Water hyacinth plagues Begnas Lake
LEKHNATH, July 24
Water hyacinth has been proliferating in Begnas Lake of Kaski’s Lekhnath Municipality, leaving locals and tourism entrepreneurs worried.
Begnas and Rupa Lake Conservation and Tourism Promotion Committee has launched an integrated campaign to remove the hyacinth from the lake every Saturday.
Hotel and Restaurant Association Lekhnath Chairman Durga Prasad Adhikari said that Begnas Lake was facing existential crisis due to proliferation of water hyacinth, boat rowing and rising pollution. Local Govind Jalari said that they were having a tough time to manage their livelihoods due to the spread of water hyacinth as it had dealt a blow to fishing.
As many as 257 boats are in operation in Begnas Lake. Begnas Lake Boat Entrepreneurs’ Committee Chairman Dhaknath Kandel said that growth of water hyacinth had dealt a blow to boat business.
Locals say the water hyacinth had begun to appear in the lake some 14 years ago. Lekhnath Municipality legal officer Rammani Adhikri said that the proliferation of the weed had emerged as a problem. He said that municipality had allocated the budget and started protecting the conservation of the lake.
Durga Adhikari said that water hyacinth had worried the tourism entrepreneurs, as Begnas Lake was the centre of attraction among the tourists. He said as many as 40 hotels and restaurants are located around Begnas Lake.
Despite the low season for tourism, around 400 tourists visit the lake on a daily basis these days.
Spread over 373 hectare of land, the depth of the lake is 10.6 metres.