Kathmandu, January 18
The high Powered Bagmati Civilisation Integrated Development Committee is all set to assign the responsibility of cleaning up rivers to the concerned wards in Kathmandu Metropolitan City.
The committee’s governing board member Mala Kharel said they were preparing to give the responsibility to the wards concerned from January 25 when Bagmati Clean-up Mega Campaign enters the 350th week.
Kharel said Ward No 11 would be assigned the responsibility of cleaning the stretch of the Bagmati River that falls in the ward. Around 1,000 metre stretch of the river from Rudramati Dobhan at Babarmahal to Gushingal, Tripureshwor falls in Ward No 11. This stretch also includes the squatters’ settlement at Thapathali. KMC Ward 11 Chair Hiralal Tandukar said cleaning the Bagmati River near the squatters’ settlement at Thapathali was quite challenging. “We have already informed about this problem to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. We hope the problem will be resolved as the PM has also shown interest in keeping the river clean by managing the settlement,” he said. Cleaning the Bagmati River is challenging in this ward also because Rudramati and Ichhumati (Tukucha) rivulets, the tributaries of the Bagmati River, join the Bagmati in this area.
These two rivulets are highly polluted. Although Rudramati looks somewhat clean compared to Tukucha, the banks of the Rudramati near its confluence with Bagmati is littered and stinking. The Tukucha is heavily polluted and has been encroached upon at many locations.
A committee had been formed to investigateg the land grab along the banks of the Tukucha by unscrupulous people. But this committee is dormant and has not been able to carry out its work for decades now.
Meanwhile, four metric tonne waste was removed from the Bagmati River in Tripureshwar area today as Bagmati Clean-up Campaign entered the 349th week. More than 350 ‘Clean Bagmati’ campaigners from 18 different organisations participated in the campaign today. Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force personnel also joined hands for the cause.
Similarly, the Bagmati River below Gothatar bridge was cleaned today as part of the 311th week of cleaning the Bagmati upstream from Guheshwari. Fifty volunteers cleaned the Bagmati at this location. Bagmati Clean-up Mega Campaign was initiated on 19 May 2013. A campaign to clean the tributaries of the Bagmati and the Ring Road area was also launched following the drive.
A version of this article appears in print on January 19, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.