Minister hints at replacing board chair of Rastrapati Chure-Tarai Madhes Conservation Development BoardForest Minister Shankar Bhandari has expressed his dissatisfaction over the poor implementation of Chure conservation programme and hinted at replacing the chairperson of the Rastrapati Chure-Tarai Madhes Conservation Development Board.
Forest Minister Shankar Bhandari has expressed his dissatisfaction over the poor implementation of Chure conservation programme and hinted at replacing the chairperson of the Rastrapati Chure-Tarai Madhes Conservation Development Board.
The Chure conservation programme envisaged to protect the fragile Chure region from serious environmental problems, including encroachment and degradation is mired in controversies for poor implementation and increasing political interference every time government change takes place.
Addressing a programme organised to share about the amended Forest Act 1993 on Wednesday, Minister Bhandari mentioned that the development board formed to implement the national pride Chure conservation programme has failed to deliver expected results despite mobilisation of billions of rupees.
“Chure region is fragile and continues to bear the brunt of degradation and encroachment. We have not been able to implement the master plan prepared for Chure conservation. We want a capable leadership to lead this ambitious project to ensure proper conservation and management of the resources,” he said.
This is not the first time that the tiff between a minister and the executive board has affected the implementation of Chure conservation programme. In November last year, Committee Chairperson Rameshore Khanal, along with four board members Bijaya Kumar Singh, Nagendra Yadav, Phurba Tamang and Sunita Singh Thakuri, resigned en masse, citing differences with
then forest minister Agni Sapkota.
Expressing dissatisfaction at Khanal’s working style, Sapkota decided against cooperating the chairperson in implementing the programmes and activities for the Chure region. Later, Sapkota appointed Birendra Yadav as the committee’s chair along with other new members, mostly those close to him and his party.
According to Prem Kandel, spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Minister Bhandari is dissatisfied with the lack of coordination and communication from the board, particularly on the master-plan prepared
this June that needs to be endorsed by the Cabinet for implementation.
The committee, which was asked to update the ministry on the development of the existing programmes under the Chure conservation programme, has not done
“There is lack of coordination and communication. We want to discuss more on the Chure master plan before seeking a Cabinet approval, but the committee is delaying the process,” he added.
However, committee Chair Birendra Yadav maintained that the ministry and the committee had agreed to brief the minister about the master plan soon, but has not received further information from the ministry in this regard.
“We are one of the successful national pride projects in terms of budget utilisation,” he said. According to him, in the past six-seven months the committee has worked in framing policies and programmes, including the master plan and ground-level works. “I am not aware
about minister’s dissatisfaction. We will hold a briefing on the master plan soon,” Yadav said.
New 29-pt directive to improve forestry mgmt
Forest Minister Bhandari has issued a new 29-point directive aimed at improving the management and development of the forestry sector by improving the livelihoods of the local communities dependent on its resources.
The MoFSC has directed its line agencies, including the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Department of Forests, and Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management to come up with programmes and policies ranging from radio-collaring leopards coming out in the city areas in the cities, acquiring wildlife ambulances to establishment of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centres.
Similarly, the ministry has decided to update status of the wildlife gifted to foreign countries as part of improving diplomatic ties, putting plastic ban in protected areas and forests, stepping up security measures inside the protected areas and ensure the use of renewable energy for lightening and cooking purposes in all the security posts.