Nepal | August 09, 2020

Budget crunch hits masterplan execution


Ram Kumar Kamat
Share Now:
  • Some rivers face problem of over extraction of sand, stones, whereas in others non-extraction poses risks

Kathmandu, June 27

Chairperson of President-Chure-Tarai Madhes Conservation Development Board Birendra Yadav said budgetary crunch was the main hurdle the board faced in achieving the goals of the masterplan launched two years ago to protect the Chure range.

He said the President-Chure-Tarai Madhes Conservation Development Board was supposed to get between Rs 10 and 12 billion every year to work as per the masterplan but it was currently getting less than two billion rupees.

“Due to budget crunch, the board, which was supposed to work on 64 river systems in five years, was working only on 29 river systems,” Yadav said. There are 164 river systems within the Chure range.

At a glance
Indicators 2017-18 2018-19
Exports 74.32 87.83
Imports 1,106.65 1,299.80
Trade Deficit 1,032.33 1,211.97

As per the masterplan, the board was required to build dams, carry out plantation programmes and research flora and fauna to recommend appropriate policies to maintain equilibrium in the environment.

Degradation of the Chure range could lead to floods and desertification of the Tarai land and also the border regions of India.

Yadav said the board has involved some academic institutions to know what kind of plantation programmes it needed to introduce in the upper catchment area to prevent degradation of the range.

According to Yadav, the goals of Chure conservation could be achieved in the next 10 years provided all the key measures recommended in the masterplan were sincerely implemented. To achieve the goals of the masterplan, the government will have to implement multi-year crops plan, control wildfires and discourage human settlement in the Chure range.

Yadav said that in some rivers, over extraction of river materials such as boulders, clinkers and sand was a big problem; while in some other rivers, non-extraction of river materials was a problem as deposition of river materials in those rivers was causing risk of flooding in the Tarai region. There are only around 25 rivers in the Chure range that suffer due to over extraction of river materials.

“We need to encourage entrepreneurs to extract materials from rivers where there has been over-deposition of river materials over the years,” Yadav said.

He added that  contractors were not willing to extract materials from other rivers as they needed to build infrastructure for that, which could increase the cost of production.

“Local levels can create infrastructure and also build places to store river materials,” Yadav said.

The board is carrying out its project in 37 districts in the Chure range from Ilam in the east to Kanchanpur in the far west. A total of 12.78 per cent land is covered by the Chure range in Nepal.

Chure conservation expert Vijay Kumar Singh said budget crunch and lack of political will were the main challenges that needed to be tackled if the goals of Chure conservation were to be achieved. “As per the masterplan, Rs 10 to 12 billion has to be spent, but the government is not providing more than Rs 1.75 billion to the project,” he said.

Singh said land use policy that could prohibit people from farming in the hilly areas should be implemented sincerely.

“But the parties lack political will to conserve the Chure range. Besides, the government is trying to build highways through the Chure range which could encourage migration along the highways and eventually increase challenges to conservation of the Chure range in the long term,” he added.


A version of this article appears in print on June 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Coronavirus , vaccines, vaccines trails

Are we thinking about COVID-19 vaccines yet?

It is now clear that for Nepal, like every other country, vaccines are going to have a crucial role in getting rid of the COVID-19 pandemic. What are we doing to source a vaccine when it becomes available?  Many countries understand that every month’s delay in deploying vaccines for COVID-19 w Read More...

Air India repatriation flight crash-lands, at least 17 killed

KOZHIKODE: At least 17 people were killed and more than 100 injured when an Air India Express passenger plane repatriating Indians stranded by the COVID-19 pandemic overshot the runway in heavy rain near the southern city of Kozhikode on Friday, officials said. The Boeing-737 flight from Dubai to Read More...

Government casts doubt on August 17 resumption of flights, rules out complete lockdown

Khatiwada casts doubt on August 17 resumption of flights Requests the public not to panic KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7 The government has ruled out another complete lockdown, the kind that was imposed on March 24. Unveiling recent decisions taken by the Cabinet, Spokesperson for the governme Read More...

War of words hots up in ruling Nepal Communist Party

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7 Factions led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal have escalated their war of words, with Oli's Political Adviser Bishnu Rimal warning party Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shre Read More...

Government urged to guarantee citizenship rights of minorities

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7 Nepal’s denial of human rights protection and government service to non-citizens makes the establishment of citizenship particularly important, especially for marginalised and disadvantaged people, reads a report released by the International Commission of Jurists yesterday. Read More...

Teachers vandalise campus chief’s office

POKHARA, AUGUST 7 Part-time teachers of Prithvi Narayan Campus of Pokhara vandalised the campus chief’s office today, accusing him and the concerned university of being apathetic towards their demands for a long time. The teachers and their organisation, Part-time Teachers’ Association, ha Read More...

World Breastfeeding Week-2020 amidst COVID

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7 As the world marks Breastfeeding Week amidst the COVID-19 pandemic spread, World Health Organisation and partners are focusing on increasing mothers’ access to skilled breastfeeding support, calling on governments to protect and promote skilled counselling, a critical compon Read More...

Sagarmatha Zonal hospital in Rajbiraj. Photo: THT

Gajendra Narayan Singh Hospital shuts down services

RAJBIRAJ, AUGUST 7 Services have been closed at Gajendra Narayan Singh Hospital of Rajbiraj after as many as 34 health workers of the hospital have been confined to isolation and quarantine facilities. According to the hospital’s Acting Medical Superintendent Dr Ranjit Kumar Jha, surgical an Read More...