“Kathmandu: It’s time to wise up on air pollution.”

Source: THT

Kathmandu’s air pollution is a national disgrace. It poses a health threat to many denizens of Kathmandu valley. As per our constitution, one of the fundamental rights is to live in clean environment. Every citizen shall have the right to live in a clean and healthy environment. And the victim shall have the right to obtain compensation, in accordance with law, for any injury caused from environmental pollution or degradation. The Government is busy making questionable appointments and trivial rules (which shouldn’t even be made in the first place). They don’t really seems to care about serious issues like the pollution or the “madhesh” issue and stuffs like that.

“Today I along with two friend filled RTI demanding government service contracts given to Melemchi water project contractors in Kathmandu along with the activities of KUKL to address social, environmental and health cost of dust pollution caused by damaged roads. We believe that ADB’S project can not run in such poor ways. It’s entirely the failure of governance leading massive corruption followed by criminal attitude of contractors. Water project contractors and government are responsible for such tragic result. Let’s continue our fight. We must make the government and contractors accountable.” said Dibyesh Giri.

With the rising pollution level in the capital, How can each one of us progressive minds in our own individual capacity contribute to the better environment in Kathmandu?

Air pollution in kathmandu is some serious issue. There needs to be taken large steps instead of small steps taken by every individual. First of all, it’s all due to fragile roads and construction works, expanding of lanes and all sort of stuffs. Nextly, there should be a check on the carbon level of the vehicles after certain years to drop down the old vehicle, as well as old vehicles should be removed . Additionally, we can consume less gas and fuel. The environment ministry must check and balance the sustainable development and the consequence arisen to this level. A government must be responsible towards the health and well-being of its people. But its only an ideal concept in our context, is the government bodies/government as a whole responsible for well-being physical/social/economic of its people? In such context how? what can be done from whom? I have read recently, unless people/youths don’t take Nepal as their destination to live at, nobody gives a shit about the problems in a place which they are planning to leave soon. The dust problem won’t go away until the roads are fixed no matter what we do. But maybe we can help compensate for the dust by not littering our surroundings, reducing the usage of vehicles, using cycles, planting some trees. We could also start lobbying the concerned authorities into reducing the amount of paperwork to be signed before roads can be fixed. The pipeline is being laid by KUKL. And fixing the roads is not within their scope of work. So we could also ask the concerned authorities to make a rule that states the roads have to be rebuilt by the ones who dug it up in the first place. That might significantly reduce the amount of time before reconstruction begins. People have contributed a lot to the betterment of environment, and to its detriment as well. If we go on about every issues and try to solve it from individual level, it is more about fire fighting. Yes, they had the concerned departments functioned in unison, the problem of “Dustmandu” would have never occurred. But it is again the collective effort that solves , and collective efforts arise from individual effort. Now that we have the issue, may be the Departments will start working in unison, our individual effort may be able to put a system in place that would make the department work in co-ordination, may be we can make people accountable.

This article was contributed by members of The Messengers’ Club group in Facebook, and originally appeared here.
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