Endangered lake

Published: Friday 15 August 1997

environmentalists have warned that Nepal's Phewa lake could disappear within 20 years time if mindless pollution of its waters and unplanned tilling of the land around it continue. The lake, which attracts 40 per cent of Nepal's tourists, is situated some 200 km west of Kathmandu in the Pokhara valley. Environmentalist engineer Drona Ghimire says that more than 2,000 tonne of soil is being emptied into the lake every year. This is mostly due to the non-scientific farming around it and unmanaged physical development activities, says Ghimire. While the government maintains that it is working to save the lake which is spread over 60 sq km and is about 100 m at its deepest point, soil weeds and non-biodegradable refuse like plastic bottles are gradually covering the lake's surroundings. Environmentalists claim that urban sewage is drained into the lake. Growing demand of lake water for human consumption is another reason behind the deterioration of the lake which happens to be one of the three natural lakes in the Pokhara valley.

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