Nepal | September 30, 2020

Bagmati clean-up campaign losing steam

Pramod Kumar Tandan
Share Now:
Volunteers participating in the Bagmati clean-up campaign, in Kathmandu, on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Photo: THT

Volunteers participating in the Bagmati clean-up campaign, in Kathmandu, on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Photo: THT

Kathmandu, May 7

Bagmati Clean-up Mega Campaign seems to be losing steam with fewer people turning up to participate in the cleanup drive.

Until the 50th week of the campaign, up to 10,000 people turned up every Saturday to clean the river. But except regular volunteers, general public’s participation has been quite depressing in recent days. “If we motivate and invite organisations, they come to join the campaign. Otherwise, only the initiators have been attending the campaign on Saturdays,” said Madan Pokhrel, one of the regular participants. The campaign was launched on May 19, 2013.

He said around 50 people accompany the initiators and regular cleaners, who reach the riverbank every Saturday and pick garbage. Though the campaign is continuing, it seems to have failed to mobilise the general public.

In the initial phase, the campaign attracted people from all walks of life and the credit for this goes to then chief secretary Leela Mani Paudyal, high-level government officials, political leaders and celebrities.

According to Dr Raju Adhikari, one of the initiators, the situation now is not like before. “High-level bureaucrats and political leaders are no longer interested in the campaign. The campaign has not been attract participation of more volunteers,” he informed.

He said the campaign completed its 156th week today. Volunteers have collected and disposed of more than 5,200 metric tons garbage from the river so far.

“The government should have stepped in manage sewage flowing into the river. We are in need of adequate support from the government to restore past glory of the holy river,” he said.

Though there is no legal existence of this campaign, the Office of Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been supporting it from the beginning. The KMC has 20 paid cleaners. Gyanendra Karki, KMC spokesperson, admitted that the campaign had failed to retain its initial zeal.

“Participation of volunteers once a week alone is not enough to clean the river. It is the paid cleaners who clean the river regularly,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, former chief secretary and one of the initiators of the campaign Paudyal claimed that the campaign had succeeded in achieving its all objectives. “The campaign is not for publicity. We launched the campaign to raise awareness. We are successful in that front,” he told The Himalayan Times, “We have been able to expand it beyond the Kathmandu Valley and other rivers as well.”

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Kathmandu valley registers record-high 934 single-day coronavirus cases

KATHMANDU: The number of single-day coronavirus infections detected in the three districts of Kathmandu valley exceeded 900 for the first time on Tuesday. As many as 934 cases surfaced in the valley in the last 24 hours, of which a majority 747 infections were registered in the capital alone. Read More...

Liverpool's Klopp bristles at Keane's "sloppy" criticism

LONDON: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp hit back at television pundit and former Manchester United captain Roy Keane on Monday after the Irishman described the Premier League champions' defending in a 3-1 win over Arsenal on Monday as "sloppy". Liverpool have won all three of their league games s Read More...

Djokovic seeks French Open redemption after New York fiasco

PARIS: Three weeks after an acrimonious exit at the US Open, world number one Novak Djokovic will resume his pursuit of an 18th Grand Slam title when he takes on Sweden's Mikael Ymer in the first round at the French Open on Tuesday. The Serbian had started as a heavy favourite to win the title at Read More...

Youth held for raping minor in Rautahat

RAUTAHAT: A youth has been arrested on the charges of raping a 15-year-old girl in Rauthat, on Monday night. The victim's father filed a first incident report (FIR) against 35-year-old Indal Das at a nearby police station. Subsequently, the accused was apprehended from his house around mid-night Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 1513 new cases, 731 recoveries, 10 fatalities recorded Tuesday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. READ ALSO: Kathmandu valley registers record-high 934 single-day coronavirus cases Till date, Read More...

Bajhang minor rape and murder case update: CIB to probe the case, family yet to receive the body

BAJURA: Family members of the 12-year-old girl who was raped and killed in Bajhang district, have refused to receive her body demanding fair investigation. A police team under the command of DSP Pancha Kumar Bakhu from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrived in the district to carry Read More...

Djokovic crushes Ymer to start French Open campaign

PARIS: Novak Djokovic got his quest for an 18th Grand Slam title back on track as he commenced his French Open campaign with a drama-free 6-0 6-2 6-3 victory over Mikael Ymer on Tuesday. Little over three weeks since Djokovic was defaulted in the U.S. Open fourth round for hitting a line judge wi Read More...

Erik Lamela, Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs edge Chelsea in League Cup shootout

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur overcame visitors Chelsea 5-4 in a penalty shootout to progress in the League Cup following a 1-1 home draw in their fourth round clash on Tuesday. Chelsea appeared to be heading into the quarter-finals thanks to a 19th-minute strike from Timo Werner but Erik Read More...