As many as 200,000 people have been affected as a result of pollution in the Bighi river that flows through three municipalities and two rural municipalities of the district.
And the major cause of pollution in the river is the waste water from the local Everest Paper Industries in Mahendranagar. Since the waste chemical-laced water from the Industry was mixed into the river, many water sources in the area have dried up, said Rajbir Yadav, former Vice-chair of then Hariharpurharinamari VDC. “Bighi river was a part of our life, but now even cattle have begun falling sick after drinking water from it,” he said.
A movement was waged against it and even the Supreme Court’s order to manage the sewage directed into the river was not enforced, said local resident of Loharpatti, Janaki Sharan.
Locals of Chireswar municipality and Laxminiya rural municipality of Dhanusa have also been affected. They also staged joint movements against it but to no avail.
Many people who had campaigned against the pollution in the river are now in influential position, including as people’s representatives. So, if the problem of polluted water in the Bighi river is not addressed now then when will it be addressed?, questions social worker of Loharpatti bazaar Chandeswar Mandal.
Meanwhile, Minister for Industry, Forest and Environment of Province No. 2 has said that the provincial government will alert the industry management toward the matter, and stressed that scientific management and disposal of the waste from the industry must be carried out.