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Capital’s sewage system falling apart

NIRJANA SHARMA

KATHMANDU, May 25

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The Kathmandu Metropolitan City and the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited are to be blamed for the inundation of roads following two hours of rainfall on Thursday that affected thousands of people in Kathmandu.

Had the authorities acted in time to address the problem of unmanaged sewerages, the roads would not have clogged with the sewage mixed rainwater.
The residents of Kathmandu have started to face the problem of deluged roads since the last year. The two hours rainfall had submerged roads in many parts of the city affecting traffic flow and around two dozen houses.

In 2011, sewage mixed water had entered a dozen hotels and restaurant in Thamel. The same problem occurred in 2012, only this time more areas, including Jamal, Ratnapark, Kamalpokhari, Putalisadak and Anamnagar, were flooded.

The flooding did not result due to overflows from the rivers. It is the result of unmanaged sewerage system as the responsible authorities have not cleaned them for several years.

Another example of the carelessness of the metropolis could be seen at several places on Friday as the bore holes remained uncovered even after the 24 hours of the incident in the Capital. Three bore holes remained uncovered between Buddhanagar and Tripureshwar, without any indication for vehicles and pedestrians.

But the most popular tourist area of the capital is becoming more and more vulnerable all sorts of disaster. The drainage and sewerage get blocked time and again as they have become old and the authorities have not tried to repair them for several years.

´We suffer every year. The metropolis has been acting very irresponsibly,´ said Ram Sharan Thapaliya, president of Thamel Tourism Development Council.
Both the KMC and KUKL”s response is weak. Water flowed into around three dozen hotels and restaurants at Paryatan Road on Thursday. The entrepreneurs in the area chanted slogans against the government and closed their shutters in protest, Thapaliya said.

´Every time we call them to report problems, they ignore our complaints under one pretext or the other,´ said Thapaliya.

The entrepreneurs have been getting the sewerage cleaned by paying for the service themselves. But the problem persists as the sewage system is too old and congested to bear the pressure. The Thamel-based entrepreneurs are also planning to picket KMC to force it to construct new sewerages.

Meanwhile, KMC Executive Officer Laxman Aryal says that the metropolis would correct its mistake and start inspecting the sewerage.

The street vendors leave plastics on the road with blocks the flow of water he said. ´Once we ban all types of polythene bags, half of the problem would be solved,´ Aryal claimed.

Meanwhile, the metropolis also blames the public for not follow the building codes while constructing houses and commercial establishments. But officials offer no answer when asked who is responsible for controlling such malpractices.

Waterlog at the country”s main administrative center Singha Durbar could be cleared after several hours of police effort on Friday. The authorities have not yet collected the data on the actual damage caused by the downpour on Friday.

ADB, govt to collaborate on sewage management
Krishna Hari Banskota
PMO Secretary

Thursday”s downpour was a lesson for the government on its lack of preparedness. We have realized that our unpreparedness could have put the residents at risk. The sewerage system was to be checked regularly, but the concerned authorities such as Kathmandu Metropolitan City and the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited failed from the part.

Both the authorities KMC and KUKL have been directed to submit their work-plan to Ministry of Home and Affairs in a week. Similarly, the Metropolitan Police Commissioners Office and the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division will also have to submit the report on the damages on Thursday and their future strategies. All the authorities have been asked to mention the challenges they face and the logistics they need.

Coordination among the authorities was another challenge. Public did not know which was the right place to seek help under such situation. Realizing the lack of coordination, the Disaster Risk Management Section of the MoHA has been directed to act as the central body to establish communication and coordination between the security agencies and other response mechanisms.

The traffic system was totally derailed following the heavy rainfall. We feel the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division needs a crane to haul away vehicles that add problems on the road.

The Disaster Response Framework the MoHA had prepared two years ago covers broad area which is categorized under 49 work-plan of the disaster risk management. Similarly, the ban on polythene bag has to be effectively implemented as the polythene bags block the flow of water.

We will ensure that equal importance is given to the drainage system during the ongoing road construction.

Indeed, we have good news that the government is soon implementing a sewerage management project in the Valley with assistance from the Asian Development Bank.

Source: Republica Daily

Link: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=55224

Published on 2013-05-26 09:34:19
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About nirjanasharma

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