Stakeholders are concerned about various factors posing a threat to the Kaligandaki river civilization. The river that originates in Mustang traverses through Myagdi, Baglung, Parbat, Syangja, and Gulmi and so on.
The river is additionally valued for being the source of Shaligram, a dark or brown dark stone which is believed to have a religious significance.
Speaking at a programme at Kushma Bazar of Parbat on Saturday, the participants said the river had its own distinct identity and features, remaining intricately linked with human civilization.
They demanded the prompt actions to stop an illegal quarrying based in the river. The participants were univocal on making proper utilisation of its natural recourses, without hampering its environmental and ecological integrity.
Kamal Nayanacharya of Muktinath Temple who is long associated with the conservation and promotion endeavors of the river expressed his concern over an increasing threat to its essence and the Shaligram stone.
He said a religious event aiming to draw the attention of national and international community for the urgency to conserve the river has been scheduled to take place from February 21 to March 6 next year in Sarbasiddhidham Panchakot of Baglung.
Prof Dr Jagannath Regmi urged the State to be attentive for the protection of river waters which is needed for sustaining all aspects of human life. “The river holds an additional significance over its religious and touristic aspects and it should be well conserved,” he asserted.
Former minister Bikash Lamsal said the State’s action was needed to preserve the river’s integrity, primarily from Muktinath to Devghat while Gandaki Province Assembly member Bhakta Kunwar pledged to take initiation to conserve the river, underlining the need of also protecting the lives depending on the river.
Illegal extractions taking place along the Parbat and Myagdi sections of the river have threatened the ecological aspect of the river, it is said.
Kushma municipality chief administrative officer Chandika Poudel said the roles of three-tier government was vital to keep the river and other aspects associated with unharmed.