From a dumping site into a green nursery
April 2010; The Bhadrakali nursery below the China Bridge in Pokhara Municipality is a place to stop by for all the pedestrians. From a smelly dumping site, the place has been converted into a green area.
When the Pokhara Municipality gave this public dumping site on lease to Gopal Lama and his sister, little did they expect that there would be such a huge change in the outlook of the place. It proved to be a beautiful and an enterprising venture for the Lamas. The nursery has now 16 staff and houses above 500 varieties of plants.
Gopal and his sister are paying Rs. 30,000 with a 10 per cent increase as rent every year for the place.
Gopal says, 'I think every person should have the civic sense of throwing their garbage in proper places. This is the second year and finally we have developed this place into a healthy green area. We still face the challenge of people coming and throwing in garbage from the bridge at night and early mornings inside the nursery.'
The duo's earning allows them to both give a salary to the staff and pay the rent. In addition to the business of selling plants, the nursery is approached by hotels and private residences for designing garden and green areas. Gopal hires designers and architects on a short term basis and provides an excellent service to various organisations in Pokhara.
'Pokhara is a tourist destination and it is essential that it remains clean. This place under the bridge was becoming unbearable and people literally had to cover their nose when they passed by this area but now people stop for few seconds and admire the garden', adds Gopal.
' We have 'Visit Nepal Year 2011' coming up and we need people like Gopal to set an example of public private partnership', says Mr. Ananta Koirala, Programme Officer and the focal point in the Municipality for Public Private Partnership.
Pokhara is a remarkable place for natural beauty at an altitude of 827 meter from the sea level and 200 kms west of Kathmandu. It was designated as the headquarters of the Western Development Region of Nepal in 1972. With lakes and close view of mountains, Pokhara is filled by tourists every year. With an estimated population of 2, 93,696 people, the city faces challenges of solid waste management.
Gopal says, 'When I started this work, the UNDP Public Private Partnership for Urban Environment (PPPUE) programme took me to other Municipalities like Tansen and Hetauda to see how the PPP could work. I learnt the techniques for PPP even though gardening was my old profession. The municipality provides electricity and water for this place and facilitation of PPPUE has proved very useful.'