Fecal Sludge Desludgers Discouraged by Government’s Action

Households facing problem as desludging service shut off

  वास खबर सम्वाददाता  1106 पटक हेरिएको

Kathmandu :  Fecal sludge desludgers express their agony on government’s action for not constructing the disposal site and arresting and penalizing them for disposing the fecal sludge into the sewer network. “Either the government should do this work, if not and cannot support our work then at least it should not hinder the services that private service providers like us are providing,” private service provider Gokul Bahadur Budhathoki said.

 

Fecal sludge desludgers : Ready to pay tax, but provide us the proper disposal site

Service provider Mr. Budhathoki said that they are ready to pay tax if the government constructs proper disposal site or the treatment plant. He shared his grief on getting arrested and paying fine several times. “A month-long earned amount is spent in one fine, so, what should we work for?” he lamented.

Harka Bahadur Khatri, another service provider, said that even though sanitation is included as an essential service, he’s frustrated with the government’s crackdown. He further added that their work is being obstructed treating them as criminals. “Where is the disposal site? We are ready to be punished if we had disposed the fecal sludge into the sewer or river despite of having the disposal site. But no disposal site has been constructed. So, where should we dispose without disposing in the sewer?” he complained.

Service providers complain that the government has not shown any interest in this, despite repeatedly informing them that they are ready to pay the tax.

Service providers argue that the government should create an enabling environment for private sector investment in the sanitation business. However, on the contrary, it is not only discouraging but also threatening the right of the citizens to live in a clean environment.

“It’s mentioned in the Constitution that citizens have the right to live in a clean environment. Many households which need the desludging service are in trouble as we have shut down the business. We receive phone calls every day. We inform them that we have no solution,” service provider Mr. Khatri said.

According to the service providers, 80 vehicle of fecal sludge is emptied daily in Kathmandu Valley. Almost 35 private operators are involved in this business.

They have now shut down the business as Kathmandu and Lalitpur Metropolitan Cities charged them with heavy fines. About 450 people from 100 families have been affected due to the closure of the business. The workers and their families have been hit hard by the shutdown of the business. They are worried about how to pay the vehicle installment, children’s school fee and college fee.

Lalitpur Metropolitan City arrested the fecal sludge desludging vehicles no. Ba 3 Kha 280 and Ba 3 Kha 9403 for disposing the fecal sludge into Manohara Rive on 7 June 2023 and fined them with NRs. 50,000 each on 18 June 2023. 20-days later, Gokul Bahadur Budhathoki, a resident of Boudha, Kathmandu-6, was also fined NRs. 50,000 by Kathmandu Metropolitan City for disposing the fecal sludge into the sewer.

Further to this, service provider Gokul Bahadur Budhathoki said that they have submitted a memorandum to the Minister of Water Supply Mahindra Ray Yadav to solve the problem, but there has been no hearing so far.


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