Panel for eco-degradation in Chure

KATHMANDU: The parliamentary committee on natural resources today formed a 13-member sub-committee headed by lawmaker Chandradev Joshi to study the impact of removal of boulders, pebbles and sand from the Chure-Bhavar region and their export to India.

Santosh Nepal, Dr Rabi Raj Sharma Aryal and Akhileshwor Lal Karna will give expert advice to the sub-committee that will submit its report within two months of commencing work. A meeting chaired by committee head Shanta Chaudhary formed the sub-panel in this regard.

Environmentalists and lawmakers have been raising concerns about the haphazard exploitation of natural

resources, undermining the importance of the biodiversity, ecology and the sensitivity of the Chure-Bhavar range that help maintain ecology of the Tarai region in Nepal and India.

Committee chairperson Chaudhary said the sub-committee would submit its report to the full committee within two months. The Natural Resources and Means Committee on January 4 had directed the government and its concerned ministries to immediately stop exporting the boulders, crushed stones and sand to India, citing environmental degradation in the Chure-Bhavar region.

The lawmakers and

environmentalists had said over-exploitation of the Chure-Bhavar's range had resulted in flash floods and landslides leading to desertification of the Tarai. They had also said heavily-loaded trucks had been damaging the highways.

Members of the sub-committee include Kalpana Dhamala, Ram Kumar Sharma, Gagan Thapa, Prithvi Subba Gurung, Abhisekh Pratap Sah and Mohan Bahadur Khatri. Abhisekh Pratap Sah had written a note of dissent over the committee's decision to direct the government against exporting the natural resources.

Entrepreneurs engaged in the crushing industry have opposed the committee's decision and have called for reviewing its decision, as the industry was generating fair amount of revenue and generating employment to thousands of people across the country.

The entrepreneurs claim that around 95,000 people would lose their jobs if the government abided by the committee's directives.