The piles of garbage that have been rotting and giving off a foul smell in many nooks and crannies of the Kathmandu Valley have a lethal potential, besides being an eyesore. The need to manage waste on a war footing becomes all the more pressing given that dengue symptoms have been seen in several patients in the country recently. The residents of Sisdole, the designated landfill site for the capital’s garbage, have a list of 28 demands, and they say they are ready to let the dumping resume if their demands are met. The problem has been compounded by the fact that a local club at Teku has halted the movement of garbage to and from the transfer station there.
The management of the capital’s garbage, which is a daily pile of 500 tonnes, has been fraught with obstacles. This recurring problem is beyond the Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s (KMC) ability, which is why the intervention of the government and the political parties has been sought for a long-term solution. As the future of the Sisdole dumping site seems to hang in the balance, the millions spent on its construction might just go down the drain. The KMC should consider the demands of the locals. Upgrading the techniques of solid waste management, such as separating biodegradable components for manufacturing compost, can, to a certain extent, help solve the problem locally. But the tendency of holding the government to ransom for things like its failure to expedite development works should not be pushed too far. After all, finding a solution is important.