Clean Bagmati in 3 months: SC

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today served a three-month ultimatum to various government authorities to clean the Bagmati River, which has been filled with dirt, filth and refuse of astronomical proportions.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi and Kalyan Shrestha issued the ultimatum to the government to clean the Bagmati within three months. The apex court was responding to a contempt of court case against the government authorities. Meanwhile, Dr Trilochan Uprety, Secretary, Prime Minister's Office and the Cabinet, Udaya Raj Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Science, and Mohan Bahadur Basnet, the Chair of the High Level Commission on Bagmati who attended the bench, have assured that they would clean the Bagmati within the given timeframe.

They assured before the court that they would bring palpable changes to Bagmati within three months.

The bench, in reply, told them to submit a progress report after accomplishing the task.

The officials were brought before the bench as per the apex court's order to defend the case on the contempt of court pending before them.

The bench has been considering charges of disobedience of apex court's verdict that was issued to clean the river eight years ago.

Charging the government authorities of not abiding by the court ruling, advocate Bhoj Raj Air filed the contempt of court against government authorities three years ago. In 2001, the apex court had issued a mandamus order to the government to clean the Bagmati.

Meanwhile, responding to a separate PIL filed by Pro Public, an NGO, the bench told the government authorities to ban indirect promotion of advertisement of cigarettes through organising concerts, or games.

The bench was responding to a petition filed by one Hom Lal Shrestha who challenged such concerts and games of indirectly promoting advertisements of cigarette despite a prohibitory order.