An unholy, filthy tale of the holy Bagmati

Kathmandu, April 15:

Bagmati river is lying literally as an open sewage. The river has to carry waste from toilets of 100,000-plus houses.

“None of the government body has the responsibility to clean and conserve the river. We should stop talking about the plight of the river and do whatever we can to conserve it,” said Bhushan Tuladhar, executive chairman of the Environment and Public Health Organisation (ENPHO).

As the Bagmati river totally lacks oxygen, it cannot purify itself.

“It is technically dead. The waters of Bagmati cannot be called holy waters at this stage,” Tuladhar further said.

According to a recent study conducted by the ENPHO, the river flowing in the city is 12 times more polluted than 15 years ago.

“Residents drain 60 million of wastewater into the Bagmati every day. Chemical Oxygen Demand, the major standard of checking river pollution, is 6 milligram per litre of water at Sundarijal, 37 at Pashupati, 425 at Minbhawan and again 402 at Sundari Ghat,” the report states.

Tuladhar said dozens of reports must have been produced on the Bagmati.

Over 20 institutions, organisations and local clubs have been set up to conserve the Bagmati, but they have not been able to do anything concrete.

“The government will not be doing anything if it is given some two billion dollars. What we lack is commitment, dedication and a sincerity to implement the plans,” Tuladhar further said.

“We can work together to clean the Bagmati.”

“Let’s minimise waste from our home. Treatment plants should be revived, dams built and sand-mining stopped. Municipalities and others should stop dumping garbage on the river banks.”

The CPN(Maoist)-affiliated New Kathmandu Valley Campaign is also planning to conserve the river.