Friday, November 24, 2000

KMC launches Household Waste Collection Programme

By Razen Manandhar

KATHMANDU, Nov 23 - Kathmandu Metropolitan city (KMC) decided today to charge fee for its service of collecting garbage from approximately 130,000 houses and other commercial firms, in a bid to gather local participation in solving garbage disposal problem.

In a public notice issued Thursday, KMC Executive Officer Hari Prasad Rimal stated that those who overlook the decision would be subjected to pay a fine of up to Rs 15,000.

He said that this decision to operate the Household Waste Collection Programme was only an attempt to seek people’s cooperation in managing the pile of garbage in the metropolis. "Charging for the garbage would at least compel city-dwellers to reduce the amount of garbage and would also encourage them to reuse the waste as much as possible," he added.

"It will take time for the people to adjust to the habit but we will not let anybody litter the streets as before. Collecting the local’s names will continue for one or two weeks. The locals will pay after one month’s service," said Shanta Ram Pokharel, the chief of KMC’s Environment Department.

In the first phase, seven roads in the capital have been chosen for the project. The residents of Teku-Kalanki Road, Kalimati-Balku Road, Tripureshoar-Minbhawan-Tilganga Road, Maitighar-Putali Sadak-Kings Way, Singh Darbar-Kings Way, Sinamangal-Bag Bazar Road and Tripureshwor-Thapathali Road will not be allowed to throw garbage in the streets from Thursday onwards.

In these areas, containers will move around about between 6.30 to 9.00 a.m. and the locals must deposit their daily bulk of garbage in the vehicles. For this, they will have to pay from Rs 75 to Rs 20,000 monthly according to the nature of the institutes.

"An average family which produces around 10 litres of garbage daily will pay Rs 75 monthly. Whereas a five-star hotel producing 1500 litres of garbage daily should not dissaprove of paying Rs 20,000 monthly for managing its huge bulk of garbage," said Pokhrel.

However, KMC will not take responsibility for collecting hazardous, chemical, infectious and expired pharmaceutical wastes from hospitals etc unless the wastes is separated categorically.

Pokhrel said, "Although KMC was doing its best to manage the garbage, it apparently has failed in the past because the locals litter the streets when we finish collecting it."

He added,"Some so-called NGOs also create additional problems by collecting garbage from the courtyards and dumping it in the main streets. They collect money for littering the city."

Now such NGOs will have to obtain KMC’s permission to continue wih this practice.

A team of city policemen will accompany the KMC staff while visiting the locals door to door for "subscription" fees.

Deputy superintendent of city police Bishnu Singh Basnet said the a team have been appointed for enforcement of this new project. "We will fine the locals immediately if they are found dumping garbage at wrong time. Our jawans in point-duty and mobiles will inform us of such misconduct."

KMC spends around Rs 170 million annually to manage 350 tonnes of garbage Kathmandu produces daily.
[Kathmandu Friday November 24, 2000 Mangshir 09, 2057.]

Monday, November 13, 2000

Cultural city of Bhaktapur could face garbage problem

By Razen Manandhar

BHAKTAPUR, Nov 12 - The cultural city of Bhaktapur, one of the most appealing tourist destination of Nepal, could develop a garbage crisis soon if immediate steps are not taken, the locals said.

"Along with urbanisation and the growing tourism industry, use of plastic and other non-biodegradable objects are on the rise. But the local authority has not been working at the necessary pace to keep the possible hazard at bay before it gets out of hand," said a local shop-keeper Kaushal Ratna Bajracharya.

Similarly, historian Dr Purushottam Lochan Shreshta said that the municipality is showing more concern for cleaning tourist areas but the other areas of the city are neglected. "The entrance gates like Sallaghari, Mangal Tirtha and Hanuman Ghat have been turned into dumping sites."

The small yet unique city, just 12 kms east of Kathmandu, is dominated by local farmers. The residents traditionally compost the domestic waste in their backyards so the problem was not apparent earlier. But in recent years, the tendency to use plastic has become a threat to Bhaktapur’s small-scale solid waste management system.

Dr Shrestha said that before the problem escalates, the municipality must provide a permanent dumping site and keep the city free of the garbage heaps.

Bhaktapur city with a population of 70,000 produces around 18 tonnes of garbage daily and dumps it at Bhelukhel of Ward No 11.

An estimated 10 ropanies of land has been used for collecting the garbage from all 17 wards, sorting out the recyclable materials and composting it too. The composting plant does produce some one tonne of compost manure daily which is sold out to local farmers in the planting season but during other seasons the manure remains unsold.

Bhaktapur Municipality (BM) Sanitation In-charge, Dilip Kumar Suwal, said collecting the garbage has been going on but the garbage is not completely managed.

He has perceived the possibility of a hazard. "I don’t say the problem has started yet but the possibility cannot be overlooked," he said.

Bhaktapur Mayor Prem Suwal, said that the municipality is fully committed to control the spreading menace of garbage in the tourist city. The municipality allocated Rs 3 million to acquire a piece of land for a big-scale composting plant, but since the budget is not sufficient, he expects the government assistance.

"The problem of a dumping site must be solved soon. We are doing our best from our side. We have asked the government to assist the municipality in managing the garbage. It depends when we will get a hopeful reply."
[Kathmandu Sunday November 13, 2000 Kartik 28, 2057.]