Address local grievances

The people living around the Shivapuri National Park spend their nights safeguarding their crops like maize and others from the wild animals in this season as the areas near the Park, namely Mulkharka, Okhreni of Sundarijal VDC, Gagal and Kuinkelgaun of Gagalphedi VDC, Lapse and Jhule of Lapsephedi VDC, Tarebhir and Ghyang of Baluwa VDC, are mostly inhabited by wild life. The Tamang community, a marginalised group in Nepal, is the worst affected by this problem. They have been living under strenuous living conditions for years. Maize, the main food crop of the area, is lost in a huge quantity every year. Also, many programmes like apiculture, sericulture launched by the park management have failed. The locals have also complained that they have received any compensation from the park authority. One problem is that the buffer area has not been identified since the park was built, whereas the park was said to be designed as a “model” park based on people-centred British park model. Experience has shown that the success of any protected area depends on the participation or involvement of the local people in the conservation programmes. The role of the locals in nature conservation should not be neglected. While the locals are usually punished for entering the park premises to collect firewood, fodder and grass, illegal activities

such as hunting, collecting high valued plants like juniper, gobre salla, etc. for commercial purposes has not been stopped. It is urgent to address the grievances of those people who depend on the forest resources for their living.

Mahesh Phuyal, via e-mail

Madi blast

This is in response to the news “Prachanda regrets it” published in THT on June 8. Prachanda’s statement regarding the Madi incident has really infuriated us. As a leader of the party, he must be held responsible for the barbaric landmine explosion that claimed the lives of more than three dozen innocent people. The Maoists cannot keep murdering the blameless people and then keep “regretting” such incidents in the name of “Jana Andolan”. It is ridiculous to regret such a big blunder. In the statement, Prachanda also stated that the cadres involved in the blast have been suspended from the party. But will this dilute the pangs of the tragedy in the hearts of the aggrieved families? The government as well as the human rights organisations must put ample pressure on Maoist leadership so that it is not repeated in the future.

Tilak Poudel, Pokhara

Give rest

I am happy to note that THT has been giving a good coverage of the mountaineering news. It has been regularly publishing various news and stories regarding mountaineers and mountaineering in the Himalayas. Various records of conquering Everest by the old, young, blind, lame, and alike have been made. All these achievements and records leave one to wonder whether the time has come to give Everest “a rest” as stated by Sir Edmund Hillary. This could give time for accumulation of moss in the mountains like Everest, which has been used for 52 years now. It is high time some regulation was put in place so as to discourage growing commercialisation of the Himalayas.

Dorji Tsering Sherpa, Galfutar