DoSCWM gets new director general

Kathmandu, September 28

Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Shankar Prasad Bhandari has appointed Bijaya Raj Poudyal as the director general at the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management. Poudyal was the chief at Biodiversity and Environment Division under the ministry.

The minister appointed him to the post after recalling former DG Gehendra Keshari Upadhyaya from the department to the ministry this week. Poudyal assumed office from today. However, as Poudyal is not from the general forestry sector, officials and employees at the department have expressed dissatisfaction, saying the minister violated existing rule.

There are six groups in forestry — general forestry, soil and water conservation, botany, national park and wildlife conservation, forest research and Hattisar. “It is completely against Nepal Forest Service Rules 1995 to appoint someone not from the general forestry sector as the chief of DoSCWM. The rule clearly states that officials can only be transferred within their own groups,” said a forester belonging to general forestry group and life member of Nepal Foresters Association. “The new appointment has set a bad precedent.”

With the appointment of new DG at the DOSCWM, the ministry has transferred Ganesh Jha to Central Regional Forest Directorate, Hetauda as the regional director. He was deputy director general at the Department of Forest.

Sources said the minister is preparing to appoint Man Bahadur Khadka as director general at the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation. The post is lying vacant since the minister transferred the then DG of DNPWC Krishna Prasad Acharya to the Department of Forest.