Nepal | February 21, 2020

Locals demand end to drinking water crisis

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 23

Frustrated by shortage of clean drinking water, hundreds of Kathmandu valley denizens today gathered around Bangalamukhi in Patan, demanding local and federal governments to ensure supply of drinking water to their homes.

Valley Drinking Water Victims’ Struggle Committee organised the programme today and gave an ultimatum to the government for early completion of much hyped Melamchi drinking water project. They also requested the public to attend a mass protest rally to be held on June 15 at Maitighar Mandala.

While protesters were shouting slogans against the government demanding water supply to their homes, other people were seen queuing at stone spouts to fetch water for daily use.

Clean drinking water is a growing problem in Kathmandu valley as most of the core city areas in the valley do not get regular supply of drinking water. Agitating people of Patan area said they hardly got tap water for an hour in a week.

Prakash Amatya, water and sanitation activist, who led today’s programme, said political leaders had been ignoring people’s demand for clean drinking water.

Bhim Upadhayaya, former secretary of the Ministry of Water Supply, said the government should not further delay the much-hyped Melamchi project.

According to water experts, the demand of water stands at around 350 million litres per day in Kathmandu valley that houses 3.5 million to four million residents.

Currently, only 90 million litres of water is being supplied through 11 drinking water distribution facilities inside Kathmandu valley.

The source of water distribution are basically springs and streams on the outskirts of the valley.

Similarly, around 30 per cent of total demand of drinking water is being met by wells built by people, stone spouts and commercial water supply.

Water experts warned that haphazard ground water extraction would be more detrimental to people’s lives in the long run.


A version of this article appears in print on May 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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