Ministry of Urban Development blames KMC for neglecting waste management duty

Published On: April 23, 2023 08:12 PM NPT By: Bhuwan Sharma

KATHMANDU, April 23: The federal government has sent two letters to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) saying that the metropolis has not fulfilled even the minimum responsibility in terms of waste management.

According to Rabindra Bohara, joint secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development and Project Director of the Banchre Danda Landfill Project Implementation Unit, the Ministry of Urban Development has sent letters to the metropolis twice on June 17 and January 11 reminding the KMC of its failure to dispose waste without meeting even the minimum standards set by the federal government. He said that the metropolis ignored the federal government even when the ministry sent letters twice.

In the letter sent by the ministry to the metropolis, the department has drawn the attention of the metropolitan city regarding issues such as not separating biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste before disposing them of according to the standards, not recording the weight of the waste, not disposing of the waste at a specified place, and not expanding the vent pipe (the pipe for the gas generated from the waste) as per the standard.

The latest report of the Office of the Auditor General has also drawn serious attention to this matter. In the report, during the on-site inspection of the landfill site, waste compaction was not done, the machinery equipment for that was not available at the site, the height of the cell of the site increased due to lack of waste compaction, waste piled up to the height of 25 meters of the dam, illegal stone quarrying on the land acquired by the project near the sedimentation tank. It is said that the sedimentation tank may be damaged due to landslides.

Similarly, when the electricity is interrupted, the circulation of contaminated liquid is stopped and it can overflow and mix in the river. According to the report, both the ponds are about to fill up. “We built Banchare Danda landfill site by spending Rs 1 billion. Banchare Danda is in Dhunibensi Municipality and Kakani Rural Municipality. We built the road leading to the landfill site at a cost of Rs 110 million," Bohora said. "The work of the metropolis is only to collect a fee of Rs 400 per trip in the name of waste management,"he added.

He said that the metropolis has not done anything in terms of waste management and disposal. In the operating procedure prepared by the federal government regarding the operation of the landfill site, there are issues such as checking the presence of hazardous radioactive waste in the place where the waste is kept, recording the weight of the waste brought for disposal, and pouring the waste only in certain designated areas.

Similarly, there is a provision to compact the garbage so that it is 50 cm thick, and cover it with 15 cm soil daily to prevent the smell from spreading. A vent pipe should be added to vent the gas when the waste is dumped at the landfill site. The metropolis has mentioned this in the procedure to be monitored several times.

The Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, after preparing the procedure, gave permission to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City to dispose of waste in 1 section of the Banchare danda Landfill Site on May 26, 2022.

For the permanent management of the waste generated in Kathmandu valley, a sanitary landfill site has been constructed in an area of 31,000 square meters by diverting the Koplu river at the junction of Bancharedanda in Kakani-2, Nuwakot and Dhunibensi-1 in Dhading.

According to the department, the construction of leachate pond and sedimentation pond with a capacity of 20,000 cubic meters to store mixed waste for 20 years and classified waste for 40 years has been completed. According to the department, all the works at Bancharedanda landfill site have been completed.

The department had planned to formally hand over the landfill site to the city in the last week of March. However, the department said that the plan to hand over the landfill site to the metropolis was postponed after the metropolis announced that it would not collect the waste generated from the Singha Durbar, the President's Office and Baluwatar.

Meanwhile, according to Mitra Ghimire, general secretary of Solid Waste Management Association of Nepal (SWMAN) and Chairperson of Pariwartan Sewa Nepal Pvt Ltd, even on Saturday, the garbage of Singha Durbar, Baluwatar and the President's Office has not been cleared.


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