Bagmati river.

Plan to Revive Bagmati River Taking Shape

Bagmati River, which has been a repository for sewage and drain, would have running water even during the dry season. Bagmati River Basin Improvement Project (BRBIP) is all set to complete the first of multiple dams it has planned to restore the holy river’s lost glory in a year.

The dam is under construction at Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, just above Sundarijal. It holds a storing capacity of 85.3 million liters of water. The dam will be used to harvest rainwater and release it into the river when the water level in the river dips during the dry season. The total cost of the dam is estimated at Rs. 600 million.

Director of Bagmati River Basin Improvement Project (BRBIP), Rajesh Prasad Singh said, “We have planned to release 40 liters of water per second during the dry season.” He further said that the BRBIP is also planning to build another reservoir with identical capacity in the nearby area.

Once the dam comes into operation, it is expected to spring back the Bagmati River into life. “We are hopeful adding water to Bagmati will revive the lost aquatic life,” said Singh.

However, this is not the first time that the idea of pumping water into rapidly-drying Bagmati River has been tried. In 2015, the Ministry of Urban Development had announced that certain amount of water pumped by the Melamchi Water Supply Project would be released into Bagmati River. But, the plan did not see the light of the day.

Officials said the water supplied in the treatment plan in Sundarijal for the trial period would be released into Bagmati to clean the river. The government targets to pump water from Melamchi River to the Capital sometimes between October and September this year.

The Melamchi Water Supply Project has laid 533 kilometers of pipeline in Kathmandu Valley out of the total 670 kilometers until now.

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