Khotang, April, 5
Locals of Rupakot Majhuwagadi Municipality have expressed concern about destruction of a community forest due to road expansion drive in the municipality.
The road widening work from the Armed Police Force Halesi Battalion to Majhuwagadhi through Kalika temple has destroyed large parts of Devisthan Community Forest.
Locals have gone against the road widening drive as it has depleted natural resource of the Kalika temple area.
Kalika Bhagawati Conservation and Development Committee and Majhuwagadi Conservation Committee began the project for the promotion of tourism and for development in the district. Locals complained that the local government had remained mum on the issue. “The felling of trees will definitely affect our lives,” they said.
Federation of Community Forest Consumers Khotang Chairman Rajendra Rai said the importance of the temple area had dwindled after natural resources in the areas were cleaned away in the name of physical development.
District Forest Office Chief Lok Raj Nepal said that forest areas should not be destroyed in the name of road expansion. “Trees should be felled only after evaluation of the impact on the environment,” he added.
He added that the road was being expanded without meeting the criteria. Meanwhile, District Coordination Committee Chief Babi Chamling admitted that they had made a mistake as they had expanded the road without any planning.
A version of this article appears in print on April 06, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.