Residents of Nuwakot’s Kakani Rural Municipality and Dhading’s Dhunibesi Ward No. 1 have obstructed the disposal of garbage at the landfill site, saying that the federal government is not interested in management and the local levels, including Kathmandu Metropolitan City, are throwing garbage in a disorderly manner.
Due to the obstruction of the locals, security personnel’s presence has increased after the local protests. Ghannath Bajgain, Ward Chair of Kakani Rural Municipality-3, said that people’s representatives have also come to the streets to show solidarity with the movement of local residents.
About a month ago, a meeting was held with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Urban Development Minister Sita Gurung, local level heads, and ward presidents of the affected areas at the office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers. According to activist Ram Mani Ghimire, although the Prime Minister gave the mandate to prepare a report and solve it within ten days to address the problems of the residents of the affected areas, the Urban Development Minister has not shown any vigilance so far.
The 12th Assembly of Kakani Rural Municipality had decided to raise the entry fee for garbage vehicles. From July 1, it was prepared to charge Rs. 1,500 for big vehicles and Rs. 1,000 for small ones. However, the Garbage Management Association, an umbrella organization of private organizations that collect garbage, filed a case on Sunday stating that charging such a fee was unlawful. The case will be presented in court today.
In a comment to Aawaaj News, Ram Mani Ghimire stated, “The filing of this case is another undeserving blow to the people, as they targeted the victims of the issue rather than those who are responsible for the mess.”
The protests were against the unlivable conditions due to a lack of landfill management. The leachate from Banchare Danda, a long-term landfill site, is mixed directly into the river, affecting the ecological balance and crops. The stench from the leachate makes it difficult to live even 3 kilometers away from the landfill site. Additionally, swarms of insects and vultures pester and even bite or attack domestic animals in the area. Sanitation, hygiene, and health in such an environment are major concerns.
Until now, no effective measures to control such challenges have been implemented. “Pouring water and spreading insecticides is not enough,” says Ghimire. “Even if we put chemicals to kill the insects in the morning, we see no difference in the evening.”
Ghimire called out KMC for not handling this issue despite being raised many times. He claims that the head of KMC never attended any meetings regarding this and shows no interest in solving the issue. “The federal government is responsible for buying and securing the land for the landfill site while the local governments are responsible for the management.”
Nabin Manandhar, Spokesperson for Kathmandu Metropolitan City, stated that they currently have no comment on the issue and will do so once there has been a proper discussion with the respective stakeholders.