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SPECIAL FEATURE


Monsoon season, which lasts almost 120 days, unleashes torrents of rain in the Kathmandu Valley. The ancient city of Patan – now known as Lalitpur – is particularly affected by flooding caused by blockages in its degraded sewerage system. Renowned for its rich architectural heritage and


vibrant arts and crafts, Lalitpur’s Patan Durbar Square also attracts a relentless flow of pedestrian tourist traffic and bears the marks of damage suffered in the 2015 earthquake.


Rajesh Prasad Singh, a wastewater management


expert working for KUKL’s project implementation directorate, guided us through this UNESCO World Heritage Site and explained some of the unique challenges involved in rehabilitating the old sewerage networks that run underneath it. “Much of the work has to be done at night, and the


excavation itself has to be done manually with a team of archaeological experts on hand for evaluation, especially if artifacts are unearthed,” said Singh.


“The excavation itself has to be done manually with a team of archaeological experts on hand”


Asha Pandey, Chairperson, Tilganga Women’s Group “We’ve been working as volunteers alongside the official Bagmati Cleaning Campaign for the past six years. We’re local residents and a clean river is very important to us. After death, according to Hindu culture, we have to use this water to perform last rites. Our major concern is the condition of the water flowing into the river. We’ve cleaned up the solid waste but we need to have proper sewage management and a wastewater treatment plant that can treat the water being dumped into the Bagmati in the first place.”


Rajesh Prasad Singh


Chiribabu Maharjan, Mayor of Lalitpur City “Patan Durbar Square is one of the most


important tourist destinations in Nepal, which makes this a very important project. The


lifestyles of people have changed, but we still enjoy our many festivals, with community


participation, as our ancestors did centuries ago. We involved all nine wards and city


councilors in the management of this project so we could anticipate some of the social


issues and address them quickly. Our people are very happy that this project is going to be completed soon.”


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