Menace Of Pollution

Pollution seems to be a perennial problem in the capital valley. There are various factors which have degraded the condition of this once beautiful city, overpopulation being the primary cause. The rapidly growing population requires land to build houses so there is excessive pressure on limited land area. Over the years, the construction of houses has not only cut down the share of open land drastically, but in fact reduced the city into a concrete jungle. The construction process itself involves a lot of pollution of land. Besides, the increasing population produces a large quantity of household waste and disposing it properly is a herculean task. Since there is no arrangement in place for the treatment of solid waste, it poses a serious challenge to the environment of the capital city. Whenever there is a hindrance in the disposal of waste, it piles up in the streets posing a grave threat to human health. Another problem in regard to the degradation of environment in the Kathmandu valley is the disposal of sewage in the rivers – be it the Bagmati, Dhobikhola, Bishnumati. The quality of air is not better either in Kathmandu. Since the roads are in a poor state and the number of vehicles has reached an unmanageable level, the dust and vehicle pollute the air to such an extent that the Kathmandu denizens are always at risk of airborne diseases. The vehicles are also the source of noise pollution. Unless concrete measures are taken to tackle this problem, it will not only continue to persist in the days ahead, but it may get worse over the years.

In the past decades people from other parts of the country migrated to Kathmandu in hordes in search of employment and other essential services like health and education. Anyone planning to go abroad had no option but come to Kathmandu as the only international airport in the country is located here. However, now the country has embraced a federal model and the people can avail of basic services from the local governments. Still, the number of people migrating to Kathmandu has not subsided. This is because Kathmandu is always far ahead of other places in terms of what it has to offer to the countrymen. It seems it will take quite some time before this trend of migration to the capital city declines. In this context, the government needs to assume a strategy that can tackle the pressure of increasing population in the Kathmandu valley. Since the people are likely to move into the valley anyway, the government needs to adopt better technology to manage the growing quantity of household waste. There have been efforts from government and non-government sector to clean the rivers. However, these attempts have not been very effective to restore their health. To keep them clean, it is necessary to stop the flow of sewage to the rivers in the first place rather than trying to clean them once they have turned into drains. And to check air pollution, the government must enforce exhaust standards strictly so that the vehicle operators abide by the rules. Besides, the government needs to embrace a policy that encourages people to shift to electric vehicles. At the same time, the Department of Roads and municipal authorities need to play a proactive role to keep roads in proper condition and prevent dust from swirling around. And the people have an equally important role to play to keep their surroundings clean and control pollution.  

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