Need for more sewage treatment plants stressed

Kathmandu, March 4:

Sewage treatment plants are very helpful in cleaning the rivers of the Kathmandu Valley, said Bhushan Tuladhar, executive director of the Environment and Public Health Organisation (ENPHO) “The Bagmati Area Sewage Plant (BASP) has helped a lot to clean the Bagmati river at the Pashupatinath temple area,” he said.

Deepak Kumar Singh, director of the Society for Environment and Economic Development, said there should be one water treatment plant in every community. “People must be penalised for throwing sewage directly into the river in order to keep the Valley’s rivers clean,” he said.

However, High-Powered Level Committee for Implementation and Monitoring of the Bagmati Area Sewerage Construction /Rehabilitation Project lacks policy to attract new partners to start the second and the third phases of Bagmati cleaning programme.

Mahendra Thapa, engineer at the BASP, said: “We have not been able to start the second and the third phase programmes — that include cleaning the Bagmati river from Sundarijal to Chovar— due to the drawback of policy to attract new partners.”

The project aims at keeping Bagmati river and its tributaries clean by preventing direct discharge of solid and liquid wastage into the river and conserving the Valley’s rivers.

“Before giving authority to handle the project, one needs to have a clear policy to regulate the new body. It doesn’t matter which government body handles the project,” Thapa said.

The BASP is cleaning seven kilometre section of the Bagmati river from Gokarna to Tilganga under the first phase of the Bagmati cleaning programme. The BASP was started with an estimated budget of Rs 666 million. According to Thapa, around Rs 7 billion is required to complete all the three phases.