Yami signs spouts conservation pledge

Kathmandu, June 18:

Minister for Physical Planning and Works Hisila Yami today signed a declaration to conserve stone spouts and other sources of water.

The declaration has expressed commitment to draft policies for the conservation of stone spouts, declare sources of water as watershed areas and allocate budget for the conservation of the spouts.

“The festival of Sithi Nakhaa will be marked as a national water and sanitation festival. Texts highlighting the significance of stone spouts will be included in school curricula,” it states. The government will come up with a concrete policy for the conservation of spouts and sources of water, it says. Speaking at the programme, minister Yami said that lack of proper management of sources of water is to blame for the shortage of water in the Kathmandu valley. “Urbanisation has invited the privatisation of the water distribution system. Pretty soon, we will see some capitalists turning air into a commodity,” she said, adding, “What is happening in the water sector these days is ultimately a means of privatisation.”

Along with Yami, a number of parliamentarians and officers from all five municipalities of the valley pledged support for the declaration.

At the same programme, a culture expert, Satya Mohan Joshi, criticised the Department of Archaeology and all municipalities for deliberately destroying dozens of stone spouts

and other traditional sources of water in the valley. Earlier, representatives from five municipalities of the valley discussed challenges facing spout conservation initiatives.

The programme was organised under the aegis of the Association for Stone Spouts Conservation and NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation.