Capital

Over 100,000 people join river clean-up drive

- ANUP OJHA & PRAGATI SHAHI, KATHMANDU
Over 100,000 people join river clean-up drive

Apr 12, 2015-

Over 100,000 people representing almost all walks of life participated in a campaign organised to clean the Bagmati river in the Capital on Saturday.

The participants also formed a 56 kilometre human chain to mark the 100th weekly event of the Clean Bagmati Campaign on Saturday morning. The programme was organised to create awareness on keeping the river clean by not dumping waste and sewerage into it.

Participants, including Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, Constituent Assembly Chairman Subash Nembang, Cabinet ministers, Chief Secretary Leela

Mani Paudyal, high-level government officials and security personnel, as well as representatives from development partners, non-government organisations, corporate houses, artists, banking and financial institutions, local communities, clubs and students lined up along the both sides of the 28 kilometre stretch of the river from Sundarijal to Chobhar.

“We are overwhelmed by the huge participation in the campaign that is aimed at drawing attention towards the sad state of the holy river and encouraging people to improve its condition,” said Paudyal, one of the key members leading the drive since its launch in May, 2013. He said the campaign will continue beyond the 100th week and focus on improving the quality of the water flowing in the river.

Addressing the event, PM Koirala said the campaign has exemplified the importance of public participation in protecting the river and local environment. “Nothing is impossible if there is strong determination and public attention,” he said.

According to Gajendra Thakur, coordinator of the Saturday’s programme and secretary at the Water and Energy Commission’s Secretariat, the clean-up drive has been successful in creating awareness, drawing attention of the general public as well the authorities concerned and most importantly in removing almost around 90 percent of solid waste from the river.

“Now our attempts will focus on improving the physical, biological and chemical aspects of its water through effective interventions like constructing sewerage lines, establishing and reinventing the existing waste water treatment plants and ensuring release of water to let the river flow in its natural course,”Thakur said.

On Saturday alone, around 96 metric tonnes of solid waste, the highest quantity in a single event, was removed from the river. So far, over 3,000 metric tonnes of waste has been removed the river during campaign.

To support the Saturday’s event, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management had provided free bus services to participants from 13 locations in the Valley.

Published: 12-04-2015 09:20

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