‘Draft Lumbini development plan’

Kathmandu, November 10:

The Assistant Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yankila Sherpa, has called on people and institutions working for the development of Lumbini, a world heritage site, to work out a strategy so as to make sure that development works continue smoothly.

“Lumbini has to face criticism because of the managerial problems it has been facing,” she said at the inaugural function of a two-day workshop which kicked off in the capital today. People comment on the goings-on in Lumbini because they want problems seen in its development solved soon, she said.

Govinda Chitrakar, member-secretary, Lumbini Development Trust, admitted that the three-decade-old Master Plan to develop Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is not being implemented. He added that works aimed at developing Lumbini are not gaining much momentum due to various reasons.

Kosh Prasad Acharya, director-general, Department of Archaeology, said there is a gap between the general expectations and ground reality in Lumbini.

“Working together with UNESCO experts is very significant because in the past, the UNESCO used to send us instructions which did not not reflect reality and thus, it made no improvement.” Presenting a paper on the linkages of institutions working for the development of the holy site, Kai Waise, a consultant to the UNESCO, said the organisations working for the development of Lumbini lack coordination.

“The holy site, the Master Plan area, the restricted zone, the agricultural land and related administrative regions and the non-Buddhist residents should have well-developed linkages.”