- Published Date : June 1, 2021
Kathmandu, May 31: Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) has opposed the government announcement on lifting the ban on export of construction material like stone, gravel and sand in the name of reducing the trade deficit.
The government in its budget for the fiscal year 2078/79 released through ordinance on May 29 said that the export of stone, gravel and sand would be permitted after the environmental impact assessment.
NEFEJ, however, believes that this decision is environmentally, economically and socially not acceptable, as it would jeopardize the future of already endangered Chure hill region and is a step towards the desertification of this fragile mountain region. It has already been proved that illegal mining in the past years have posed a grave threat on the conservation of Chure region and the decision to lifting the ban would further damage this region.
This anti-conservation step has been announced without any proper scientific study and on the basis of wrong assumption that this would help reduce the widening trade gap with our southern neighbor.
The government has been spending billions of rupees in the name of Chure conservation on one hand while on the other hand it is now taking a decision that would only intensify desertification of Tarai and inner Madhesh, NEFEJ said in a press release. Drying up of water sources and reduction in food production will cause severe impact on the lives of people living in Madhesh.
As this decision could have negative impact on half the population living in Madhesh, NEFEJ demanded the government to withdraw its decision to lift the ban on extracting and exporting the construction material.