Conservationists warn against construction of cable car and resorts in Shivapuri National Park

  • Published Date : August 11, 2019

Conservationists have warned that the construction of safari cable car and resort at Shivapuri National Park, regarded as the lifeline of Kathmandu, would invite serious environmental impacts in the Valley.

The conservationists showed their concern after the government plans to operate cable cars in three places of Shivapuri National Park.

During a program titled “Is it good to commercialize the protected areas” organized by the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) on Thursday, the experts warned Kathmandu will be inundated if the Shivapuri jungle is destroyed.

Senior journalist Bhairab Risal, forest expert Krishna Bahadur Shrestha, botanist Tirtha Bahadur Shrestha and Under Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Environment Kamal Jung Kunwar floated their opinion during the program.

Kirshna Bahadur Shrestha said that Shivapuri is the main source of water for the Kathmandu Valley. Shivapuri has been distributing water to the residents of Kathmandu Valley at cheapest cost. Shivapuri is the most important water resource for the people of Kathmandu Valley, he said. The people of Kathmandu Valley will reel under acute shortage of water if the Shivapuri National Park is destroyed to introduce commercial activities, Shrestha warned.

The main objective of the Shivapuri National Park is to conserve the water. More than 20 years have already passed since the denizens of Kathmandu Valley have been waiting for the water of Melamchi to arrive. He said that if the government becomes successful to bring water to Kathmandu from Melamchi, it could stop at any time if the infrastructure is damaged. So Shivapuri should be kept as an alternative water resource for the Kathmandu Valley, he said.

Similarly, Tirtha Bahadur Shrestha said that the government had protected Shivapur National with a lot of efforts. The government’s efforts will go in vain if cable car and resorts are constructed in the national park. He said that everyone should joined hands together to maintain ecosystem of the park. There is no water source except Shivapuri National Park and we cannot deny this fact. Shrestha said that many species of birds can be found in Shivapuri National which are seldom found in Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Bangladesh and Australia, among other countries. Shivapuri is very important for birds. He said that Shivapuri should be made a special and peace park. The specialty of this park is water, birds and butterflies.

Likewise, Bhairab Risal urged the people to not set an evil eye on Shivapuri to earn money. Saying that Shivapuri is also the habitat of birds and other animals, he said that all the birds and animals will die if the cable car and resorts are constructed inside the park. Risal said that the human activities should be controlled not only in Shivapuri but also in other hills around the Kathmandu Valley. He said it was high time the state announce that it would not allow anyone to construct cable car and resort in the Shivapuri National Park. Risal said that the water source should be conserved at any cost. He said that it is our responsibility to protect the National Park and urged everyone to raise their voice against the idea to construct cable car and resorts in the park.

Also speaking at the program, Kamal Jung Kunwar said that clean water could be provided to the people if the jungle, animals and water resources at the Shivapuri National Park are conserved. He said that the people of Kathmandu Valley will have to face the consequences if the water sources, jungle and animals are destroyed at the Shivapuri National Park. He said that there will be risk of floods and landslides if the forest is destroyed. Kathmandu Valley will be at risk of inundation. Kunwar said that all the forest around the Kathmandu Valley should be conserved to prevent such kinds of national disasters.

Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) has been distributing 3,000,000 liters of water from three different water sources. The residents of Kathmandu Valley will reel under acute shortage of water if the Shivapuri National Park is destroyed. People should not challenge the nature.

Tarai has been facing the problem of inundation every year due to the destruction of Chure. The same problem may occur in Kathmandu Valley if the Shivapuri National Park is not protected on time.