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Kathmandu waste management problem resurfaces

The agitating locals claim that despite signing an agreement a year ago, the KMC has failed to fulfill its obligations

Kathmandu waste management problem resurfaces

Waste management problem of Kathmandu has resurfaced once again due to the protests by residents of Kakani Rural Municipality in Nuwakot and Dhunibesi Municipality in Dhading. They have blocked the transportation of waste trucks to Banchare Danda, the designated landfill site, citing non-implementation of previous agreements with the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC). 

The agitating locals claim that despite signing an agreement a year ago, the KMC has failed to fulfill its obligations.

Suman Tamang, chairperson of Kakani Rural Municipality, says that it is not feasible for people to live among fetid waste, while KMC does nothing. “Kathmandu should manage its waste in alternative sites or relocate the affected residents. If this issue remains unaddressed, waste disposal will continue to be disrupted,” he says.

Around 50 waste trucks are stuck between Sisdole and Banchare Danda. The residents have accused the KMC of deceiving them by not adhering to the agreements, which included the segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste and the management of only degradable waste at the landfill site. 

Recently, Kakani Rural Municipality decided to charge an entry fee for vehicles carrying garbage. However, local residents opposed this decision, saying that public health is more important than revenue. 

An appeal was filed in the Supreme Court against levying of the entry fee for garbage trucks, resulting in an interim stay order preventing the collection of fees. 

The KMC team attempted to negotiate with municipal officials, but to no avail. 

“The locals and municipal officials asked us to negotiate with the federal government instead. They are obstructing the route but they want us to negotiate with the federal government,” says Nabin Manandhar, the KMC spokesperson.

The main demand of the protesting locals is acquisition of 3,000 ropanis of land surrounding the waste disposal site, which is beyond the KMC’s capabilities alone. Manandhar says that the KMC is in contact with the federal government regarding this matter.

Until last year, garbage from the 18 local areas in Kathmandu Valley was managed at Sisdole, but it was subsequently relocated to the nearby Banchare Danda landfill site, which lies on the border of Nuwakot and Dhading districts