HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has started a week-long Bishnumati River banks cleaning programme from today.
Although all of KMC’s attempts and campaigns to clean the city has failed in the past, the civic body has again planned to remove dumped waste from the river banks.
“We started cleaning the banks of the Bishnumati River from today as part of our attempts to clean the city,” said Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, executive chief at KMC. “Twenty hired persons stepped into the river and removed the dumped garbage from the river bed,” he said.
According to KMC, about 400-metre stretch of the river beginning from Balaju bridge was cleaned today. About 300 persons including 50 each from Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force, locals, KMC staffers and representatives from different organisations were involved in the sanitation work.
The cleaning campaign is being carried out with the involvement of local communities, the metropolis team and NGOs, on the banks of the Bishnumati River from Balaju to Teku.
“It will be an awareness campaign to make the local communities responsible and participatory in sanitation and waste management,” he said. “People will be urged not to throw waste anywhere they like.”
The KMC initiated a big awareness programme about 100 days ago when Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, ministers and secretaries took part in the sanitation campaign with brushes and brooms. Millions of rupees was spent in the past to raise awareness among people on the need to keep the city clean.
However, the sanitation situation in the metropolis, where about one million people live, is yet to improve. Many people throw waste wherever they like and do not abide by the rules.
The Solid Waste Management Act 2011 has provisioned fines ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 100,000 and up to three-month imprisonment for violating waste management rules.
“The law alone is not enough to maintain everything,” said Adhikari. “We need cooperation from local communities to implement the rules, punish the culprits and keep the city clean,” he said. “Therefore, we urge the public to help the civic body maintain sanitation of our environment,” he added. “We will not stop doing our duty despite the many failures. However, the situation is yet to improve.”
About 350 metric tonnes of waste is generated daily from the metropolis, one of the poorest municipals in terms of performance among 58 municipalities across the country.