Need for equal participation in allocation of natural resources

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Kathmandu, Aug 21: Participants at a programme in Lalitpur today stressed the need for ensuring the full participation of the three levels—local, provincial and centre—in the allocations of natural resources including hydropower projects with the country now adopting federalism.
The Article 53(6) of the constitution says a major priority should be given to the participation of people and local community be provided with special rights while allocating natural resources.
They were expressing their views at a programme on ‘Structural appearance of the development of water resources in Federal Nepal’ held jointly by the Agriculture and Water Resources Committee (AWRC) under Legislature-Parliament and the Resources Himalaya in Lalitpur.
Presenting a working paper at the event coordinated by Prof Dr Pitambar Sharma, a former Vice Chair of the National Planning Commission and Chairman of the Resources Himalaya, joint secretary of the Water and Energy Commission Keshab Dhoj Adhikari emphasised the need for establishing bodies that look after the implementation part of a project plan separately at local and provincial levels.
He also pointed out the need for setting up a basin office that take in charge of preparing and regulating project plan at basin level and a sector that oversees the formulation of a project plan and its regulation at central level.
Likewise, former Commissioner of the Commission of the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Surya Nath Upadhyay suggested moving ahead by identifying the ownership and priority of water resources.
President of the AWRC Gagan Thapa viewed that such programmes would play a great role in helping formulate an integrated policy in water resources and make the Parliamentary Committee more functional.
Also, Lilamani Pokharel, Chief of the Department of Water Resources of the CPN (Maoist Centre), was of the view that hydropower sector has been confined to fragmented projects for want of necessary policy.
Lawmakers like Kashi Nath Adhikari and Sudhir Kumar Siwakoti among others pointed out the need for bringing a clear policy in place to sort out energy crisis facing the country. RSS

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