20-year master plan for Chure conservation finalized

Chure areaBhisma Raj Ojha (Kathmandu) / June 16: The President Chure-Tarai Madhes Conservation Development Committee (PCTMCDC) has prepared a 20-year master plan with the goal of augmenting in poverty reduction through the conservation of the natural resources of the Chure belt.

The master plan was unveiled today amidst a programme organised on the occasion of the Inception Day of the committee today. The programme is organised under the theme of ‘Chure’s Soil for the Chure, Clean Water for Everyone’.

The master plan would come into effect immediately after the Council fo Ministers passes it. The main part of the master plan includes 10 medium term and 20 long term plans on Chure conservation.

Addressing the programme, Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Agni Prasad Sapkota expressed full support from his ministry in the implementation of the master plan and pointed out the need of coordination among the stakeholders for Chure conservation.

“The implementation of the master plan is vital for the conservation of the natural resources of the Chure region and there will not be any paucity of budget for this,” he said, vowing to remove the encroachment on forests which is the serious issue of the Chure belt.

The President Chure Conservation Programme is under implementation since the fiscal year 2067/68 BS under the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, as a National Pride priority project.

The committee was however formed on June 16, 2014 with the objective of minimizing the adverse impact resulting from the environmental degradation in the Chure region as well as its possible impacts. The budgetary outlay for the programme in the fiscal year 2016/17 is Rs 1.88 billion.

President of the Legislature-Parliament Environment Conservation Committee Janak Raj Chaudhary stressed on the need of more focus on Chure conservation as the Chure hill range extending from east to west was geographically weaker compared to the other mountain ranges in the country. He added that the life of a large section of the country’s population is intricably linked with the water, agriculture and biodiversity system of the Chure hence the need for checking the rampant exploitation of the Chure resources.

Under the master plan works related to integrated river system management, construction of embankment and green belt, treatment of soil erosion, planting saplings in the encroached forest area, collection of water and storage, recharging of acquifers and management of the use of river based resources would be carried out.

Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation Udaya Chandra Thakur underlined undertaking Chure conservation in a holistic manner rather than in isolation. He said public participation and mobilisation is essential for carrying out the committee’s works in an effective manner.

The Chure conservation area occupies 12.78 percent of the total area of the country and comprises of the inner Tarai valleys and the river valleys passing through the Chure region. The committee plans to carry out conservation programmes on 164 river systems of the Chure belt in 36 districts and the programme has started in 64 river systems.

At the programme, the National Planning Commission members Dr Sunil Babu Shrestha and Bijaya Bahadur Kunwar, teh former Vice Chairmen of the NPC Dr Pitambar Sharma, Dr Dinesh Chandra Devkota and Dr Jagadish Chandra Pokharel, President’s advisor Sushil Pyakurel, Rajendra Dahal, the advisor to the former President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Committee chairman Birendra Yadav and member Bidur Bharati laid emphasis on the imperative of Chure conservation for protecting the livelihood of the people living in the region and the Tarai.

Committee member Dr Annapurna Nanda Das shed light in detail about the master plan while the Committee Under Secretary Dr Prem Poudel spoke on the activities carried out by the committee and the challenges it faced. RSS

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