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New PADT official spells out his priorities

  

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: Govind Tandan, newly-appointed member-secretary of the Pashupati Area Development Trust, the authority tasked with looking after the Pashupatinath Temple, says formulating the second phase of the 10-year Master Plan aimed at preserving the temple, and renovating the temple are his main priorities.

The government had appointed Tandan and Tara Subedi as PADT member-secretary and treasurer on July 9, after end of the the four-year term of member-secretary Sushil Nahata and treasurer Narottam Baidya.

Tandan said he will review the first phase of the master plan, apart from focusing on preservation of heritages and monuments at Pashupatinath.

“Renovating the historic temple is also my priority,” he added.

PADT is mulling over reformulating plans based on the 10-year Rs 2.03 billion master plan that ended three years ago after completing only 35 per cent of its assigned tasks. PADT now plans to introduce the second phase of the grand plan.

The government appoints a nine-member PADT council — member-secretary, treasurer and members — with Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) as its chair and Prime Minister as the patron. Established about 30 years ago, the PADT manages the Pashupatinath temple, which is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list. Aside from the new appointments, the PADT has seven members at present

— Shila Pant, Prabesh Ram Bhandari, Sunil Banshal, Sulochan Dangol, Umesh Kuikel, Ganesh Adhikari and Kokil Govind Shrestha.

Pant and Bhandari represent the Nepali Congress, Banshal represents the business community, Dangol and Kuikel represent the CPN-UML, and Adhikari and Shrestha represent UCPN-Maoist.

Erstwhile member-secretary and treasurer were appointed on NC quotas. On January 11, 2010, a bench of Supreme Court justices Tap Bahadur Magar and Krishna Prasad Upadhyaya had issued a verdict against political intervention in the cultural heritage site.

Former treasurer Baidya said the present appointments are based on the decision of the Supreme Court.

“I am happy to see Tandan and Subedi as new PADT officials,” he added.

In July 2011, then culture minister Khagendra Prasai had sacked a panel of Nahata and Baidya to appoint his nephew Laxmi Prasad Prasai at the PADT. The SC had reinstated them within a week.

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