KMC’s broomer machines that vacuum dust and blow it up in the wind

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Dec 29, 2018-

On Thursday, Arun Rana, a resident of Ratopul, shared a video on Facebook of a small white broomer machine cleaning the road in his locality. The video shows two round-wheel sweeper vacuums noisily collecting dust and emitting all of it from its roof.

“Can we call this cleaning?” asks Rana on the video.

 In the video, Rana congratulates Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya on his effort in making Kathmandu a ‘liveable one’—a promise the Mayor has made time and again. “Is this the greener, dust-free city promised by our Mayor?” he questions in the video.     

For the past month, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), in collaboration with the Department of Roads (DoR), has been using broomer machines on most evenings in an attempt to clean Kathmandu’s roads. The metropolis has implemented this task in 15 different routes in the metropolis as part of KMC’s ‘City Beautification Aid’ Programme, which started from November 25.

These machines are also cleaning roads in other parts of Kathmandu, like Putalisadak. A few days ago, when the Post visited the area, a small white broomer machines was ‘cleaning’ the road, all the while emitting noise and dust all around. The scene was interesting: pedestrians were running away from the area fearing the dust, while shop owners were pulling down their shutters in order to escape the dust. 

“In the name of cleaning, the authority is terrorising us with dust and noise pollution,” said Roshan Pradhan, a local from Putalisadak. “I don’t know why the authorities are using defunct machines to clean the city,” 

he added.  

Even after nearly two years at the office, KMC Mayor Shakya has not been able to bring new broomer machines as he had promised. Last year, while unveiling its 30-point immediate action plan, the KMC had vowed to buy 10 broomer machines to clean the dusty roads but could not succeed. 

“It’s KMC’s responsibility to clean the roads, and we are just voluntarily helping them,” said Tek Raj Bohara, senior Divisional Engineer at Heavy Equipment under DoR. “The machine sprinkles water before collecting the dust. But we don’t know why the dust level is so high on the road. I guess it’s because of shortage of water.” He said that the four machines—brought in from Italy and India three years ago—are owned by the DoR.

Again, before the KMC celebrated its 24th anniversary, the metropolis on the first week of December sent five officials to Italy to inspect broomer machines. When the Post contacted KMC’s spokesperson, Ishwor Man Dangol, he said that the KMC plans to have five machines up-and-running in three months’ time. 

Published: 29-12-2018 08:03

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