Community forest user punished for complaining irregularities
BANEPA, Nov 12: The Narayansthan Community Forest Consumers Group (CFCG) in Dhunkharka VDC-2, Kavrepalanchowk district has banned a consumer from entering the community forest after he allegedly complained about the anomalies in the community forest to the govenrment through Hello Sarkar network.
The CFCG has barred the complainant Ramesh Prasad Ghimire, former president of the Consumer Group, from entering the forest and using the forest products. Ghimire had registered his complaint with the govenrment on the phone through the ´Hello Sarkar´ network.
According to Ghimire, he had complained about the irregularities by the CFCG and arbitrary felling of trees.
“I had complained about the irregularities to the range post and the forest office at Khopasi on several occasions but they would not take any action. So I registered my complaint through ´Hello Sarkar´ and now I have been victimized,” said Ghimire.
“I had thought that Hello Sarkar would keep my identity secret but they have disclosed everything about me and my complaint and I have been victimized,” added Ghimire.
Decrying the action of the CFCG agianst Ghimire, Rajesh Shrestha, a consumer right activist, said, “When the government itself reveals the identity of those making complaint, nobody would come forward to report about wrongdoings and irregularties.”
With the CFCG banning him from entering the forest, this has directly affected Ghimire´s farm and cattles. “He has been forced to sell most of his animals as there is no fodder to feed the animals,” said Shrestha.
However, the District Forest Office said it has no information about the whole episode. “If such an has been imposed on a consumer, we will look into the matter and take action against the CFCG immediately,” said Raju Chhetri, assistant forest officer at Kavrepalanchowk District Forest Office.