Government allocates Rs 500m for Lumbini Master Plan

- AMRITA ANMOL, Butwal

Aug 27, 2014-

The Lumbini Master Plan, which had been on the cards for a while now, is all set to get a  major boost this year as the government has allocated Rs 500 million for the development of Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its surrounding areas under its five-year plan. The locals have been overwhelmed with happiness following the government move.

While works to repair the equipments and renovate the dilapidated structure of Tinau Hydro Project has been prioritised and is going on full swing, the project is contemplating the repair of damaged machines after the planning commission released Rs 63.5 million. Owing to the apathy of the concerned agencies, the project had not been doing well and was on verge of collapse. However, given the circumstances, the project is expected to generate electricity to full-capacity. The government has allocated Rs 80 million for expansion of 132 (Kilo Volt) KV transmission lines to Butwal-Kohalpur section.

Similarly, Rs 40 million has been allocated to construct embankments along the Danav river under Citizen’s Embankment Programme. Unlike previous years, the ‘Red Book’ issued by the National Planning Commission mentions that a significant amount of budget has been allocated for projects falling under national priority.

In the meantime, chairperson Surendra Prasad Shrestha of Commerce and Industries Association said that they had to be cautious to prevent the misuse of the budget that has served as a major setback in the development of the region over the past years. “We have to unite and seek a solution to avoid our past mistakes and move ahead by learning from them,” Shrestha said.

As stated in the ‘Red Book’, the government has allocated NRs 1,943,648,740 (approximately 19,912,914.58 US dollars) for various development projects in Rupandehi. The budget is the largest, after Kathmandu and Morang, respectively. Meanwhile, 17 projects have been listed under national priority. The list includes construction of Kaligandaki-Tinau diversion project, operation of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bhairahawa, turning the regional Gautam Buddha Airport into an international airport, construction of Butwal-Nuwakot tourism route, construction of cricket stadium in Bhairahawa, creation  of Lumbini Buddhist circuit, Belhiya-Butwal road, upgradation of Siddhababa section of the Siddarth Highway, and conducting feasibility study of merging Butwal and Bhairahawa municipalities into a Metro City, among others.

Meanwhile, significant amount has been separated to expand the agricultural prospects of the district. Presently, only 13 percent of alluvial land used for agricultural purposes has annual irrigation facilities. Among them, the largest amount of budget, Rs 30 million, has been allocated for Bhairahawa-Lumbini underground water resource project. Although the World Bank had constructed and handed over 169 boring plants to the consumers 15 years ago, 67 have become out of use due to the lack of repairs.

Published: 28-08-2014 09:19

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