Hundreds of locals voluteered to preserve the continuously drying up and polluted Phewa Lake of Pokhara on Thursday.
In the initiative by the Western Region Hotel Association (WRHA), representatives of Nepal Police, Armed Force Force, local women’s groups, clubs, non-government organisations, tourism entrepreneurs and environmental organisations were present at the cleanup campaign today.
The participants cleaned up the Lake from Baidam, Pokhara-6, to the shore of Taalbarahi along the lakeside. The collected waste along the bank was disposed in the landfill area. The programme was inaugurated by Kaski’s Chief District Officer Krishna Bahadur Raut.
Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City has set a rule that those who litter the surroundings of the lake will be fined Rs 15,000 according to the Local Self-governance Act, 1999. But the rule has not been implemented strongly.
The lake is being narrowed due to land pollution in the eastern end and flow of clays from the Harpan stream in the western side, WHRA Chairman Bharat Raj Parajuli.
“Tourism in this city can sustain only if the lakes are maintained,” he said, “It is every local’s duty to preserve the lakes.”
A research team formed to recommend measures to preserve, develop and promote the lake had made a proposal to the government to form an authority for preservation of the lake. The team had also suggested expanding the lake to 12,874 ropanis from existing 9,956 ropanis.
Though the lake originally covered 12,709 ropani land, 2,753 ropani portion has already been encroached.
Hyacinths have also caused problems to the lake. Though the problem is minimized in the winter, the grass grows extensively in summer, Laxman Subedi, a tourism entrepreneur stated.