Decision to deploy army personnel in hunting reserve in limbo

BAGLUNG: The government plan to deploy the army personnel for the security of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is not implemented even after two years of its decision.

The Council of Ministers had decided to mobilise the Nepal Army (NA) personnel some two years ago to stop smuggling of flora and fauna, land encroachment and other illegal activities in the reserve area.

Despite the decision, the jobs for development of physical infrastructure, budget allocation and human resource management have not been taken ahead. However, the NA said that its personnel were ready to be deployed soon after the decision from the upper level.

Conservation Officer at the Hunting Reserve, Bishwa Babu Shrestha, said that it has not taken concrete shape so far, though discussions were held to move the process ahead. Shrestha admitted that land encroachment and cases of smuggling are on the rise in the hunting reserve area.

However, the local indigenous and Janajati communities have been protesting the government decision to mobilise the army personnel saying that the government move was against the ILO Convention.