Kathmandu metropolis finally brings in five broomer machines

- ANUP OJHA, Kathmandu

Mar 15, 2019-

After many failed attempts, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has finally bought five broomer machines—of Italian company Dulevo International—to clean the city’s dusty roads.  

The metropolis has already brought in four machines.

One is still in the Birgunj customs office.  

Spokesperson at the metropolis Ishwor Man Dangol said the broomer machines will come into operation only after two weeks, as the KMC needs to train its drivers to use the machines.

“We have brought in Indian drivers to train our drivers to operate the machines,” said Dangol. He said the metropolis has paid Rs108 million to the Italian company for the machines.

Hari Kumar Shrestha, environment division chief at the metropolis, said the machines will help significantly reduce the dust on the roads of Kathmandu. Talking to the Post, Shrestha said the tentative cleaning routes will be through VIP areas from the Tribhuvan International Airport, i.e. Sinamangal, Tinkune, New Baneshwor, Maitighar, Durbarmarg, Thapathali, Kalimati, Solteemode and Maharajgunj. The cleaning route will also include heritage sites such as Swayambhu, Pashupatinath, and Hanumandhoka Durbar Square.

The roads in Kathmandu are full of dust and grime because of ongoing construction works such as road widening and drinking water pipeline laying works of the Melamchi project. It is difficult for pedestrians, bikers and roadside businesses persons to move around in such areas without breathing masks.

“In our meeting this week with Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya, he said he will prepare the cleaning routes,” said Shrestha. “But all the potholes need to be filled and asphalted before the machines are used,” added Kishor Thapa, a former government secretary with experience in urban planning The roads in the metropolis are full of potholes and there are many areas that still need to be asphalted.

“We will be using these broomers only where the road is smooth and asphalted,” said Dangol.

Every day, the metropolis deploys 751 sweepers daily to clean roads in Ratnapark, Lainchaur, Bagdurbar, Old Bus Park, Putalisadak, Tripureshwor, Bhadrakali and other parts of the metropolis. Officials at the metropolis said that once the broomers come into operation, it will also ease the task of sweepers.

He said the metropolis has already instructed the Department of Roads to fill up the pits on the roads all over the city. “Almost 90 percent of the roads in the metropolis are already been asphalted.

For the remaining 10 percent, we have instructed the Department of Road to complete the work,” said Dangol.

According to him, the metropolis has a total of 1,400 km of road, of which 1,200 km are less than eight-metre roads, which the metropolis needs to maintain. The remaining 200km of roads that are more than 8 metres long needs to be repaired by the Department of Roads.  

The metropolis in the first week of December last year had sent a five-member team to inspect the machines under Ward-12 Chairman Bikash Dangol. Then, on April 5 last year it had announced the bidding for five broomer machines, but was unable to get a bidder. The metropolis’ attempt to buy broomer machines from India on May 2017 also failed.

The metropolis later sent a team of experts to India to inspect the machines.  

Buying new broomer machines was one of the top priorities of Mayor Shakya when he was elected the head of the metropolis. However, till date Mayor Shakya has failed to keep his promise and the metropolis has been borrowing cleaning machines from the Department of Roads. On December last year, the metropolis and the Department of Roads were highly criticised by the public after a video of a noisy broomer collecting dust and blowing it off in the wind went viral on social media.

Published: 15-03-2019 08:12

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