Lakes in Pokhara bearing the brunt of pollution

Pokhara– Lakes in the Pokhara Valley of Kaski district have been bearing the brunt of pollution with the encroachment in the recent time.

Nine lakes including Phewa, Rupa, Begnas, Kamlopakhari, Khaste, Guide, Neureni, Dipang and Madi (127.8 square kilometer) of Pokhara were enlisted in World Ramsar list on February 2, 2016.

Though these lakes get international importance after they were incorporated in the Ramsar list, increasing population, urbanization and settlements near the Samsar area have led to pollution and encroachment in the area, Deputy Directorate at the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Department Gopal Bhattarai said.

Bhattarai, who is also the national focal person of the Ramsar Mahasandhi, said that though Pokhara is one of the tourist destinations of Nepal, there is high pollution in Phewa and Begnas among nine lakes.

“The beauty along with the biodiversity of the Simsar area is degrading day by day due to the trend of throwing garbage in the lakes,” Bhattarai said on Saturday.

According to him, 360 species of plants, 40 species of birds and 32 species of starch can be found in the lakes. Ten Simsar areas are enlisted in the Ramarsar list in Nepal.

The nine lakes of Pokhara Valley, Phoksundo of Dolpa, Maipokhari of Ilam, Bishajari of Chitwan, Koshitappu of Sunsari, Ghodaghodi of Kailali, Jagdishpur of Kapilvastu, Gokyo of Solukhumbu, Gosaikunda of Rasuwa and Rara of Mugu are enlisted in the Ramsar list. Nepal is in favour of Ramsar Mahasandhi since 1987.

Presenting a five-year conservation programme to take back the lakes to their original condition on the occasion of ‘World Simsar Day’ in Pokhara on Saturday, Bhattarai said that the lakes will be preserved in coordination among the three governments.

He said that the management committee of nine lakes in the local level will be operated under the local government while the local government will coordinate with the province government.

The province government will coordinate with the federal government, make policy in the province level, formulate new laws, add budget and mobilize the local government.

Similarly, the federal government will make necessary policies, formulate new laws, issue directive, allocate budget and coordinate with the secretariat of Ramsar Mahasandhi.

Bhattarai said that the budget will be Rs 12 billion for the five-year conservation plan.

The constitution has kept the Simsar area in the single right list of federal government while water has been enlisted in the joint right list of the province and local government.

Pokhara Metropolitan City Mayor Man Bahadur GC said that it is necessary to maintain transparency in the policy level in the legal way.

Stressing that the Simsar area should be protected and there is no dissatisfaction of any one for the same, GC said that as the Simsar area is under the federal government, local government cannot work as per its wish.

Saying that the province government is implementing the Supreme Court’s order for the conservation of the Phewa Lake, GC said that the work of extracting mud and garbage from the lake is underway.

He demanded that the federal government should formulate a law about distance and structural height to construct physical infrastructure around the Simsar area.

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