Pokhara, January 22
Once again, the Gandaki provincial government has demanded its control over the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).
Last year also, the provincial government had demanded the right, but the federal government had refused to acknowledge it. Provincial officials think the central government is reluctant to delegate the control as it would earn millions of rupees in the revenues from the project as there are many popular tourist destinations in the project’s jurisdiction.
Denying the provincial government’s request, the federal government had retained the project under the management of the National Trust for Nature Conservation for one year. To convince the province, it was agreed that a new regulation would be drafted to facilitate the handover of the project to the federal government.
One year has passed since then, without formulating the regulation. Hence, the provincial government reiterated the demand now. A cabinet meeting held on Monday decided to make the demand, informs the Provincial Forests, Environment, and Tourism Minister Bikas Lamsal.
The ACAP spreads across 15 local units of Myagdi, Mustang, Kaski, Manang, and Lamjung districts of the province.
“It was already agreed last year that the project would be handed over next year,” Lamsal says, “Now, the cabinet has decided it. Now, we will manage the project.”