Iron mine lies useless for five decades

Himal Dhungel

Ramechhap, (Thoshe), June 15:

The iron mine at Thoshe, which once was considered as the largest iron mine in the country, is a useless one today.

The mine, which was established in 1921BS, is lying useless for the last 54 years. Before that, it had been involved in manufacturing arms for 42 years. It was used as a factory for manufacturing weapons for the army.

During the regime of Dev Shamsher Rana, the arms factory set up with assistance from the British government, was manufacturing arms by importing equipments from Sweden.

According to Damodar Shrestha, a local elderly citizen, workers of the factory used to manufacture nine pieces of guns every day.

The iron mine located at a distance of two days walk from Manthali, headquarters of Ramechhap district, was operational till 2007 BS. But immediately after the end of Rana era, the iron mine was closed down.

Although technicians from concerned sectors inspect the mine once a year, no initiative has been taken to restart the iron mine, Udhav Pradhan, a local said.

“We are wondering why the concerned sector is not serious in this regard,” he said. Five years back, a team of Japanese technicians had visited the place. Thoshe, which has a good potential as a tourist destination, has been neglected by everyone.

While visiting Everest base camp, thousands of tourists pass by the mine area regularly, but no one takes care of the place, said locals.

More than 20 mine sites can be seen around Singati forest, located at the Thoshe from where iron had been dug up til some 20 back. If the mine is restarted, it will be help promote local economy, remarked Devshankar Poudel, a former MP.