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Prime Minister launches the Bagmati Action Plan

Posted 3 September, 05:26 pm

The Bagmati Action Plan (BAP),prepared with the motive of conserving and restoring the river Bagmati and its tributaries in an integrated approach, has been launched in Nepal on 3 September,2010. Rt. Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Madhav Kumar
Nepal launched the Bagmati Action Plan officially amid a function organized by High Powered Committee for the Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilization (HPCIDBC) and National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) in the Capital.

Since the Bagmati River is linked to Bagmati Civilization,natural beauty and urban development; it should beprotected in natural condition- said Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. He believed that the BAP will be very helpful in materializing the efforts made to conserve Bagmati River system. He urged all the stakeholders to help in maintaining the historical, cultural and environmental importance of the river.

The Plan had been prepared by HPCIDBC, NTNC with technical and financial support of UN-HABITAT Water for Asian Cities Programme Nepal and United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP). It had been ratified as the official framework document for the development of
river system of Kathmandu Valley from the Ministerial Cabinet of Government of Nepal on 11 August, 2009.Dr. Siddhartha B. Bajracharya, Executive Officer, NTNC claimed that it is the first plan of its kind in Nepal, which was brought to conserve river system. He told that it is a
five year project that aims to clean the Bagmati river system and its tributaries. According to him, an estimated budget of NRs. 15 billion has been proposed for the successful implementation of this action plan.The Plan has identified decreasing water flow,degradation of river water quality, degradation of catchment quality, narrowing and deepening of water way and depletion of aquatic diversity as the major problems in Bagmati River system. Similarly, it has identified the discharging of untreated sewerage,dumping of waste along the river bank, sand mining and river bank encroachment as the main cause behind Bagmati River pollution.

Hence, the Bagmati Action Plan has classified the valley into five different zones- Natural Conservation Core Zone, Rural Zone, Peri-urban Zone, Urban Zone and Downstream Zone, in order to address the issues of river pollution at micro level. It has proposed different activities for different zones to address these problems at micro level, said Mr. Ram Chandra Devkota, Member Secretary of HPCIDBC while presenting the implementation strategy of BAP at the launching programme.

The Plan has proposed for afforestation and rainwater harvesting at Shivapuri Watershed and other areas to increase water quality and flow in the river. It has given top priority to onsite sanitation including technologies such as ECOSAN toilet to improve environmental sanitation and reduce river pollution at Natural Conservation Core Zone and Urban Zone.In addition, the plan has also proposed for rehabilitation
of the existing wastewater treatment plants and the promotion of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment System (DEWATS). It has also planned to adopt public private partnership approach for the faecal sludge management in some areas as well.

Apart from it, the plan has also recommended for establishing short and long-term sanitation landfill sites for waste management. It will promote household and community level waste management system, and engage private sector for the management of solid waste in Kathmandu Valley.