Down in dumps
Kathmandu denizens can look forward to more days traversing the City streets with pinched noses as the sole dumping site for Valley waste, Sisdole, in Nuwakot district, will fill up in three months’ time. Sisdole is being used to manage Valley’s waste since 2005. The alternative site of Aletar, a stone’s throw from Sisdole, has not been finalised owing to local resistance. As a long term solution, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is looking to develop Banchare Danda, also close to Sisdole, as a waste disposal site. According to conservative estimates, Valley waste can be dumped for 20 years at Banchare.
Besides the absence of a suitable dumping ground, other problems have been dogging Valley waste management system too. Sometimes, it is the locals around the dumping site who block garbage-ferrying trucks to ward off diseases and voice their just, unjust demands. Fuel shortage, inadequacy of infrastructure and KMC staff protests have also hindered timely waste collection and disposal. The government has to designate waste management as a basic emergency service, and hence plan well ahead for obstacles like Sisdole closure. Waste management should not only depend on the judgment of a handful of top-level bureaucrats. To see to timely and efficient management of waste, at all costs, ways of tackling the problem should be mended.