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Symposium on Bagmati River kicks off in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has stressed the need of planned and collective efforts to protect and conserve the Bagmati river system.

Inaugurating a ‘Symposium on Issues and Challenges for the Conservation of  Bagmati River System’, today,  the prime minister  said the Bagmati river system has been affected in the absence of  planned and coordinated restoration and environmental protection and conservation efforts.

The programme is jointly organized by the High Power Committee for Integrated Development of the Bagmati Civilization (HPCIDBC), International Union for Conservation  of Nature ( IUCN) and Asian Institute of Technology Alumni Association ( AITAA Nepal).

The Bagmati river, one of the important river systems of Nepal with high cultural and aesthetic values, has almost turned into a dead river and a negative demonstration of sound urban sanitation system, said the Prime Minister.
Although various national and international NGOs have been working for Bagmati river with a number of good programmes such as cleanup campaign, plantation and awareness programmes, these initiatives have not been adequate to produce physically visible and significant impacts, he added.

Calling for implementing the Bagmati Action Plan (BAP, 2009- 14) with a new vision by HPCIDBC, the prime minister  pledged to support and cooperate with the initiatives to protect and restore the Bagmati river. (To be continued)

Also speaking on the occasion, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission, Deependra Bahadur Chhetri said the human civilization was begun and developed on the river banks. The concept of integrated river development was brought in with a view to keeping the rivers in the Kathmandu valley clean, he said.

Likewise, Chief Secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire said rapid urbanization, sewage disposal, unplanned human settlements and sand excavation are the main causes of the river pollution. The Committee has paid special attention towards conserving the Bagmati river system and its civilization, added the Chief Secretary.

Likewise, Committee Chairman Mahesh Bahadur Basnet said that tasks of demarcation of river from Pashupati to Balkhu, and transplantation of saplings and constructing parks on the river banks will be carried out within the next two years.

The Committee has a plan to construct water harvesting and processing center with a support from the Asian Development Bank to increase water flow in winter as well, he said.

Around 150 participants including high level representatives from different government agencies, national and international non-government organizations, academicians, consultants, stakeholders from private sector and media took part in the programme.

Paper presentations on ‘Concept of Watershed Management of Bagmati River System’, ‘Encroachment Control and Defining River Alignment’ and ‘Conceptual Plan of Wastewater Management in the Kathmandu Valley’ by experts was taken place during the programme.

The objective of the seminar was to develop appropriate concept for making the Bagmati river system lively and valued by all. RSS

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