Kathmandu: ‘Symposium on Issuses and Challenges for the Conservation of Bagmati River System’ is organized to develop appropriate concept and way for making Bagmati River System of Kathmandu Valley lively and valued by all.
The symposium program was jointly structured by High Power Committee for Integrated Development of the Bagmati Civilization (HPCIDBC), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Nepal) and Asian Institute of Technology Alumni Association (AITAA Nepal).
The programme was inaugurated by chief guest Rt. Hon. Prime-Minister Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai. He expressed his gratitude for IUCN for taking part in a good cause. “I am happy to see the involvement of IUCN-a renowned international organization working for pragmatic solutions to the most vital environment and development challenges in organizing this symposium”,said by Prime-minister on his remarks.
Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai further stressed the need of planned and collective efforts to protect and conserve the Bagmati river system. He said, “I urge all concerned stakeholders and development partners to provide support for this good cause. I assure you that Government of Nepal will support for such initiatives taken by any institution or individual from its end.”
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. 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.
Country Representative of IUCN Nepal, Dr. Yam Malla expressed thanks for giving opportunity to be part of the team and showed the innovative short documentary on challenges facing Bagmati River System prepared by IUCN Nepal.
Around 150 participants including high level representation from different government agencies, national and international non-governmental organizations, academicians, consultants, stakeholders from private sector, media passionately participated on the program.
The main success of the program was the technical paper presentation and discussion on three different topics. The presentation on ‘Concept of Watershed Management of Bagmati River System’ was presented by Dr. Yam Malla, Country Representative of IUCN Nepal. The other two topics were ‘Encroachment control and defining river alignment’ and ‘Conceptual Plan of Wastewater Management in Kathmandu Valley’. The technical session was chaired by Dr. Jagadish Chandra Ghimire. Several participants enthusiastically participated on the discussion programme. Need of river policy, encroachment control, tributaries conservation, defining river catchments and other several issues were discussed.
The relation of Bagmati River with the inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley in religious, cultural and social aspects is going on simultaneously since the starting of its civilization. The clean and pristine Bagmati River is now polluted by rapid urbanization and sewage disposal. The task to make the Bagmati lively again looks tuff but it is not impossible. It can be achieve with the support and collaboration of all stakeholders.