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​Why landfill site of Dhankuta draws tourists?

Birat Anupam
June 30, 2018

Itahari: Almost all landfill sites of Nepal repeal visitors. However, there is different story in Dhankuta's landfill site. 

Unlike other landfill sites of Nepal, Dhankuta's landfill site has no flies flying everywhere. Only bees and butterflies are seen dancing. No pungent smell is felt. Instead, sweet fragrance of blooming flowers is felt. 

Not a single local has protested so far. All people are happy with it.  Even Nepal Government is so happy with this.   In 2073 BS, it was declared by government as second cleanest city in Nepal and begged the cash prize of 700 thousands Nepalese rupees. 

Again, in 2074 BS, it was declared as the cleanest city in Nepal by government and got 1 million Nepalese rupees as cash prize.
 
Reason for being tourism magnet
Every day dozens of tourists flock this place.  Bikash Adhikari, Tourism Department Head of Dhankuta Municipality, says more than 175 local governments' representatives have visited this landfill site-turned park so far. 

How was it possible to convert a landfill site into an attractive park? 
Adhikari says, 'after managing our degradable waste, we took away useful non-degradable waste. This made us easy to make park as there is no pungent smells after segregating degradable waste.' 

'Despite its situation just in between 150-300 meters away from dense human settlement, nobody has spoken wrongs on this landfill site', says Adhikari, 'all this is owing to well-managed landfill site.'   

The concept of beautiful landfill site
How this beautiful landfill site was born in Dhankuta? This question is answered by Upendra Khanal, the environmental department head and pioneer of this landfill site in Dhankuta. 
'We are working in Dhankuta as an exemplary project', adds Khanal, 'we segregate degradable and non-degrable waste on household bases. And only non-degradable is brought to landfill site.' 

Khanal says degradable waste is managed in household either by using as animal fodder or as manure for kitchen garden.  Khanal says,' when we manage degradable waste in house itself, there won't be pungent smells and pollution in landfill site.' 
In order to avoid health hazards of employees deployed at landfill site, municipality has adopted some safety measures. They are undergone medical check-ups periodically and are insured. 

In 30 Ropanis of land, waste management of Dhankuta was initiated since 2066 BS.  This landfill site situated in Dhankuta-6, Salleri has been a proud identity of Dhankuta. 
  
This young and small landfill site has been a vibrant learning center for managing solid waste for other local government.  Once athe visiting mayor from Bharatpur metropolitan City of Chitwan said, 'I am happy to learn waste maganemet from Dhankuta.' 

Income-generating landfill site
The garden made on the heaps of disposed waste has been a good income-generating source of Dhankuta. There are more than 40+ species of flowers in the garden. 

Every day, it sees footfalls of dozens of visitors. It is the aim of municipality to develop this place as a pride project of municipality in the days ahead. 

Currently, this landfill site earns 40 thousands per year. Kausal Thapa, the contractor, earns more after taking away reusable things from here. He has employed 10 people. 

Tika Datta Rai, Chief Administrative Officer of Dhankuta Municipality, says Dhankuta has progressed since 2061 BS. He credits municipality's approaches and locals' assistance in accomplishing this. 

Many ministers and deputy prime ministers have frequented this landfill site. Because of such beautiful landfill site, staffs of environmental and tourist department of Dhankuta have been resource person for other local governments. 

Chintan Tamang, the mayor of Dhankuta. He credits locals for making cleanest city.  Tamang says, 'Everybody supported, most importantly, locals supported. It is because denizens of Dhankuta are of the concept that waste must not scattered everywhere.'