Bagmati cleanup initiative marks 50 weeks

Bagmati cleanup initiative marks 50 weeks

Thousands of people from various walks of life, including President Ram Baran Yadav, took part in a programme to mark the 50 successful weeks of the Bagmati Cleanup Campaign today. 

Constituent Assembly Chair Subas Chandra Nembang, Minister for Urban Development Narayan Khadka, and Chairman of Akhil Vishwa Gayatri Pariwar Pranab Pandeya, among others, cleaned the Bagmati in front of the Guheshwari Temple this morning. 

President Yadav offered prayers and washed his hands and face in the river. 

Addressing the function, Yadav remarked that the campaign had achieved half of its goals. “But the road ahead is technically more challenging,” he said, adding that disorganised settlement and drainage system and rampant sand extraction had polluted the river.

He also urged city denizens, at least one person from each family, to participate in the campaign. While recalling his memory of a clean Bagmati when he first arrived in Kathmandu about 56 years ago, Speaker Nembang underlined the need for a strong policy to deal with garbage and other factors responsible for river pollution. 

Over 1,000 people, including officials from the Nepali Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, students and representatives of various NGOs, clubs and locals, cleaned river stretches along Gauri Ghat, Shleshmantak Forest and near the Pashupatinath Temple. 

For the last 50 weeks, leaders of various political parties, high-ranking government officials, civil society activists and general public have been taking part in the cleanup initiative every Saturday. 

On April 14, Chief Secretary Leelamani Paudel and other bureaucrats took holy dips in the river. Various sections of the river, which were heavily polluted in course of several decades, are now relatively clean. 

The campaigners say they have removed about 900 metric tonnes of waste from the river and its banks from Sundarijal to Minbhawan since the launch of the initiative. 

Till date, more than 350 organisations and hundreds of schools, colleges and universities have participated in the weekly campaign.

According to High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of the Bagmati Civilisation, the construction of a 12-kilometre-long drainage, six kilometres on each side of the river stretch from Gokarna to the Guheshwori Temple, has been completed so far.

Construction of a drainage system along the river from Tilganga to Koteshwor and Koteshwor to Shankhamul is underway. 

Effort to revive lost glory

• For the last 50 weeks, leaders of various political parties, government officials, civil society activists and general public have been taking part in the Bagmati cleanup initiative every Saturday 

• Campaigners say they have removed about 900 metric tonnes of waste from Bagmati River and its banks from Sundarijal to Minbhawan since the launch of the cleanup initiative 

• Till date, more than 350 organisations and hundreds of schools, colleges and universities have participated in the weekly campaign, according to the organisers

• Construction of a drainage system along the river from Tilganga to Koteshwor and Koteshwor to Shankhamul is underway

Details: THT