Kathmandu, Feb. 22: Garbage collection has been halted in Kathmandu Valley for more than a week now, creating heaps of garbage on the streets of the city and foul smell in the air. Major streets of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and Lalitpur are now littered with piles of garbage dumped by households, shops, hotels, businesses and offices.
Locals along the Pasang Lhamu Highway, the road leading to Sisdole landfill site, have been obstructing garbage disposal for the last one week, putting forth demand to upgrade the highway. It’s been more than a week since the door-to-door garbage collection facility of the valley remains obstructed in the areas like Patan, Bhaisipati, Kalimati, Baneshwor, Lazimpat, Gaushala, Kamapokhari, Ratopul, among others.
Tons of solid waste in many parts of the valley has been putrefying in the open. Due to the growing waste crisis, many residents are used to simply flinging trash onto the ground and roadsides. The residents of the valley have complained that the roadside of the houses and market areas are stinking because of piling heaps of garbage.
Kalpana Shrestha, a resident of Gyaneshwor, said the heap of garbage near her house began to emit a stench. The Kathmandu Metropolitan City has not sent garbage containers for the last 10 days. Owing to this, the locals of her area are facing a hard time managing their household waste, said Shrestha, adding, “Because of this, locals are throwing trash onto the roadside and open spaces.” Amita Ojha of Sifal said the door-to-door garbage collection of the area has been halted for the last 11 days. Because of this, the locals have started throwing trashes on the nearby open space.
Sarkar Deep Shrestha, in-charge of Landfill Site Division, KMC, said the garbage collection was halted due to obstruction caused by the locals from Tinpiple to Mukhu Bhanjyang, forwarding demands to blacktop Pasang Lhamu Highway.
The locals have been preventing lorries carrying garbage from reaching the site, he said, adding, “This is not a new problem. The locals have been raising this issue time and again.” “The KMC has been constantly asking the Road Division and the construction company to speed up the project. However, the project has been left in the lurch despite extension of the deadline time and again,” said Shrestha.
According to him, Sailung Construction was entrusted with the construction of the project in 2070 BS. He further said, “All the collected solid waste of core areas of the city like Ason, Indrachowk, New Road are being temporarily dumped in Teku Waste Transfer Station. This will also run out of capacity if the situation remains the same for a few more days.”
Stating that efforts are underway to resolve the problems of the locals, Shrestha said, “Discussions are being held between the representatives of Road Division, construction company, KMC, local representatives and locals of Tinpiple and Makhu Bhanjyang.”
“The meeting will find some solution and the garbage collection will resume by tomorrow,” he said. The construction company has also assured to speed up the construction work, he added.
The garbage from 18 local levels of the Kathmandu Valley is being dumped at the landfill site at Sisdole for the past 13 years. At least 1,200 metric tonnes of garbage is dumped at the Sisdole landfill site daily from valley. Every day, 200 vehicles, both private and public, transport garbage to Sisdole from the valley. The landfill site of Sisdole has already run out of space, while the alternative to this landfill site Banchare Danda, Nuwakot, is still in limbo.
Sisdole was originally meant to be a temporary dumping ground for three years. However, this landfill site has been serving as an only place to dump the wastes generated by the valley since 2005. The KMC generates over 500 tonnes of wastes daily while the valley generates double that amount.