In this photo taken on Tuesday, the resort is seen discharging waste water into the canal. Photo: Republica
BUTWAL, May 23: Just a few months ago, many cattle of Tilottama Municipality-15 of Rupandehi district fell ill after drinking water from a canal near the village. Locals said some goats even died after drinking the water.
“After the incident, we have not allowed our cattle to drink water from the canal. If they do, they immediately become sick,” said Sabitri Koiri of Bankatti, one of the settlements of the ward.
Cattle are not the only affected. Around two months ago, the contaminated water from the canal caused an outbreak of diarrhea in the village, according to Sukamaya BK, a local.
As early as a year ago, the locals would not hesitate to let their cattle drink water from the canal, which is used for irrigation in Bankatti, Gangapur, Karma Dada and Amurwa. The water from the canal was also used for washing clothes. Now, however, the canal hardly serves its purpose.
A bulk of garbage is dumped in the canal. The locals cannot go near it without blocking their noses due to the extremely bad odor. Its water has turned black and blue due to severe contamination. The canal has also become a habitat for mosquitoes that carry deadly diseases, increasing the risk of an epidemic spreading in the settlements.
The main reason behind these negative changes is a multi-billion rupees 5-star hotel opened in the village with foreign investment. Tiger Palace Resort Hotel has been continually dumping its waste and garbage in the canal.
Waste materials produced from its kitchen, swimming pool and laundry among others are directly thrown in the canal, locals claimed. An employee of the hotel informed Republica that the waste from the hotel's septic tanks are also dumped in the canal at night.
The hotel, which has been made with an investment of over Rs 5 billion, is supposed to process its waste on its own premises. Instead of doing that, the hotel has been dumping all of its waste materials in the canal to the hotel's northern side.
The hotel is supposed to spend at least Rs 150 million in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. However, the management has completely ignored that.
Before the hotel came into operation, it had promised the locals of employment, construction of a 25-feet wide road and other social structures, providing free electricity to villages. Instead, the resort so far has only dumped its waste in the canal, seriously playing with the health of the general public.