Kathmandu alone produces daily waste of 516 metric tonnes. Waste generated in 18 municipalities of the valley, except Bhaktapur, is being disposed at Sisdole landfill site.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.