Water shortage leaves Pashupati monkeys thirsty

Kathmandu, April 27

Monkeys of Pashupati area in Kathmandu are facing severe scarcity of water these days.

According to Pashupati Area Development Trust, this is the most painful season in terms of water availability for monkeys as they run from one place to another in search of water to quench their thirst.

Pashupati Area Development Trust Member Secretary Govinda Tandan said the trust had instructed all construction workers in the Pashupati area to provide water to monkeys.

“However, this is not a permanent solution. We are thinking of ways to manage clean drinking water just for monkeys,” Tandan told The Himalayan Times.

He said monkeys were facing drinking water problem as the Bagmati River was polluted.

Apart from pollution, receding water levels in the river is causing water scarcity in the Pashupatinath temple area.

“We remember drawing groundwater from just seven to nine feet below the surface, but now we need to dig 140 feet below the surface to find water,” said Tandan. The Trust’s Member Secretary added that all small and big sources of water like taps, wells, ponds, springs around Pashupatinath area have already dried up.

Visiting professor of Kyoto University, Japan, Dr Mukesh Kumar Chalise, however, said the best way to resolve the problem was to control pollution in the Bagmati River. He also suggested that PADT make arrangements for treatment of ailing monkeys.

“No other option will work as long as the Bagmati River flows through the Pashupati area. The monkeys will always go to the river to quench their thirst,” he said.

PADT said there were around 600 monkeys in the Pashupati area.

Meanwhile, PADT is planning to conduct a behavioural study of monkeys in the Pashupati area to see whether the animals are causing any harm to pilgrims.

After an interim order from the Supreme Court, which ordered the trust to control the monkey menace, PADT is preparing to conduct a study to find out more about the monkeys of Pashupatinath area.