It is a matter of shame for the country that it’s people, governments and civil society put together have achieved precious little to stem the deteriorating water quality situation. The plight of Bagmati river is a case in point. The river is now said to be at least 12 times more polluted than it was 15 years ago. All proposals, policies and plans to clean Bagmati still remain largely in papers and nothing concrete has been done to persuade some 100,000 odd households to stop draining sewage in the river. According to one report, residents drain 60 million of wastewater into Bagmati everyday. The river thus lacks oxygen and cannot purify itself. Worse, the past governments have hardly given the problem the required level of attention.

Surprisingly, even the municipalities dump garbage on the river banks, not to talk of the insensitive disposition of the locals and carpet factory owners. Little do they realise or care about the repercussions of such irresponsible behaviour.The chemical intoxicants circulated in the air can be fatal to public health, especially of the kids. Clearly, protecting Bagmati is a Herculean task now. But given the political will, enough funds can be generated to develop a proper drainage system that is vital to preserve the ‘holy’ river. It is also high time the NGOs, thriving in the name of conserving Bagmati, geared up their activities and launched fresh campaigns. The Maoists, who of late are seen actively engaged in Valley cleaning drives, too could include Bagmati in their clean-up agenda.