KATHMANDU, June 22: The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is planning to clean Ranipokhari this winter to save fish.
The KMC had sought permission from the Department of Archaeology (DoA) to clean the pond, which comes under its jurisdiction as with all public property having historical importance or structures over 100 years old.
The KMC said DoA had granted approval to clear mud from the pond with certain conditions. “We have allowed them to clean the pond in the presence of our representative,” Chief Archeology Officer at the DoA Saubhagya Pradhananga said.
She said the representative deployed by DoA will monitor the whole cleaning procedure to ensure nothing important is lost. The representative can give instructions which the KMC officials will have to follow.
Officer at Environment Department of KMC Rabinman Shrestha said the mud will be cleared in the winter. “We are discussing with our engineers to estimate the cost of cleaning Ranipokhari,” Shrestha said. He said that pond water needs to be clear to save large number of fish that die every year. Muddy water reduces availability of food as well as reduce fish´s ability to see and catch prey.
PHOTO: REPUBLICA FILES
The officer said the technique used while cleaning Baisedhara pond in Balaju this year will be employed at Ranipokhari as well. He said a large wall of sand sacks would be made inside the pond and the wall will gradually be pushed inside, with its height increasing simultaneously, to shrink the pond while the mud outside the wall is cleared. The fish of the pond will be transferred to Baisedhara pond while cleaning it.
The metropolis had also relocated fish of Ranipokhari to Baisedhara in the past after they started to die due to overcrowding. Every year Buddhist monks release a lot of fry in the pond. The pond has not been cleared for hundreds of years.