Kathmandu, May 29
The government has set a target to complete the Melamchi Drinking Water Project within 16 months by allocating Rs 5.98 billion for the project in the budget for fiscal year 2016/17.
The government has set the goal of ensuring access to drinking water for all within the next three years, and launched a project ‘Tarai Madhes Drinking Water Reform Programme’ to address the problem faced by 20 districts in Tarai that are deprived of clean drinking water.
Private drinking water suppliers in Kathmandu will be brought under strict legal scrutiny. The government has also pledged to monitor water supply system and quality levels through the budget.
In the context of poor management of the only zoo in the country in Jawalakhel, the government has introduced an ambitious plan to establishing a zoo in each of the proposed provinces.
Presenting the budget for 2016/17 yesterday, Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel said the government would introduce ‘One Province: One Zoo’ project to promote wildlife conservation, conservation education, and tourism.
The ambitious programme plans to establish a national zoo in Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur. This project was introduced in 2009, but the government has not been able to complete it. A budget of Rs 630 million has been allocated for the conservation of forests.
Similarly, a budget of Rs 1.88 billion has been allocated for the ‘President Chure Conservation Programme’, with an objective to extend the program to 26 districts. Similarly, Rs 380 million has been allocated for the development of community forests.
The government has set the target to extend scientific forest management projects from six to eleven districts, and a budget of Rs 630 million have been allocated for the development and management of national forests.
As incidents of forest fires have increased, the government has set a prize for those who control forest fires, and also declared that it would take strong action against people who start forest fires.
A version of this article appears in print on May 30, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.