Bagmati clean-up campaign in 100th week

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KATHMANDU, APR 11 – Bagmati Clean-up Campaign celebrates its 100th week on Saturday. On the occasion, the 28 km section of the river inside Valley will see a massive turnout of people to mark the milestone. A human chain will be formed along the riverbanks, from its headwaters at Bagdwar to its outlet at Chobhar.

The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management is offering free bus service to the participants from 13 pickup points inside the Valley.

Launched in 2013, the weekly clean-up drive has improved the condition of Bagmati and its surroundings. “The support is just overwhelming,” said Chief Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal, a key leader of the campaign. “It’s the public realisation about their responsibility towards their environment that made this campaign successful.”

Although many other campaigns were launched in the past to clean Bagmati, including the High Powered Committee for Development of Bagmati Civilisation in 1995, none had achieved the success as this. Volunteerism has been the key element for this success, says Kishor Thapa, former secretary of the committee.

“Direct involvement of various government and non-government organisations and an unprecedented community engagement in the campaign symbolises the public desire to work towards improving the river environment,” Thapa said.

Every Saturday morning, people have been volunteering a few hours to the campaign which has received support from more than 950 organisations. The volunteers have collected over 3,000 tonnes of waste from Bagmati and its banks so far.

The campaign organisers say they plan to work towards improving the quality of water in the coming days. Meanwhile, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli has urged his fellow party leaders and members to be a part of the 100th week celebration of the campaign.

Krishna Gopal Shrestha, secretary at the UML office, said on Friday that Oli and senior leaders Jhala Nath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal will lead their cadres in the campaign at Balkhu, Shankhamul and Thapathali.

UML Vice-chairpersons Bhim Rawal, Yubaraj Gyawali and Asta Laxmi Shakya, Deputy General Secretaries Bishnu Poudel, Ghanshyam Bhusal, and Secretaries Pradeep Gyawali, Bhim Acharya and Prithivi Subba Gurung have also confirmed their participation.

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