KATHMANDU: Efforts to expand the Sisdole landfill site in Nuwakot have not made much progress with locals demanding compensation for their land that will be used for the site’s expansion.
According to the Solid Waste Management Technical Support Centre, the expansion work began about a week ago. Locals have been obstructing works for a few hours daily, hitting the project hard.
Citing negative impacts of a sanitary landfill site in their area, a delegation of locals visited the SWMTSC today and demanded compensation for the land they will provide for expansion. “If the government does not address our demand, we will take decisive action,” locals warned.
Sumitra Amatya, executive director at the SWMTSC, said they have already compensated people living in a periphery of 300 metres from the site, as per rules. “Now, they are demanding compensation for 500-metre periphery from the core landfill site area,” she said. “We cannot provide compensation under pressure. If they force us, we will take legal action,” she added.
According to the Waste Management Act 2011, waste management is an essential service. It has disallowed obstruction in waste management processes and set on the disrupting agent a fine of Rs 500-Rs 100,000 and two weeks to three months’ imprisonment.
Amatya said they discussions are on to resolve the issue. “If they (locals) do not abide by the law, they will face legal action,” she warned.
Waste produced from Kathmandu and Lalitpur Municipality is daily disposed at the Sisdole site, which has been in operation since 2005.
Without its expansion, the site will have no room for garbage within a year, say officials at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Only 50,000 cubic metres of soil layer was moved for the site’s expansion last year. At least 100,000 cubic metres of soil needs to be moved yearly to make space for waste. The site will remain operational for the next four years only if it is expanded every year. It will take about Rs 40 million to expand the site, according to KMC.
However, construction work will not affect waste disposal at the site. “We can also use the Teku Transfer Station for about two months,” said KMC officials.
“We are upgrading the road leading to Sisdole now,” said Shanta Ram Pokhrel, chief of the KMC’s Administration Division.
“Road upgradation and waste disposal have not been disrupted despite locals’ protest for compensation,” he said. The SWMTSC will look after expansion while KMC will look after maintenance of the road leading to the site. The KMC claimed expansion and maintenance works will complete by the end of the current fiscal. “The expanded site will remain operational until the proposed Banchare Danda site is ready,” they said.
The SWMTSC is going to develop the Banchare Danda at Nuwakot district at the cost of Rs 1.86 billion. The site is spread over 1,720 ropanis and the government has already spent around Rs 610 million rupees for land acquisition there.