Call to tap into natural resources in MustangMustang consists of barren land and mountains of sand, gravels and boulders, which, if utilised for the extraction of construction materials, can generate huge revenues
Stakeholders have urged the government to formulate concrete plans to utilise naturally stockpiled sand, gravels and boulders in Mustang, stating the district alone can suffice construction needs of the entire country.
Mustang consists of barren land and mountains of sand, gravels and boulders, which if utilised by the government for the extraction of construction materials, can generate huge revenues. Likewise, if the entire crusher factories are shifted to Mustang, it can solve the problem of depleting Chure range, according to the locals.
A few months ago, when the then Industry Minister Som Prasad Pandey visited Mustang, he had queried if crushers factories could be shifted to the region. Similarly, Rabindra Adhikari, chair of the Parliamentary Development Committee, in his book “Sambriddha Nepal” has mentioned the possibility of using the sand and aggregates of the region for prosperity of the country.
However, the government it yet to come up with a plans to utilise the natural resources that are being wasted. Strong wind that howls across the area is eroding such mountains.
“The government must come up with concrete plans to utilise such resources,” said Dhara Gurung, a local businessman. “The state can establish large crusher and cement factories in the region. Specially, the mountains at Kagbeni, Muktinath, Khiga, Jharkot, Charang, Bhusangdhi, Chaile, Samar and Ghiling are suitable for the extraction of sand and aggregates.”
Around 50 percent area of Mustang, the second largest district of Nepal, comprises of mountains made of sand and boulders. “This is the greatest gift to us by the nature,” said Professor Ram Prasad Upadhayay, who has long been carrying out research in the region. “I believe the government must transfer all the crusher factories here. But it has not conducted a study yet.”
According to Mahendra Sherchan, a lawmaker from the region, the government has not allowed anyone to set up crusher factories here as it has signed United Nation’s Environmental Protection Guideline.
However, according to the stakeholders, such factories can be established remaining within the guideline. “In order to make the country prosperous and save the Chure Range, the government must utilise the construction materials available in the region,” said Sherchan.