Garbage, sewage killing rivers in Dhangadhi

Dhangadi– Mohana River that flows along the Nepal-India border is getting polluted day by day.

Only garbage is not thrown in the Mohana River of Dhangadhi, the temporary capital of Far-Western Regon, the sewage of Dhangadhi is also directly mixed into the river.

Bal Bahadur Dagaura, 60, who has been living in Dhagadhi Sub-Metropolitan City-3 for the past 20 years said, “People used to throng in the river to swim, now the river has been filled with garbage.”

Dagaura has been domesticating cows. He takes the cows to the Mohana River to provide drinking water. But Dagaura has been expressing sadness in the recent time due to the increasing pollution in the river.

“All the garbage of Dhangadhi bazaar is thrown into Mohana River. Cows and buffalos can graze in the clean place if all the people take initiative to clean the river,” he said. According to Dhaulidevi Bista, 85, of Dhangadhi Sub-Metropolitan City-2, the pollution in the Mohana River is increasing as compared to the previous years.

Though people perform last rites and perform puja in the river, people have not taken any initiatives to clean the river, she said. “All the people throw wastages in the river. Mohana swept away all the wastages during the rainy season,” she said, adding “Dead bodies and wastages come to the river. No one says anything.”

All the wastages produced in the Dhangadhi Sub-Metropolitan City are thrown in the Mohana River. Not only wastages, toxic water produced from hotels and hospitals are also mixed in the river. There is no processing centre to filter dirty water. That is why all the contaminated water is mixed in the Kailali drainage, said Seti Zonal Hospital Emergency Department In-Charge Krishna Bohara said.

Dhangadhi Sub-Metropolitan City under the Regional Urban Development Project on November 26, 2017 had reached an agreement to construct a landfill site in Dhangadhi Sub-Metropolitan City-2.

The construction of landfill site, however, has been stuck in limbo after the locals of Dhangadhi Sub-Metropolitan City Ward No-1 protested against it. The river has turned into a place to dump wastages due to the failure to construct landfill site in Dhangadhi.

Spokesperson at the Dhangadhi Sub-Metropolitan City Santosh Mudbhari said they could do anything despite knowing that the water laced with chemicals is mixed in the river. “Hotels and hospitals should be allowed to operate the services only after establishing the processing centre. But we don’t have any alternative to stop it,” he said. Not only Mohana River, Karnali and Seti River are also getting polluted.

Conservationists have said the pollution in the Karnali River will affect dolphin and other animals. No one has given attention to clean the Karnali River though it is one of the tourist destinations of Nepal.

The wastages produced from the Chisapani Bazaar is collected in the dam constructed for the Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Project in the Karnali River. “The Chisapani Bazaar looks clean from outside but in reality the waste produced from hotels get collected on the bank of Karnali River,” said local trader Laxmi Ligal, adding, “People who come to visit this place has to close their nose while passing through this way.” Rafting and Adventure Pvt. Ltd Chairman Bishnu Prasad Jaisi said that rafting is being operated from Seti River to Chisapani of Karnali since 2012. The adventure sport has been affected a lot due to pollution in the river.

Similarly, glass and wastages are found collected in the source of Seti River at Kalanga in Saipal Rural Municipality of Bajhang district. All the people have made Seti River and Bahuli Gada as the places to throw wastages produced from the Jayaprithvi Municipality Bazaar due to lack of proper place to through the wastages.

Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment Ministry does not have any plan to stop pollution that is increasing gradually in the rivers of Far-Western Region of late. Spokesperson at the Ministry Meghraj Kaphle said the province ministry does not have any plans and programmes to stop the increasing pollution in the rivers.

“We accept the fact that some rivers in the Far-Western Region are at risk of pollution,” Kaphle said. “We have submitted the Environment Act at the Parliament.” He said that they have made a plan to plant trees under the Clean Environment Mega Campaign from this year.

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