Print Edition - 2014-05-18 | News
UCPN (M) ‘eyeing’ Pathibhara’s revenue
May 17, 2014-
Local stakeholders have accused the UCPN (Maoist) of eyeing donations and offering at the Pathibhara temple after the party proposed in its district convention that the management of the shrine’s revenue, being overseen by a locally formed committee, should be handed over to the Pathibhara Area Development Committee (PADT) led by party supporter Sajan Poudel.
Currently, the revenue collection is being managed by the Pathibhara Temple Conservation and Preservation Committee (PTCPC) and the shrine’s annual income, including offerings, figures approximately at Rs 10 million.
The party tabled the proposal accusing the PTCPC of mismanagement and lack of transparency but has not mentioned how it intends to address the transparency issues.
According to PTCPC Vice-chairman Ran Bahadur Karki, the funds collected via donations and government grants are spent by the committee in accordance to its master plan for the development of the temple area. The government provides approximately Rs 2.6 million annually to the temple.
Expressing concerns over the allegations of the UCPN (M), Karki said the PTCPC is ready to face punishment if found misappropriating the funds. Adding that the PTCPC built roads, guest houses, dharmashala and other infrastructure for pilgrims with aid from various individuals and organisations long before the temple became famous. He said the committee also electrified the temple last year.
In accordance to the master plan, infrastructural works like widening the temple premises, construction of welcome door and at the temple are under way, he said, adding that the temple had collected approximately Rs 6.5 million in cash and Rs 262,000 through the sale of gold and silver offerings made by pilgrims last year.
Apart from that Rs 507,000 and about Rs 1.4 million was collected from lifelong and VIP members respectively.
Meanwhile, justifying the proposal, UCPN (M) District Secretary Kaji Bhattarai said they included matter in the proposal as it was discussed during the convention.
Chief District Officer Prakash Poudel said they would come up with a common programme within a week as they had already started discussing the matter with stakeholders. He said the final decision on the matters rests on the government.
Published: 18-05-2014 08:58