In 2016, two Danish students, Oskar Frelin and Jens Hansen Holm spent several months in Nepal, studying the Bagmati River as a part of their master’s theseis in landscape architecture. Their thesis, Healing Bagmati proposed a green transformation of Bagmati River in Kathmandu, Nepal, specifically from Manohara to Bishnumati – a vision of what the Bagmati River could be.
An intriguing premise of the duo’s thesis was their central theme: increased green, human and cultural connectivity through Bagmati’s healing.
Green connectivity with increased parks (green spaces) in urban areas, human connectivity by providing spaces for outdoor activities, and cultural connectivity by connecting people with several ghats, templeas and other architectural wonders along the river bank.
While Frelin and Holm’s thesis presented an interesting premise, and central to this photo feature, it is important to note that efforts to heal Bagmati have been ongoing since the 1990s and beyond Frelin and Holm’s proposed stretch of Manohara to Bishnumati – for example, establishments of parks and open spaces near Tilganga, Gaushala and the Bagmati Cleanup Mega Campaign, initiated under the leadership of then Chief Secretary Leelamani Poudyal in 2013. The cleanup campaign demonstrated immense progress collecting thousands of metric tons of solid waste from Bagmati and its tributaries and laying down sewers through the years. Similarly, while progress is slow, Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited’s Project Implementation Directorate, with the support of Asian Development Bank has completed one wastewater treatment plant in Guheshwari, and is building several more along Bagmati and its tributaries, which will help clean Bagmati further.
Signs are showing that the Bagmati is healing.
Here, Aawaaj News multimedia journalist, Nishant Singh Gurung has collected evidence of increased green, human and cultural connectivity along the Bagmati corridor.