POKHARA, Jan 28: The Pokhara Metropolitan City (PMC) has started cleaning the periphery of the Fewa Lake to keep it clean. It also extracted debris produced the Bangladi River. After cleaning the Bangladi River, the PMC will also clean the Firke River and other sources that pollute the Fewa Lake, according to Ganga Lal Subedi, information officer at the metropolis.
The PMC's move comes following the Supreme Court's order to conserve the Fewa Lake to reverse its shrinking size. Today's cleanup campaign aims to extract 20,000 MT of mud from around four ropanis of land. The metropolis aims to launch a campaign to remove mud from the periphery of the lake.
Chief Minister of Gandaki Province, Prithvi Subba Gurung said that conserving the Fewa Lake rest on combined efforts of all tiers of the government. He added that the province would also implement the Supreme Court's verdict.
An 11-member committee was formed under the Provincial Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment Bikash Lamsal to implement the Supreme Court's verdict.
Rajiv Pahari, who has been fighting for the conservation of the lake, has shared some of the ways to conserve the lake.
Pahari believes that the first priority should be demarcating the area of the lake within six months. Of the total 332 ropanis of land from Baraha Ghat to Gaura Chautara, only 109 ropanis of land belongs to individuals. Pahari argues that the government should immediately start acquiring the 109 ropanis of land.
Second priority, according to Pahari, should be removing the illegal structures built along the lake's shores. “Although the Supreme Court has already issued the order, illegal structures are still being built. The most important task now is to stop building illegal structures,” he said.
Pahari also argued that it is equally important to make record of structures built in line with the set standards and whether their owners need to be provided compensation within three months. “We should not make further delay to return 1692 ropanis of land registered in the name of individuals after taking a decision to this effect through the cabinet,” he added.
Further, there is also a need to ensure clean-up of Fewa lake and conduct and start gardening the wetland. “The dam of Fewa Lake has already become old. Since the dam is already in a dilapidated state there is a need to build a one-meter tall dam,” he said, adding that the lake would get a new lease of life if a dam is built between Chankhapur to Mohare and making a provision to send only clean water into the lake.