Forest Ministry a bastion of corruption, says Matrika

Kathmandu, June 6:

The national seminar on the snow leopard conservation turned into a lecture hall as Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Matrika Prasad Yadav started a non-stop lecture on conservation for over an hour.

The organisers as well as other participants from different districts stood dumb-founded as the minister criticised the monarchy, the army, his own ministry, staffers, conservationists as well as journalists. And the next session of his criticism started after the end of the programme, which lasted till 9.00 pm.

“The conservation in our country is unique in many senses — it is an area of work in which

conservation never fosters but the conservationists always becomes fat and healthy,” he said.

He further said that the conservationists should first realise that in the name of conservation, the royal family only exploited the wildlife and biodiversity. And its grip in the ministry was such that the Department of Forestry had some traces of democracy but the Department of National Park had always been running under the direct guidance of the palace.

He raised question on the utility of the financial assistance so far Nepal has received in bio-diversity conservation.

“Before going in to the lavish expenditure, you should first calculate how much money we have received and how much out of it we have utilised. And, why should you let foreigners work when you have trained and experienced people here?”

He vented ire at the Nepal Army for not co-operating with him and not working sincerely in conserving the national parks. He claimed that the conservation in national parks degraded after the army took over the responsibility of conserving wildlife in national parks.

He then criticised his ministry for not obeying him and not following the norms of bureaucracy. “I wonder why staffers in my ministry only do not go along the normal path. It is corrupt from top to bottom,” he said.

Secretary of the ministry followed suit. “There is nobody to take responsibility of the conservation,” he claimed.

The seminar was organised by Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, Department of Forest and WWF Nepal.