Call to declare Kirtipur a protected watershed area

Kathmandu, June 3

Residents of Kirtipur Municipality have requested the government to protect their local water sources by declaring Kirtipur and its vicinity a protected watershed area.

After the drying up of water sources due to the supply of water to areas beyond Kirtipur, locals have made such a call.

According to the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management, it has received a  letter submitted by the locals in this regard. Director General at the department Bijay Raj Poudyal said, “The locals have expressed their worry that if the current trend of over-exploitation of water sources continues, there will be no water available in the area in near future.”

“Kirtipur locals have demanded that Kirtipur be declared a protected watershed area,”

Poudyal told The Himalayan Times. He also informed that a detailed study would be carried out to see if Kirtipur and its vicinity can be declared a protected watershed area.

Kirtipur denizens have complained that though water was available in abundance in the past, the current crisis has come as millions of litres of water from the area is supplied to other areas of Kathmandu Valley.

Considering the dire situation, there is a need for the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management to have some kind of its presence in local levels under the country’s new federal structure, Poudyal said.

The department had recently announced that it would be declaring certain watershed areas in the country as protected areas.

It has declared the Fewa Lake of Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City its first watershed area following the announcement.

Nepal has 10 areas listed as Ramsar sites under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for watershed protection. The Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed management said Fewa Lake is listed as a Ramsar site, a list of unique or rare wetland types all over the world.