Govt trumpets tree plantation ‘success’

Kathmandu, January 2

The ‘all-powerful’ government led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has virtually failed to  maintain law and order, and address basic needs of people despite commanding two-thirds majority in the Parliament.

PM Oli’s tall promises ranging from supplying cooking gas to each and every household through pipeline to buying ships flying Nepali flag and operating railway service under the slogan of “Prosperous Nepal: Happy Nepalis’ now appear hollow. His government’s below the mark performance in the first year of its five-year tenure indicates that it is unlikely to celebrate success in realising these dreams. Hence, the government is trying to divert people’s attention to petty things from the empty dreams PM Oli sold them.

Bishnu Rimal, chief political adviser to PM Oli, on December 31 took to his Twitter handle to  praise the government’s ‘success’ in planting over 2.8 million tree saplings across the country through official social networking site of Hello Sarkar.

“Progress report of ‘One Nepali: One Fruit Plant’. Plantation of over 2.8 million tree saplings in a short period of initiation of this campaign is significant success of the government. Every one, who showed activeness in this campaign, deserves thank,” he wrote.

In response to Rimal’s post, Rakesh Maithil, a Twitter user, gave a witty reply and wrote, “Prosperity is limited to fruit trees.” PM Oli had launched this campaign on June 5 coinciding with the World Environment Day.

According to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, PM Oli aimed to make the country self-reliant in fruits through this initiative.

During the period, as many as 2,890,919 tree saplings were planted. Of them, 2,316,739 were fruit plants, while 574,180 were saplings of other species.

“Prime Minister Oli has extended thanks to all the concerned persons who were actively involved in tree plantation,” stated a circular issued by the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to all local level on Monday.

Another Twitter user Baburam Gurung questioned, “How many of 2.8 million tree saplings survived? Answer to this question is more significant. If all the trees planted so far in Nepal were to be raised, there would be Charkose Jhadi (dense forest) everywhere.”

Bhatta Mahesh suggested to the government to announce that it would be exporting hundreds of tonnes of fruits to India and China within five years. “Such announcement could be another storyline of prosperity!,” he said.

“As the campaign names ‘One Nepali: One Fruit Plant’, I don’t know when it happened and who planted a fruit tree sampling on my behalf,” Dehati Majdur wrote on Twitter. Sidha Kuro commented on the social networking site, “We know very well that even 25 per cent of the said number of trees have not been planted. The number reflects only on the data.”

Binod Bahadur Kunwar, joint secretary at the OPMCM, said the government had directed the local levels to incorporate this campaign into their concerned annual budget and programme for its continuity and proper protection of plants.