Dalit community in lake conservation drive

Pokhara, August 3

The Dalit community in Banjhapatan, Pokhara metropolis, has started a campaign to conserve Kamalpokhari, a lake that had been neglected for long.

According to Kamalpokhari Conservation Committee Chairperson Chitra Bahadur BK, they have completed removing weed from the lake.

“Though included in the Ramsar list, existence of the lake has been threatened due to siltation and weed. We’ve removed around 90 per cent of weed,” BK said, adding they planned to promote the lake as a tourist destination.

“For generating income from lake tourism, we have bought a paddle boat at a cost of 450,000 rupees. While WWF Hario Ban programme provided us Rs 4 lakh for the purpose, we chipped in the rest of the amount,” BK said. Besides WWF, Pokhara Metropolis, Tourism Office, Pokhara Valley Town Development Committee and other stakeholders have also contributed to the lake conservation drive.

“As of now, we are developing concrete wall around the lake. Works related to foot trails around the lake are yet to be carried out,” BK said, adding around 5 million rupees in cash and labour had gone into the conservation attempt.

The lake situated around 4km southeast from Pokhara’s Mahendrapul is spread over 32 ropani land and is eight metres deep.

The main attraction of the lake is its louts plants.

“There is a community forest nearby which will serve bird-watching enthusiasts well.

We are also planning to build restaurants and hotels in the vicinity of the lake targeting domestic and foreign tourists,” said BK. “While our attempts will conserve the lake, the local community will also be making money out of tourism,” he said.