The people of Okharpauwa Sisdole, the landfill site for the capital’s garbage, on Sunday sent back all the 20 Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) vehicles loaded with waste. The KMC had been dumping the garbage at the Tundikhel open-air theatre thanks to the KMC employees’ strike. The strike ended after the KMC hammered out differences with its employees on Saturday. For the time being, the garbage will be dumped at the riverside of Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City-2. The people of Kirtipur have pledged their cooperation in garbage management for the next two weeks. After that, the KMC will be back to square one.

The Okharpauwa residents are rightly concerned about the health hazards posed by a dumping site. Their demand for a hospital is also genuine. The KMC could consider building the hospital as a quid pro quo. But the residents’ demand for jobs is a little dubious. The people residing near the construction site of the Melamchi drinking water project had also hindered work demanding employment. Employment cannot be sought simply on the basis of people being victimised. But they could be given some labour-intensive jobs. And if there is qualified manpower in Okharpauwa, the KMC might consider enlisting them. Both the sides should work towards resolution of the problem. For this to happen, the locals need to put forward reasonable demands. This issue concerns the health of not only the Okharpauwa natives but all the valley residents. Hence the KMC does not have any option other than to settle the problem through means acceptable to the local residents.