BUTWAL, May 17: The announcement for the construction of waste processing center in Siddharthanagar, the gateway to Lumbini, under the integrated city development plan in 2012, had elated the locals.
At that time, the city was reeling under unmanaged waste as large piles of garbage on the streets and a dumping site on river banks had made the city look disgusting. The locals were expecting the city to turn into a beautiful an attractive city soon after the announcement. But even after six years, that is still a mere dream of the locals. The dumping site on the banks of Danda River has not only polluted the river water but also spread a odor everywhere.
Shailendra Shrestha, planning chief of Siddharthanagar, informed that waste management has been a challenge for the municipality. However, this isn't the only local unit struggling with this problem.
Tilottama Municipality collects waste only once in a week. The condition of Butwal is even worse. A total waste of around 50 tons of waste is collected from here on a daily basis. The temporary capital of the province is currently using Tinau River as its dumping site which lies near a squatters' settlement. Locals often stage protests demanding not to dump waste here but in vain.
As most of the municipalities here have been using rivers as dumping sites, the water of Danav, Tinau, Danda, Rohini among other rivers have been polluted.
The problem of waste management is becoming serious as the construction of the waste management center has been left halfway.
Similarly, it has been seven years since the construction of another waste management center in Butwal started but is heading nowhere. Lack of coordination between the locals and the sub-metropolis has resulted in the delay. Five hectares of land in Shivanagar forest of Butwal-7 has been fenced for the project, which is to be constructed with a total budget of Rs 270 million funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Meanwhile, the locals of Devdaha Charange have been staging protests arguing that the dumping site near their settlement has made their life torturous. Though the project was supposed to be completed by December 2018, it has been only limited to paper so far. If this project is not kicked off anytime soon, it's sure that the investors will back out from the project.
Likewise, the project of Siddharthanagar worth Rs 320 million has been left halfway since more than six years. A six-bigha land in Siktahan of Omsatiya Rural Municipality has been fenced for the project. As per the work plan, the project should have been completed within the deadline of 2017.
As there were no local representatives in the past, government officials didn't bother to inform the locals regarding the project and continued with their monopoly.
But the situation has not changed a bit even after the election of people's representatives. Instead of informing the people about the project, they are instead wasting their time trying to find excuses to protest against the project.
According to Butwal's Mayor Shivaraj Subedi, the protest of one ward of Devdaha has halted the million-dollar project. He also informed that efforts have been made to reconcile the municipality and the agitating locals.