MoFSC picks Acharya as new DoF DG

Kathmandu, September 7

The Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation has appointed a new director general at the Department of Forests from non-forestry sector, although several candidates from the forestry sector were vying for the post.

According to a source at the ministry, Krishna Prashad Acharya, incumbent director general at the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, has been appointed as the new DoF DG.

As Acharya is currently participating in World Conservation Congress of International Union for Conservation of Nature, which began on September 1 in Hawaii, USA, he will assume office as the DoF DG once he returns home.

The congress is concluding on September 10.

As per the criteria, the candidate for the post of DoF DG must be from the forestry sector. However, it is reported that Forest Minister Shankar Prasad Bhandari appointed Acharya, saying he wanted a candidate having close ties with the Nepali Congress.

“The minister violated existing practice and due process in appointing the new director general,” the source told The Himalayan Times on condition of anonymity.

The source also said secretary at the forest ministry Udaya Chandra Thakur was not in favour of appointing Acharya, but gave in to pressure from the minister. He also said that the ministry has issued instructions not to disclose the appointment until Friday.

With Acharya appointed as the new director general, Bijaya Raj Poudyal, who was the strongest contender for the post, will is likely to be appointed DG of DNPWC.

Besides, the ministry is planning to appoint incumbent regional director at central regional forest directorate Akhileshwor Lal Karna as the chief of Biodiversity and Environment Division at ministry and incumbent acting DG of forest department Ganesh Jha as the regional director at central regional forest directorate.

The entire forestry sector has expressed disappointment over appointment of DG from non-forestry sector.

Earlier,former forest minister Mahesh Acharya had changed his decision at last the moment when he appointed Rajan Pokharel as DoF DG instead of Krishna Prasad Acharya.

“We are worried about appointment of DG from non-forestry sector,” a member of Nepal Foresters’ Association said, adding, “The forest department needs a person who can manage forests in the country and not someone who is conservation-oriented.”

There were three other candidates eyeing the post, but Acharya emerged as the strongest candidate due to his close ties with the Nepali Congress.