New Lumbini trust veep to review Master Plan

Wants to restore area’s tranquility

Kathmandu, July 10:

The Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) will review the three-decade-old Lumbini Master Plan, the newly-appointed vice-chairman of the LDT, Dr Keshav Man Shakya, told The Himalayan Times today.

Shakya said the Master Plan should be reviewed to “meet the expectations of the of the world’s Buddhist community” and to identify more areas in the site that need attention.

Shakya was on Friday appointed the vice-chairman of the trust, which is chaired by the minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation.

Work on the Master Plan, drafted by Japanese architect Zenji Tange in 1978, has been going on at a snail’s pace though pressure from the national and international sectors to have it completed is mounting.

Moreover, constructions banned in the plan are being carried out in Lumbini, one of the two Cultural World Heritage Sites of Nepal.

“The significance and sanctity of the birth-place of Lord Buddha should not be limited to the three-squire-mile area. We should incorporate other sites if they deserve attention for conservation,” he said.

He also expressed strong commitment to honour the spirit of Tange who designed the plan in

consultation with renowned architects and planners of the world.

Shakya said he will also control the growing number of visitors in the monastery zone. “The idea of a monastery zone in Lumbini is good. But the area is slowly turning into a crowded place like Thamel in the capital. We must do something to maintain the area’s tranquility,” he said.

Shakya said he will also strengthen relations with local Buddhist associations and international Buddhist organisations to remind them that they are indeed stakeholders of the development of Lumbini.

“I want to revive the religious atmosphere of Lumbini as we have seen many years of direct political intervention in the shrine. Let there be more monks, more chanting of peaceful mantras and more recitation of sutras of the Buddha,” he said.

He said his main challenge as the vice-chairman would be to manage the trust staff and their