Kaski authorities unsure where to submit Lakes protection plan

Pokhara, December 12

Kaski District Development Committee is all set to finalise a concrete action plan for protection of the Ramsar listed wetlands of Pokhara. However, the authorities are unsure where to submit the plan and where to get the budget from.

Earlier, the Green Forest Conservation Development Foundation was entrusted with preparing a management plan for Kaski lakes under DDC Kaski.

Though the plan is almost finished, Secretary of the Ministry of Forest, Regional Administrator, and chiefs of other concerned offices are in a dilemma regarding the submission of the plan.

Attending an interaction on the final draft of the Integrated Wetlands and lakes Management Plan today, Secretary Krishna Chandra Poudel of the Ministry of Forest said he did not know where the plan should be submitted.

“We are not clear about who will be responsible for the plan, where to submit it, and where to get the budget from,” Poudel said at the function.

Poudel was of the opinion that the concerned authority required to be serious regarding protection of lakes despite the prolonged political turmoil in the country. He also highlighted that the lakes should be handed over to the locals for protection.

Shailendra Pokhrel, chairperson of the foundation, had presented an action plan to complete the protection campaign within five years with a budget of Rs 13 billion.

Of the total budget, he proposed to allocate 31 per cent for the protection of Fewa Lake, 14 per cent for Rupa, 21 per cent for Begnas, 8 per cent for Maidi, and 7 per cent, 11 per cent, 4 per cent and 2 per cent for Dipang, Khaste, Gude and Kamal Pokhari respectively.

Pokhrel claimed that they could earn more than Rs 3 billion a year from Fewa Lake alone, if it was conserved and utilised properly.

The action plan has urged all stakeholders to contribute from their part for the conservation of the lakes that cover 261 square kilometres area.

Meanwhile, speaking at the interaction, Regional Administrator Khaga Raj Baral expressed ignorance about ownership of the plan and where to submit it. He said they required to come up with a long-term conservation plan.

Nati Kaji Thapa, chairperson of the National Lakes Development and Protection Committee, said that there must be clear provision in the ministry responsible for the development and conservation of lakes.