Bagmati River to run clean by December, says water supply minister

Kathmandu, October 19

Minister of Water Supply and Sanitation Bina Magar said that the holy Bagmati River at Pashupati will be clean enough for devotees to bathe in it from December onward.

Minister Magar said this during field inspection of a waste water treatment plant located at Guheswori, Kathmandu, today. The treatment plant is being constructed by Project Implementation Directorate of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Ltd under her ministry. Officials of PID said that 95 per cent of the work had been completed. The plant will clean 32.4 million litres of waste water each day.

“I cannot say the water will be safe enough to drink, but after the plant comes into operation, the water in the Bagmati River will be clean for people to take bath,” Minister Magar told mediapersons after the inspection. A 13-kilometre long intersecting sewer line has been laid from Gokarna to Guheswori for the project.

Bhoj Bikram Thapa, director of PID, said the treatment plant would purify waste water through seven different intensive cleaning methods. After the final procedure of disinfecting the filtered water, we will release it into the river.

The waste segregated from the water will then be used to produce electricity, according to Thapa. “The segregated waste will be converted into biogas which will be used to generate electricity,” Thapa said. He added that  the plant would produce 240 kilowatt electricity and electricity would be used to run the plant itself. The estimated budget of the project is Rs 2.55 billion.

Once the project is completed, the Bagmati River will see clear flow of water from Guheswori to Tilganga.

The government is planning to construct more water treatment plants at Sallaghari, Kodaku, Dhobighat, Gokarna and Chalnakhel in the valley.

Minister Magar, during today’s field visit, said drainage management in the capital had become a daunting challenge due to rapid urbanisation.

Meanwhile, Bagmati Cleaning Campaign that started from 19 May 2013, entered the 336th week today. Government agencies, including security agencies and High-powered Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilisation, have been supporting the cause.

Laxmi Poudyal, a campaigner, said apart from the cleaning campaigns, people needed to change their attitude and habits to keep the river clean.