Lack of budget to implement master plan for the conservation of Satyawati LakeThe grand plan revolves around developing the area as one of the important tourist destinations in the country.
Tinau Rural Municipality in Palpa district had prepared a master plan for the conservation of the Satyawati Lake in the fiscal year 2018/19. The plan revolved around developing the area as an important tourist destination in the country.
However, no budget was allocated for the plan to the Satyawati Lake Conservation Committee, which is responsible to implement the project, in the last fiscal year. The provincial government did not release the budget—more than Rs 10 million—this fiscal year either.
“Satyawati Lake Conservation Committee doesn’t have even Rs 1 million to launch conservation campaigns. We have a master plan but we don’t have the money. We have asked the local unit to step in to help us implement the master plan,” said Tilbir Rana, chairman of the committee.
According to the master plan, the Satyawati area is to have two temples —Satyawati Baje and Bajai. The plan states the Bajai temple (the bigger of the two), pathways and a garden is to be constructed in the periphery of the lake. Besides that, the construction of a small temple (Baje temple) in the middle of the lake and water management in the lake is also proposed in the master plan.
Satyawati Lake, set in an area of around five ropanies of land, lies at 1,300 metres altitude. The lake is around 35 kilometres from Tansen, the district headquarters of Palpa district. The lake usually dries up during mid-April to mid-June. However, there are scientific ways to keep the lake alive even during the dry seasons but that will require mammoth conservation efforts from the concerned authorities, said Sunbir Gaha, a local. He said, “The concerned authority should plan to replenish the lake even in the dry season. The lake supports a variety of fish and plant species and their conservation all year round should be prioritised.”
In this fiscal year, the committee collected around Rs 1.4 million from a three-day fair conducted in Satyawati. The committee had spent Rs 511,000 to organise the fair and 30 percent of the collected amount was handed over to the rural municipal office, said Rana. He said, “As we invested around half of the collected amount in the fair and deposited 30 percent of the income to the rural municipal office, we don’t have sufficient budget now. We need aid from the local and provincial governments to implement the master plan.”
The President Chure-Tarai Madhes Conservation Development Committee had also spent Rs 1.1 million for the development of the Satywati area in the two fiscal years 2015/16 and 2016/17. Dan Bahadur Gaha, one of the ward chairmen of the rural municipality, said that the amount was spent to clean the lake, construct sheds, water tanks, fences, roads, and homestays among others.
In the running fiscal year, the provincial government has allocated Rs 500,000 for the development of Satyawati area which the locals and the conservation committee feel is too little given the ambitious master plan. The rural municipality has spent the allocated amount on the construction of roads and other infrastructure. Gaha said, “We will not be able to work according to the master plan this year either. We will make efforts to have the required budget passed and start work in accordance with the master plan in the next fiscal year.”