Construction of martyrs’ park in Surkhet resumes after disputesLocal residents are dissatisfied with the decision to build a park in the forest.
The construction work of a martyr’s park in Birendranagar Municipality Ward No. 4 has resumed. The work had been put on hold because of a dispute between Surkhet’s Division Forest Office and the Environment and Forestry Directorate of Karnali Province.
Initially, the forest office had prohibited the construction of the park in Bhairabh Community Forest (Bhangerichaur) since the proposed site falls under the forestland. The park was going to be constructed in around 75 ropanis of forestland.
Prasant Shrestha, division forest officer, said that the forest office has gone back on its decision due to political pressure.
“The provincial government destroys forests to construct parks. This is not a good practice,” said Shrestha. According to him, around 400 precious medicinal herbs and sal trees have been destroyed in the course of the construction work.
Four months ago, the provincial government had contracted the Rs11.3 million project to Abhiyan Nirman Sewa, a contractor company. But the construction work was on hold due to disputes.
In the current fiscal year, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment has allocated the budget for the construction of the park.
“Work was on hold for the past few months, but now that we have restarted work, we will complete it on time,” said Ana Prasad Adhikari, a representative of the contractor company,
Nilkantha Khanal, the chairman of Ward No. 4, said that all disputes regarding the park’s construction have been resolved.
“The General Assembly of the community forest recently handed over the forest land for the park’s construction. The area is going to be developed as a tourist destination as per the agreement of the forest users group. We hope that there will be an increase in the number of tourists after the completion of the project,” Khanal said.
The locals, however, are not happy with the decision to build a park in the forest.
“Surkhet already has essential infrastructures, including roads and drinking water, among others. There’s no need to build parks at the expense of our environment and forests,” said Rupe Giri, a local.