Lalitpur to turn to stone spoutsLalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City (LSMC) has decided to acquire land around source areas of stone spouts to conserve water resources.
Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City (LSMC) has decided to acquire land around source areas of stone spouts to conserve water resources.
According to a research report published in the Journal of the Institute of Engineering by Govinda Poudel, these stone spouts built centuries ago can serve as the second largest source of water, if allowed to operate effectively, as they can fulfil 27 percent of daily demand. The rest of the demand is fulfilled by the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL), private and public wells, water tankers and rain.
Currently, there are 61 stone spouts in the city and 39 of them are in working condition, discharging around 14 million litres of water per day in Lalitpur alone in wet days. According to data, the demand of water in Lalitpur stands over 40 million litres a day (MLD) and the KUKL has been able to supply little over 30 MLD in wet season and around 20 MLD in dry season.
“The municipality has passed a land acquisition policy to preserve traditional spouts as they could still serve as a source of water for millions of residents,” said Rudra Gautam, senior engineer at LSMC.
According to Gautam, water level around traditional stone spouts in Lalitpur has gone down in recent years because of unmanaged human encroachment, which has blocked inlets and outlets of major ponds which feed water to the stone spouts. The concrete-floored settlements around ponds hinder absorption of rainwater, Gautam said.
“We are working on technical details and estimating the financial cost for the land acquisition and will start the process after addressing all the technical aspects,” said Gautam.
Lalitpur is considered to be one of the most affected areas in the Valley where 54,581 households perennially face water crisis and have to rely on stone spouts.
Chandra Subas Shakya, an employee at the heritage department in the municipality, said that although the land area to be acquired was small, there are hurdles galore when it comes to acquiring land, as locals have been demanding compensation. And without reopening the blocked inlets and outlets around the major ponds, it is nearly impossible to pump water into traditional spouts, he said.