KATHMANDU, Oct 6: The collection of garbage is a perennial problem in the Kathmandu Valley. While the collection of garbage is sometimes halted due to obstructions on the road leading to Sisdole, where the only landfill site is located, in many cases garbage remains littered in a number of collection centers due to 'laggard' cleaning workers of the metropolis.
Although obstruction by locals on the road leading to Sisdole area may not be ruled out immediately, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is devising an innovative approach to tackle the problem of its 'laggard' workers: The metropolis is installing as many as 1,800 CCTV cameras at all major garbage collection centers as well as major road intersections and world heritage sites to do away with the garbage woes in the capital city.
KMC spokesperson Gyanendra Karki said they have already initiated the process to install CCTV cameras. “The main purpose of installing CCTV cameras is to monitor the work of our cleaning workers. This is also expected to curb various crimes that may take place in the metropolis area,” he said.
Officials said there are around 700 garbage collection centers within the metropolitan area. The KMC has nearly 1,100 full-time staffers to collect garbage on a daily basis.
The move of KMC comes in the wake of reports that its cleaning workers were not working diligently as the metropolis lacks a strong monitoring mechanism. Concerned officials at KMC can easily monitor where the garbage is left unattended once the CCTV cameras are put in place.
Although newly-elected KMC Mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya announced to collect solid waste by 4 am and other garbage by 7 am, garbage is found littered on the streets even in the day time. The CCTV cameras are also expected to effectively enforce the deadline to collect the garbage every day.
According to Dhruba Kafle, a division chief of KMC, the CCTV cameras are being installed on the basis of public-private partnership model. It is not yet known as to how much will it cost. “We are currently in the process to invite applications from the interested parties through public notice,” he said.
Officials said the CCTV cameras being installed in cooperation with Kathmandu Metropolitan Police are also expected to help nab those throwing garbage arbitrarily in the street, avoiding public eyes. “The cameras will not only help us monitor the workers, but also those who throw waste in restricted areas. They can be equally important to monitor and protect heritages sites,” he further said.
Earlier, Kathmandu Metropolitan Police had installed over 300 CCTV cameras in various parts of the city on the eve of 18th SAARC Summit held in Kathmandu in November 2014. Over 400 other CCTV cameras were installed in the latter years to bolster the security situation in the Kathmandu Valley.
Officials said operation of over 2,500 CCTV cameras installed in major thoroughfares of the city could greatly help to address not only the problem of unattended garbage but also to enforce traffic rules and curb crimes.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Bishnu Joshi said they are currently working with KMC to determine the locations for installing the CCTV cameras, in view of various factors including security sensitivity. “We are currently looking for a place to set up their control room. One of the options we are mulling over now is the City Hall building at Bhrikuti Mandap,” he told Republica.