Garbage from Beni pollutes Kaligandaki riverThe municipality has been disposing of its waste in the riverbank for the last 17 years for a lack of a designated dumping site.
Beni Municipality in Myagdi has been dumping its waste on the banks of Kaligandaki River for the last 17 years for lack of a designated dumping site.
“We are compelled to dump solid waste on the river banks since we haven’t found a suitable dumping site,” said Chhabilal Subedi, the chief administrative officer at the municipality. “We also plan to build a gabion wall to stop the waste from spilling onto the road.”
The solid waste disposed of on the river banks has polluted the waters in the Kaligandaki River and the surrounding area.
Beni, the district headquarters of Myagdi, produces around one metric ton of solid waste in a day. The garbage is dumped on the riverbank about a kilometre north of Beni Bazaar.
The municipality had assured to set up a proper waste management system following complaints from local residents. But the issue remains unsolved.
“Kaligandaki is home to several aquatic animals. The municipality, which is responsible for the river’s preservation, has been dumping garbage on the riverbank and causing environmental pollution,” said Atreya Ghanshyam Mumukshu, a sage in Muktihari Radhakrishna Temple in Galeshwor. “The area is dirty and stinking.”
For the last two years, the municipality has assigned Mission for Waste Management, a private company in Pokhara, with the responsibility to manage garbage. But local residents say they are yet to see the company take responsibility as per the agreement.
According to the agreement, the company should recycle, reuse and reduce waste materials as much as possible.
“There is not enough space to set up a waste recycling, reusing and reducing facility here. Garbage is spilling onto the roads due to the narrow riverbank area of the Kaligandaki River,” said Yam Bahadur Pariyar, chief at the Mission for Waste Management Company.
The company had agreed to make compost fertilisers from decomposable waste and dump the remaining waste in the area designated by the municipality.
“The municipality says it is looking for permanent solutions to the waste management problem,” said Mohan KC, a resident of Beni Ward No. 9. “But they have yet to do anything.”
According to him, pilgrims who arrive in Beni to visit Galeshwor, Muktinath and Damodar Kunda also complain about the pollution in the area.
“It’s difficult to walk outside due to the stink from garbage along the Beni-Galeshwor road section. The stink is unbearable especially during the summer season,” said KC.