Bagmati cleaning task to be handed over to local levels by next year

Kathmandu, July 15

Bagmati Clean-up Campaign, the longest ever voluntary campaign in the country, is preparing to hand over the task of cleaning the Bagmati River to local levels by next year.

According to Dr Raju Adhikari, one of the initiators of the campaign and coordinator of Gayatri Pariwar Nepal, they are preparing to hand over the task of collecting solid waste from the river to the local levels.

“We are currently holding discussion with Lalitpur Metropolitan City, which has expressed readiness to take over the task of cleaning stretches of the river in the metropolis,” Dr Adhikari told The Himalayan Times.

After taking over the responsibility of cleaning the Bagmati River, concerned local levels of Kathmandu Valley will clean stretches of the river under their respective jurisdiction.

Once the local levels take over the task, there will be no formal voluntary cleaning campaigns and no volunteer would participate in the clean-up events.

Dr Adhikari said volunteers planned to hand over the task to local levels within a year. Volunteers had launched the campaign in 2013, which later gained popularity among the public.

Although Lalitpur Metropolitan City has expressed readiness to take over the task, local levels of Kathmandu are not ready for the same.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City said it would decide on the matter after its municipal assembl.

“It is of course the responsibility of Kathmandu Metropolitan City to clean the rivers in the metropolis. However, we will take a formal decision in this regard only after our municipal assembly,” said Information Officer at KMC Basanta Acharya.

So far, the Bagmati Clean-up campaign has completed 218 weeks.

As part of the campaign, more than 9,000 metric tonnes of solid waste have been extracted from the river so far.

So far, more than 750,000 people have participated in the river cleaning campaign. Besides volunteers, there is a core team of around 50 volunteers, who regularly clean different stretches of the river every Saturday.

The campaign was run under the leadership of former chief secretary Leela Mani Poudyal till November last year. The Bagmati Clean-up Campaign is without a leader after Poudyal was appointed Nepal’s ambassador to China.

The Bagmati River was facing a number of serious environmental and ecological challenges until the campaign took off.