The government will launch special programmes to revive the rivers in Kathmandu valley to their condition about 50 years ago, a high-level government panel told the Supreme Court (SC) Wednesday.
The panel led by secretary at the Council of Ministers Trilochan Uprety, presented its plan to clean the rivers and create suitable living conditions for aquatic plants and animals within five years at a SC hearing Wednesday.
The government had formed the panel after repeated SC directives to revive the valley rivers. It includes secretaries from the local development ministry, physical planning and works ministry, environment ministry and Kathmandu metropolitan city.
According to the plan, the government will construct six large and 28 small water treatment plants at various places in the valley to clean the rivers, free the rivers from any kind of encroachments and plant trees on the river banks as well as the hills around their origins.
It will also introduce laws and regulations to make the construction of a septic tank compulsory while constructing a house, office or any other building to prevent the trend of connecting sewage pipes directly to the rivers.
To feed the rivers during dry season, when the rivers look no more than drainages, the government plans to construct a large reservoir in Sundarijal and collect water in the rainy season.
A detailed feasibility study will be carried out in the first year, and the plans will be implemented in the next four years, the panel has told the court. The panel has estimated the cost of the programmes to be about Rs 16 billion.
The government will earmark Rs 4 billion each year for the next four years, even if the Indian government does not provide the aid as promised, the panel said.