KATHMANDU: The newly-appointed ministers from CPN Unified Socialist Party are striving to make the change in ministers justifiable through their work.
However, the short tenure lying ahead and the lack of experience are making their efforts really difficult. Khabarhub’s Dhiraj Basnet’s approached Minister for Urban Development Metmani Choudhary to get some ideas on waste management strategy, and how the Urban Development Ministry is working after the then Minister Ram Kumari Jhankri resigned at the party’s request.
What have you done in the first month of your tenure?
If we compare the past month, we have achieved a lot. Initially, we worked to finalize the Urban Development Act which was pending since 2007.
We have formed the board of directors of the Town Development Fund within a month. Through the rehabilitation company under the Ministry of Urban Development, and in coordination with the Ministry of Land Reforms, we have moved the process forward to grant land ownership certificates to about 12,660 families.
In the next few days, people will get land ownership certificates. And the lands that could not come under the name of the rehabilitation company will come under the name of the company. We are about to complete the Urban Development Act which is strategically important.
Looking at the project and technology of Dharan, we have also invited the technology management committee to see how we can manage the waste here in the long term.
Garbage management in Kathmandu has become very complicated. The locals have declared they will not allow the dumping of Kathmandu waste in the Banchare Danda area.
Since the year 2006, around 174 agreements have been signed by various agencies. Those who have taken responsibility for the management of garbage did not pay enough attention to management of garbage.
Whether they didn’t do it willfully or because they did not have the power to do so, whatever the reason might be the agreements were deserted for quite long.
Even now, a lot of money is being collected by some people in the name of waste management. There are groups trying to make waste management more chaotic and unmanageable rather than helping to resolve the problem in a systematic way.
Was it not the case that the city and the government were giving monthly salaries to the social activists around Sisdol and Banchare Danda?
Some people have been doing the business of blackmailing the authority and bagging monetary benefits from the authority. Those who have taken charge of the management of the garbage are making money. As soon as the garbage is disposed of, everything is lost.
For fear of losing that, such people have come in large numbers, the number which can affect the Kathmandu metropolis and the government as well. Besides how long should the Kathmandu wastage be dumped in Banchare Danda?
After not being able to throw garbage from August 1, the infrastructure built by investing so much has no meaning, right?
We should cooperate with the Kathmandu metropolis. There is such a problem that people scrunch their noses when they reach near the people of Banchare Danda. School students cannot proudly say that they are from the Banchare Danda area. Therefore, the waste disposal at Banchare Danda will never end.
The problem will never be solved this way. So this chapter should be closed forever. We should go towards making fertilizer using modern technology. How many times should one search for Okharpauwa or Banachare Danda?
What are you planning to do after closing this chapter of dumping at Banchare Danda?
In Dharan too, a group has made fertilizer using the waste there. The fertilizer has really increased production. Gas has been extracted but there is no means to fill that gas. We have to manage that. A policy should be introduced to replace the practice of using petrol, or diesel and introduce the system of filling vehicles with gas extracted from the waste.
A machine was placed in Teku in Kathmandu to generate electricity, but it didn’t work yet, did it?
All problems cannot be solved at once. Often the rulers do not take the public suffering much seriously. We have not been able to address it. The main reason is that we don’t have the capacity. The people assigned to address the issue make the issue their way of living.
Unless we are prepared to change our wrong attitude, we cannot resolve the issue.
Have you made any plans for Kathmandu’s waste management?
Due to the rain, there is no way for vehicles to go for waste management. Therefore, even if we want to, we cannot take the vehicle to the garbage dump. This is being discussed with the relevant people.
Will your ministerial position be until November or until next February?
The election was held on November 7. I received the certificate on the 24th. The first meeting of the Parliament was held on March 6. Therefore, after the decision of which date to accept, the election date will be announced. No one’s personal reasons should have any influence on the country’s policy. Everyone has to accept the date accepted by legal experts.
Has the Election Commission proposed a date to hold the election in December itself?
It is the government’s job to promote the most correct thing by considering everyone’s concerns.
Has there been, in your party, a discussion of forming a Samajwadi Kendra?
The more you can discuss among the political parties, the more you will benefit. A party is big or small based on the number of seats it has won in the federal or local election.
For that reason, not only the Unified Socialist now but also the CPN-UML coordinated with many political parties in the year 2017. That made UML a big party. There was only a 4500 vote difference between Nepali Congress (NC) and the then UML in proportional votes.
While NC won in a few places, we won in 80 places. Therefore, whoever can coordinate with more political parties becomes the biggest party.
Are the parties not strong enough to contest the election alone?
If one party coordinates with up to 10 parties, it is not very fair for one party to contest alone. All political parties of the country form of their convenience.
We will march ahead bringing the communist forces together by creating a socialist center in coordination with other parties that belief in democracy.