January 8, 2021: Proving the proverb that “the river returns in twelve years” is wrong, after 50 years, about seven km of the mouth of the Bagmati river has been returned to the downstream area as per the survey of 2021 BS.
Hundreds of people have found land lost over the years by diverting about seven kilometers of the river from Sundarijal to Gokarna. According to campaigner Keshav Prasad Pudasaini, the locals got 1,100 ropanis of land when the river returned to its old course after 50 years.
He said that the dissidents had threatened Bagmati for a month and three days while leading the campaign to bring her back to the old ways. “It took me 33 days to get the land back to its old course. I stayed with my relatives for 31 nights, one day in Nagarkot and one day in Barhabise,” said Pudasaini.
An agreement was reached on December 3, 2008 to return Bagmati to its old course. An agreement has been reached between the then chairman of the empowered Bagmati Civilization Integrated Development Committee, Mahesh Bahadur Basnet, and the then chief of the Nepal Army’s Directorate General of Development, Construction and Architects, Naresh Bahadur Basnet.
After the agreement, the leaders and cadres of the local political parties reached an agreement on March 20, 2008 and the work was to start from the next day. After the death of former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on March 22, the work was started only on March 25. Farmers feared that the river, which was changing its course, would consume 7,000 ropanis of land in the Bagmati field. After returning to the old flow area, the farmers are happy that the landfill has been saved.
Local Shashidhar Pudasaini says that the land that has been paying taxes for years has been acquired by changing the flow of the river. He said that the family was happy with this. Many farmers have regained lost land with the change of stream.
Bridges have been built across nine tributaries in the region to restore Bagmati to its old course. A concrete bridge has been constructed at two places. Suspension bridges have also been built near Dhakal Khare, Maruwa Khare, Banchare, Martyanghat Khare, Nayapati from Thali, Kolamteshwar and Uttargaya.
A concrete bridge has been constructed over the Bagmati River connecting Namgel-Kolmateshwar-Thali and BP Chowk-Bhadrawas. The Department of Roads has constructed two concrete bridges after returning the river to the old flow area. Pudasaini also led the construction of the bridge.
He says that he decided to bring Bagmati back to its old course due to the effect of the discourse he heard while visiting Devghat during the Maghe Sankranti of 2065 BS During the Devghat Yatra, Dr. Due to the discourses of Ramananda Giri, Atmananda Giri and Gyanananda Giri, the farmers have got 1,100 ropanis of land in the river. Even across the Bagmati River, landowners have been paying taxes to the local government.
Delay in construction of Gokarna-Sundarijal corridor
Sun Kumar Nagarkoti, a member of Kageshwari Manohara Municipality-3, says that the right-left corridor has not been built in the area above Gokarna even after a decade of returning the Nagarkoti river to its old course. On the one hand, he informed that the farmers have demanded compensation for the corridor even though the track is normally open.
The Gokarneshwar Municipality, on the other hand, has started levying additional taxes to open a corridor on the river bank above Gokarna. Chairman of Ward No. 2 Krishna Bahadur Pandit informed that more taxes have been levied for the construction of corridors with the landowners connected to the river bank. He also informed that the Municipal Council has decided to raise more taxes as per the letter written by the Ministry of Urban Development to build the corridor.
Settlements are also growing in the area. As the number of settlements has increased, so has the voice of corridor construction. Gokarneshwar, Kageshwari Manohara and Shankharapur municipalities have started joint land consolidation in this area.