Nature conservation efforts to go up: Prachanda

Kathmandu, May 4:

Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda today said nature conservation in Nepal will now reach a new dimension, as it has been freed from the clutches of the royal family.

“In the past, the royal family considered the nature conservation sector a matter of luxury and misused the foreign assistance in the sector for their own benefit. Now, the assistance for nature conservation would be transparent and reach the targetted group,” he said.

He said this while addressing the foundation stone-laying programme for construction of research and office building of National Trust for Nature Conservation at Khumaltar.

It may be recalled that the NTNC, which was then called King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, had Prince Paras as the patron.

Prachanda said that the new government would thoroughly investigate into the expenses incurred in the name of nature conservation by different organisations.

Prachanda said the government would also review the present status of different industries established with cooperation of foreign assistance and would formulate new policy for the future.

“From today onwards, there will be no chance for institutionalisation of corruption and every penny of foreign assistance will be accounted for,” he said.

Minister for Forestry and Soil Conservation and the chairman of the NTNC Matrika Prasad Yadav urged the royal palace to return the property it took away from the NTNC.

“Now it is not possible for the royal palace to misuse the trust for its luxury. The palace must return the trust’s property immediately,” he said.

He said it was difficult to break the old traditions and mind-set of the people and bring the trust out of the feudal system.

Chinese ambassador to Nepal Zheng Xianglin said the Chinese government would be happy to support Nepal’s nature conservation and appreciated conservation efforts here.

Earlier, Prachanda laid stone for the construction of the office building. The proposed building is being built in Khumaltar with financial support of Rs 320 million from the government of China. The Beijing Real Estate Group Company will construct it in 17 months.