City starts cleaning streets with broomer machines, but is clueless about managing collected dustKathmandu Metropolitan City has already started operating its five new broomer machines on the streets of the city, but it is clueless about how it should go about managing the dust it collects.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City has already started operating its five new broomer machines on the streets of the city, but it is clueless about how it should go about managing the dust it collects.
Spokesperson at the metropolis Ishwor Man Dangol said in the past one week the KMC has collected over 90 tonnes of dust from five different routes, but when asked how the collected dust was being managed, he couldn’t paint a clear picture.
The metropolis has been operating the five broomer machines brought from Italy from 8pm to 4am every day. Dangol added that on an average day, the machines collect 17 tonnes of dust.
Dangol said the metropolis has been depositing the dust at the Teku-based transfer station. “We are working towards managing the collected dust,” said Dangol. “We are thinking of depositing the dust on the gorge or using the dust to fill potholes on the roads.” However, the metropolis has not executed any action plan to manage the collected dust.
On Wednesday, when the Post visited the transfer station, it was found that the collected dust was deposited on the banks of the Bishnumati River. The dumping looked hazardous for locals who lived nearby the area, as there is a high chance that the dust will be blown back into the street and settlement areas nearby.
“The dumping of the dust is just another added hassle for us. Every day we have to suffer from the stench that rises from the collected garbage in the station, and now the metropolis has started to deposit dust here too,” said Bindu Rokha, who run a small grocery shop nearby. “It’s windy these days, and the dust gets blown back to the road. What is the use of a broomer machine then?” questioned Rokha.
A staffer, who works under the metropolis at the transfer station and spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, said the dust is being transferred to the Sisdole landfill site, which is 27kms southwest of Kathmandu. But the capacity of the dumping ground in Sisdole is already full.
The metropolis has been dumping organic waste in Sisdole for the past 14 years, since 2005, completely disregarding an agreement that stated that the dumping be carried out for only three years.
Exploring options to ulitise the collected dust, urban planner and former government secretary Kishor Thapa said, “If used wisely, the metropolis can generate money from the collected dust.” He said the metropolis can start a campaign that will encourage people to use the collected dust as soil for terrace farming. “The soil will obviously be fertile. The metropolis can later also generate income by selling the soil in the market,” said Thapa.
Last December, the metropolis was criticised all across social media for using a defunct broomer machine which collected dust and emitted all of it from its roof in Ratopul.