Purifying the Holy Bagmati

The 586.3-km-long Bagmati River, which originates at Bāghdwār Falls in Shivpuri National Park, is considered to be sacred, and the source of Kathmandu Valley civilization. However, this great river contains large amounts of untreated sewage due to the influx of industrial and other waste, with many residents emptying garbage and other waste into the river. In a noble attempt to clean the holy river, the Bagmati Mega Clean-Up Campaign was started on May 18, 2013, during which, personnel of the Nepal Army and Nepal Police, along with members of the general public, gather every Saturday for two hours to clean the sewage from the river. This campaign is now participated in by many corporate and non-governmental organizations and is nearing its 500th week.

The government has constituted the High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilization (HPCIDBC), the main objective of which is to keep Bagmati River and its tributaries clean by preventing discharge of solid and liquid wastes into the river, and to conserve the river system within the Kathmandu valley. Its Bagmati Action Plan has divided the river system in the valley into 5 zones—1. natural conservation core zone; 2. rural zone; zone, 3. peri-urban zone, 4. urban zone, and 5. downstream zone—to effectively address the key issues at a micro level to make the Bagmati river system clean and healthy. The HPCIDBC has the following objectives:
• Construction of trunk sewer pipeline along both the banks.
• Construction of secondary sewer pipelines.
• Construction of wastewater treatment plants.
• Construction of river training works.
• Construction of roads and green belts along the banks and public awareness programs

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