Richard McSorley, a British visitor, strolled through a filthy mass of rubbish in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, on Thursday, recalling the much cleaner temple-studded city he had originally visited decades ago.
“If I were a new tourist, I would be horrified,” the 48-year-old said to the reporters, pointing to a mound of rubbish on the side of a street in Kathmandu, where the government is trying to attract more visitors after the COVID-19 outbreak wreaked havoc on the country’s cash-strapped economy.
After attempts to deposit rubbish at a tiny landfill site outside of Kathmandu were greeted with opposition from local inhabitants, effective waste disposal has become a chronic problem in the hill-ringed metropolis.
Villagers would not allow vehicles filled with rubbish to access the disposal site in Bancharedanda, according to Biswas Dhungana, a protester who claims authorities have done nothing to build infrastructure and handle garbage.
“For numerous years, we’ve been forced to live like pigs in filthy conditions since the government has done nothing to keep the hamlet clean,” Dhungana told the journalists.
Hundreds of locals, including women and children, created a rock barricade on the road to Bancharedanda on Wednesday, forcing nearly 200 trucks carrying Kathmandu waste to return without unloading.
Three witnesses reported that demonstrators launched stones from hilltops, wounding three police officers who fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowds.
Sunil Lamsal, a government official in charge of waste management in Kathmandu, said he was trying to answer the inhabitants of Bancharedanda’s concerns as quickly as possible.
“We’re working with the demonstrators and will invite them to negotiations to fix the issue,” Lamsal explained.
Laloo Magar, a Kathmandu resident, stated, “I am fed up with the officials who can’t even maintain the city clean.” “It’s a disgrace… a pity.”