‘Chure on verge of destruction in development pretext’ « Khabarhub
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‘Chure on verge of destruction in development pretext’

KATHMANDU: Each day, Nepal’s Chure range has been destroyed in the name of infrastructure development.

The Chure is the most fragile mountain range in the Himalayas spreading from east to west. It is the major source of water, ecology, rich in biodiversity and flora and fauna.

Chure range that links the Tarai-Madhes is the water tower of the major rivers in Asia. But, the over-exploitation of the natural resources has caused immense environmental degradation threatening desertification of the fertile plains, former President of Nepal, Dr Ram Baran Yadav said.

Most of the rivers originating in the Chure range are drying up as crusher industries located on the foothills of the Chure range extract sand and boulders only for commercial benefits overlooking the long-term environmental impact resulting in landslides, flash floods, etc.

The government should impose a ban on the over-exploitation of river products from the Chure range to protect its biodiversity, he highlighted.

Although the government had formed the President Chure-Tarai Madhesh Conservation Development Board to preserve the Chure, the government bodies themselves are engaged in the exploitation of the natural resources of Chure. This has caused immense environmental degradation threatening desertification of the fertile plains, he expressed.

Recently, the government has planned to construct East-West Railway and other 4-lane roads cutting the trees in the Chure range. The newly planned infrastructure is sure to affect the Chure, Yadav stated.

“Earlier, there was a ban on mining in Chure. But after the local government came into existence, they started using the resources at their whim.”

Mayors, Ward-Chairs of the local bodies have bought the excavator, he said, “Their excavators are using to extract sand and boulders of Chure range and around 50 percent of the soil and other water products have already vanished from Chure”.

It is said that more than 2.4 million small and large trees will have to be cut down to build a modern international airport in Nijgadh, Bara. He queried how could it be feasible to construct the airport cutting down the trees?

“In the name of infrastructure development, hampering the environment and ecology and cutting down the trees cannot be acceptable in any way”, he said.

Chure range is the habitat of 23 mammals, 23 highly valuable herbs, 500 different birds, flora and fauna, which are on the verge of extinction due to the different facet of exploitation in the Chure range, Yadav highlighted.

Environmentalists have long warned of irreparable loss if the unabated excavation of Chure continues. Impacts have already been visible in the plains. Water sources have been disappearing and floods have become frequent.

In the last few decades, many forest lands have turned into human settlements across the country. In the Tarai, landless people and squatters have occupied huge acres of land. Though such lands are given to the needy people including those hit by natural disasters, land mafia actually has been capturing the lands, he said.

He added that Nepal’s development process is not on the right track, and stakeholders should be concerned and aware of it.

Before starting any time of development should be considered of ecology, culture, minerals, and environment of that area, which be exploited or affected due to the development.

He said that in the name of development, there is more exploitation which has a long term affect for Nepal and Nepalis.

Publish Date : 12 December 2019 15:59 PM

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