Anup Ojha, The Kathmandu Post, 15 Dec 2017
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) celebrated its 23rd anniversary by organising a clean-up programme at 11 places in the Capital on Thursday.Nearly 59 tonnes of rubbish were collected on the occasion that was organised to commemorate the KMC’s humble beginning as a city sanitation office in 1991. The KMC was formally established on 15 December, 1995. Hari Bahadur Kunwar, the chief of KMC Environment Division, said they were aware of growing pollution in the city and its impact on public health.
To mitigate the problem, he said, the KMC has been regularly organising clean-up programmes in partnership with locals and other stakeholders. Kunwar noted that nearly 225 tonnes of waste were collected from core city areas, including Sundhara, Ratnapark, Shahid Gate and New Bus Park, in the past one month alone.Air pollution caused by vehicle emissions and construction works, including the ongoing road expansion and water pipeline installation, has emerged as a major health hazard to the Capital residents.
Thursday’s clean-up, Kunwar said, was also organised to aware the Kathmandu residents about growing air pollution problem and to inculcate the idea that their small effort to keep their neighbourhood clean can go a long way in keeping the city clean and pollution-free.
“The members of the recently elected local bodies, civil society representatives and the general public are present for today’s clean-up. This is our city, so it becomes our combined responsibility to keep the city clean,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Hariprabha Khadgi, who also participated in the clean-up, said that they were doing their best to minimise air pollution in Kathmandu.
“The KMC is currently identifying the major sources of air pollution. We will soon make the move to either stop or regulate the air pollution contributors,” she said.
In a bid to mitigate air pollution in Kathmandu, the KMC on the first week of December had asked the concerned government agencies not to carry out road repair, water pipeline installation and construction works without permission and prior information.
The metropolis had also brought to the notice of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project and the Department of Roads about the lack of coordination between them while digging roads for water pipeline installation.
KMC Executive Officer Dhani Ram Sharma said roadside diggings for Melamchi pipeline installation have not only hindered the mobility of vehicles and pedestrians, they have also increased the city’s air pollution level.
“We have been urging the road department to asphalt the roads soon after the pipeline are installed. As long as we have exposed road surface lying about, we cannot control the problem of dust in Kathmandu,” he said.