Dumping site of Siddharthanagar. Photo: Mohanmad Habib
BHAIRAHAWA, Feb 22: As Siddharthanangar Municipality in Rupandehi district has no concrete waste management plan, the local government has fixed the Danda River as the dumping site of Bhairahawa, hitting hard the locals living near the river.
With waste materials piling on the banks of the Danda River, both biodiversity of the river and health of the locals near the area have been hit hard, said locals.
Though Siddharthanagar Municipality has focused on infrastructural development, the municipality doesn't have concrete plans to manage the waste being produced in the city. As a result, the municipality has been disposing of the waste along the banks of the Danda River for years.
According to a local Prerana Chhetri, dumping the waste on the riverbank has hit the health of the locals in the area. “Of late, the biodiversity of the river has also been affected,” she added.
Likewise, another local Deepak Thapa, who resides 300-meter far from the riverbank, also said that turning the riverbank into a dumping site has hit the locals of the area really hard. “Sometimes the municipality lights the litters and waste of the dumping site,” he said, adding that the locals have been urging the municipality to solve the problem at the earliest.
“The municipality has been disposing of 30-40 trolleys of waste everyday on the riverbank,” a security official of the area said, adding that it has been difficult for the security officials to perform their daily duties.
According to Keshav Paudel, chief of waste management department of Siddharthanagar Municipality, the municipality has been disposing of 30-40 tons of waste along the Danda River everyday. “A total of nine tractors and 26 trolleys have been collecting waste from the municipality,” he said. The settlements along the banks of the river have no option other than facing the problem every day. Apart from releasing bad odor, the ill-managed waste has contaminated the water of the river, which is consumed by the cattle and used by farmers for irrigation.
When asked about the problem, mayor of Siddharthanagar Municipality, Hari Prasad Adhikari said that waste management has been a big challenge for the municipality. “If the residents themselves manage the organic waste, it will be a big relief for the municipality. We [municipality] have been urging the provincial and central governments to find a sustainable solution for waste management in the area,” he said, adding that the municipality is planning to allocate budget for waste management holding the infrastructural development budget.
Meanwhile, On April 18, 2016, Siddharthanagar Municipality had signed a loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to construct a recycling plant in Patkhauli of Omsatiya Rural Municipality under the Integrated Urban Settlement Development Project. However, Patkhauli locals protested against the plan due to which the project has not started yet.