Chainpur fights to keep its air clean and streets litter-freeThe municipality installs dustbins in public spaces, but they keep disappearing.
In mid-December, the municipality had convened cleanliness committees across its settlements. In Simkhet alone, the local unit set up 34 area cleanliness committees. The committees purchased 170 plastic dustbins at the cost of Rs280,000 and placed them across the city.
But two months on, the dustbins have started disappearing.
“People have taken those dustbins for their personal use,” said Laxmi Bohara, a local of Chainpur. “The dustbins are no longer to be seen in the town area.”
Sunita Bhandari, another Chainpur local, said she has spotted the dustbins in her neighbours’ kitchens and bathrooms. “Some have used them to store water; some for storing rice grains,” Bhandari said.
This, however, is not the first time that dustbins placed for public use have disappeared in Chainpur.
Earlier, United Mission to Nepal, a non-profit organisation, in collaboration with the local police had installed dustbins at various spots in the town area. But the bins gradually disappeared.
“It looks like the people here will never learn and never change,” Bhandari said.
As a part of a cleanliness drive, the Patanjali Yoga Committee too has been running a door-to-door campaign for 84 weeks now. The campaign takes place every Saturday morning.
“When we visit people every week, they lament the absence of dustbins,” said Mohan Malla, chief of the Yoga committee. “They steal the dustbins themselves but keep on asking for more dustbins to be placed in public spaces.”
Malla said the people who steal dustbins should be named and shamed. “There have been efforts to clean the city, they are not bearing fruits because of a lack of support from the locals,” he said.
However, disappearing dustbins are not the only reason for the rising pollution levels in Chainpur. In Chaugaun, considered the most polluted settlement in Chainpur, the dustbins are in place but they are overflowing with garbage since the waste collectors' visits are infrequent.
Locals said even though they dispose of the waste in the dustbins, the waste carrying trucks don’t come to collect the garbage. “The whole settlement reeks of garbage; it’s hard to breathe,” said Malla. “People are at risk of communicable diseases.”
Officials at the Jayaprithvi Municipality, while assuring the timely collection of garbage call on everyone concerned to pay attention to cleanliness and waste management. “We will see that the garbage is collected on time and we will also investigate the case of disappearing dustbins,” said Mangal Shahi, chief administrative officer of the municipality.