Kathmandu, February 25

The Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management is preparing to set up soil conservation offices in additional nine districts.

The offices will be set up in nine districts in the first phase and another five districts in the second phase. As many as 14 districts do not have soil conservation offices at present.

According to the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management, the proposed offices will be set up in Solukhumbu, Chitwan, Kapilvastu, Banke, Jajarkot, Dolpa, Humla, Kalikot and Mugu.

Director General at the department Bijaya Raj Poudyal said his office was preparing to establish district offices on local people’s demand.

The five districts that will have soil conservation offices in the second phase are Parsa, Manang, Bhaktapur, Sunsari and Bardiya. Temporary offices will be established after discussion at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and approval from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of General Administration and Ministry of Law.

The department said it costs at least Rs 10 million to run a district level office with 10 staffers in hilly districts and 12 staffers in Tarai districts.

The Government of Nepal had established the Department of Soil and Water Conservation in August, 1974 under then Ministry of Forests in view of the critical situation of soil erosion and watershed degradation in the country.

In 1980, the department was renamed as Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management to better represent its roles and responsibilities.

At present, the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management is providing service to 73 out of total 75 districts across country through 61 district soil conservation offices.