Waste Mismanagement

The Kathmandu Valley is reeking with the stench of garbage piled up on the roadsides for weeks now, thanks to the myopia and inaction of the agencies responsible for the disposal of solid waste generated by households and others in the capital. The government and the municipalities’ inability to dispose the waste smoothly has not only caused unease and discomfort to the denizens of the capital valley, it has also put them under the risk of diseases at the peak of monsoon season. How did the problem come up? It came up because the municipalities were unable to dispose the garbage on time. Why? They have said that the roads to the Sisdole landfill site, where the garbage from Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur Municipality is being dumped, have been damaged by monsoon rains hampering the transportation of waste to the site. However, a news report in this daily says that Sisdole landfill site has run out of its capacity and cannot absorb any more waste. The news report further states that Sisdole was chosen as a landfill site in 2005 for a period of three years until another landfill site was built at Banchare for long-term solution to the problem. However, the government and the municipalities went on dumping the waste at Sisdole for 13 long years, totally turning a blind eye to the fact that it was only a temporary option. And now the site is filled almost to the brim while the capital city wears a dirty look.

According to news reports, the government had been allocating budget every year since 2061/62 for the construction of Banchare landfill site which is now estimated to cost about Rs. 2.1 billion. About a billion has already been spent, but noting significant has been done at Banchare, except the construction of a fair-weather road up to the place. Why is Banchare not ready for the disposal of waste even after so many years? As is the trend in our country, the agencies responsible for solid waste management pass the buck to other organisations. Solid Waste Management Centre is the agency that used to oversee the task in the past, but it now maintains that with the adoption of federal system the responsibility of waste management has shifted to the local governments and its role has been limited to technical advisor to all the local levels. As far as the construction of Banchare site is concerned, the Centre claims to have prepared the design and handed it over to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. But in all these years only about 10 per cent work has been complete as neither the government nor the KMC mobilised enough resources for the completion of the project which will take at least three more years. We have a strong government that enjoys two-thirds majority and talks about prosperity of the nation and happiness of the common people. It aims at linking Nepal with India and China with railways and inland waterways in few years, if not months. However, the common people are beset with everyday problems like where to dispose the waste that comes out from their household. The Mayors and Deputy Mayors ask them to treat the waste at their own residence, but they don’t have enough land to do that. So the onus lies on the central and local governments to find a solution as early as possible and rid the people of the bad odour and health risks. 

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