House committee mulls anti-deforestation step

KATHMANDU: The Parliamentary committee on Natural Resources and Means today discussed with the minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Deepak Bohara, Secretary Yubaraj Bhusal and the Director General of Department of Forest Madhav Acharya the rampant deforestation in the Tarai district of late.

“The deforestation is

increasing mainly in the Tarai districts so we are mulling deforestation issues,” said Shanta Chaudhary, President of the committee.

Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) Deepak Bohara said that the deforestation was due to lack of human and financial resources in the ministry.

“We have inadequate human resources. A nominal budget has been allocated for the ministry for patrolling and very few vehicles are there in the offices under the ministry,” said Bohara, explaining to the committee today.

According to the ministry, the posts of around 300 armed forest guards, 500 non-armed guards and other low profile staffs are vacant at present.

“Such matters were to be solved by the ministry rather than bringing it to the committee. There is a strong bonding of wood smugglers, government officials and politicians which is the main reason for the deforestation,” said Mohan Khatri, member of the committee.

As per the request of minister Bohara the committee has given the ministry a time of ten days for submitting the detailed

report about the forest. “The status of total forest, encroachment, ministry’s activities and the future plan will be included in the report and I promise to submit it within 10 days,” said Bohara.