Lahan locals call for relocation of waste management centreThe agitating locals held a gathering on Sunday to plan a fresh protest programme.
Residents of Ward No 4 in Lahan Municipality, Siraha, have been demanding the waste management centre be relocated from their locality or the garbage be managed scientifically.
The agitating locals, who have been voicing their concerns for the past five months, held a gathering on Sunday to plan a fresh protest programme. They warned of stringent protests if the authorities did not heed to their demands.
The locals filed a writ petition at the High Court in Janakpur two weeks ago against the municipality’s act of haphazardly disposing of waste. The Rajbiraj bench of the court has scheduled a hearing in the case for Monday.
“We are not against using the area as a waste management centre. But the municipality should manage the waste in a scientific way and control pollution. The case is sub-judice in court. The locals will respect the court’s ruling,” said Jitendra Prakash Mahato, a leader of the struggle committee. He said the municipality ignored the agreement on the use of the area as a waste disposal centre.
The locals staged demonstrations on Saturday to protest ‘highhandedness’ of people’s representatives, the municipal employees and police. They took out a protest rally that moved around town and later converged into a corner meeting.
The protesting locals claimed that the city mayor and other elected representatives suppressed their peaceful agitation by using security personnel and disposed waste forcefully in the centre on Friday.
“The authorities misbehaved with the local women, while the latter were protesting against the municipality’s move to manage waste there,” claimed Mahato.
The municipality had been using Ward No. 4 as a dumping ground for the past five years. Stating that the unmanaged garbage disposal at the centre pollutes the settlement, the ward residents have been obstructing the municipality from using the area as garbage disposal centre.
The municipality collects around 30 tonnes of waste each day. The local body said it spent around Rs10 million annually on the collection and management of waste.
An all-party meeting, with the participation of the local people, had decided to use 12 bighas of land on the bank of the Khutti stream in the ward as a waste management centre around five years ago.
Through their protest, the locals urged the municipality to immediately resolve the garbage disposal issue as haphazard dumping of waste has put the settlement at high risk of diseases.
But Mayor Munni Sah, calling the protest unnecessary, said: “The local body had been using the area for waste disposal with the permission of the locals. Some of the locals unnecessarily politicised the issue,” he added.
Sah, however, admitted that the municipality had not adopted ways to scientifically manage the waste. The municipality had formed a seven-member committee two months ago to find an alternative to the current dumping site. But the committee failed to find any headway.