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Plans for cleaner, greener Pokhara

Plans for cleaner, greener Pokhara
In its attempt to make the Lake City cleaner, Pokhara Metropolitan Office plans to set up public toilets in a number of places within the city. As part of efforts to implement the declaration of an open defecation-free area, the city authority is immediately constructing a large-scopes public toilet at Mahendrapool, a central market, with the main aim of catering to tourists. Business houses and a few social organizations in the city have been allowing tourists to use their restrooms, in accordance with a decision reached at a meeting of the metropolis’ executive committee last June. Some years back, Kaski was declared open defecation-free, becoming Nepal’s first district to earn the badge. Since then, the city has felt the need to set up public restrooms. “Now we are going to implement the declaration,” Mayor of Pokhara, Dhana Raj Aacharya, said. Till now, there are only 60 small restrooms available for use. This has been made possible in collaboration with private business organizations.

“But these facilities are not enough for the tourist hub.”

Non-Resident Nepali Association ( NRNA ) is making 60 percent of the Rs 10m investment required to build a well-facilitated public restroom that can cater to a large number of visitors, while the metropolis will foot the rest of the cost. The metropolitan authorities plan to start construction work immediately and complete it within three months. An agreement to build a well-facilitated public restroom has already been signed. Ward-9 office of the metropolis plans to develop an international flag park and a public coffee house close to the restroom at Mahendrapool. The flag park will sport flags of United Nations member-states. The coffee house will offer a taste of local agricultural produce. Ward-9 Chair Dipendra Marsani expressed hope that the new infrastructure will bring in more tourists and contribute positively to the livelihoods of local people. The metropolis is moving ahead with the aim of developing Pokhara as the national tourism capital by further sanitizing the local environment, Marsani said, describing the public restroom as a major need. Pokhara ward-9 office has just destroyed existing structures spread on almost a ropani of land at Mahendrapool by ignoring some local disputes. Pokhara is an area full of wetlands, lakes, rivers and forests teeming with indigenous plants and animals. “So, to protect the ecosystem, we need to keep it sanitized,”  Ward Chair Marsani said.