Nepal | July 07, 2020

Pokhara-Lekhnath metropolis facing garbage woes

Rishiram Baral
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Pokhara, June 24

Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City is struggling to manage garbage of the town, thanks to limited resources that it has in hand. The city has a capacity to manage a maximum 90 tonnes of garbage, against 200 tonnes produced here, every day.

According to Chudamani Tiwari, an officer at the Sanitation Department of the metropolis, it is using the Bachchhebuduwa-based landfill site for dumping the city’s waste. “Of the total garbage, we dump around 90 tonnes in the landfill site, while the rest are left behind in the city itself,” he said, lamenting the lack of resources for the sanitation purpose in the metropolitan city that comprises 33 wards.

“We reach eight wards of the Lekhnath area at least once every two weeks for garbage collection. In the case of far-flung rural areas such as Mauja, Chapakot, Kristi, Pumdibhumdi, Kaskikot, Nirmalpokhari, Arwa Bijayapur and Bharatpokhari, garbage collection is out of the question due to lack of resources and manpower,” he added.

“We only have seven garbage collecting vehicles and six compactors and 115 staff members, including the administrative staff, at the department,” he said, adding that these resources were not enough to handle waste produced in the large city.

He also informed that the department received 10 to 20 phone calls every day from frustrated locals complaining that huge heaps of garbage were lying here and there emitting foul smell.

Interestingly, Mayor Man Bahadur GC, who had made garbage collection as his main election agenda, too seems to be apathetic to the problem now, as reflected in the fact that there is a huge heap of garbage lying uncleared right in front of the metropolis’ office.

Though local Civil Society coordinator Ram Bahadur Poudel has taken an initiative for launching weekly clean-up campaigns, his lone effort to rid the town of piles of garbage is not enough.

Civil Society representative Teknath Baral drew the metropolitan city’s attention to the garbage problem. “As this is rainy season, the water mixed with the garbage produces foul smell and that could be hazardous to human health,” he cautioned.

A version of this article appears in print on June 25, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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