KATHMANDU, Dec 15: The government brought in a fruits and lime development scheme the other day with an outlay of Rs 160 million. As part of the scheme, it has announced a Fruits Development Project to plant fruit plant trees on the premises of Singha Durbar and ministerial residences.
As mentioned in the project framework unveiled by the National Center for Fruits Development (NCFD) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, a total of 2,500 fruit trees will be planted at Singha Durbar and in the ministerial residence areas. A total of Rs 13 million has been allocated for planting fruit trees at Singha Durbar .
The project says that the major objective of the project is to beautify the environment and increase the productivity of land inside Singha Durbar premises. The project will be implemented by the NCFD.
However, knowledgeable sources said the project leaves one bewildered. Talking to Republica, horticulture expert Bhairab Raj Kaini said its aims need to be precise.
“If the aim is purely economic, this is not an appropriate way to develop fruit cultivation in the country,” Kaini said. “And if the program is just for the beautification of Singha Durbar premises and ministers' residential area a concrete plan for that is what is called for.” He further said the government has to be clear just where the fruits will be planted and how the trees will be cared for. Announcing a program is not a big deal but the implementation is, he added.
However, NCFD said that while planting of fruit trees inside Singha Durbar may sound weird, it will help the ecology of the central secretariat.
Senior horticulture development officer Rajendra Koirala said the purpose is not economic but rather beautification. “However, it might be hard to plant 2,500 fruit trees inside that area.” According to Koirala, there is a lack of empty space inside Singha Durbar .
Most of the land space has been covered by existing vegetation , parking, discarded vehicles and construction materials. Due to haphazard construction work, empty space inside Singha Durbar premises has been shrinking every year. Government officials themselves are troubled by lack of space inside Singha Durbar.
Speaking at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday, committee member Dharmashila Chapagain said every time she comes there she has trouble parking her scooter. “Unmanaged parking and useless vehicles are taking up space inside Singha Durbar,” she said.
The government unveiled a framework for fruits and lime development on Wednesday, setting aside Rs 160 million for the purpose.