International airport across Halkhoria Jungle

Nijgadh Airport and the adjacent Fast Track are going to harm Halkhoria’s ecology much more than those few village shepherds and dry-wood pickers whom Bomjon and his monks terrorized during the times he was staying there, and would continue to do so, if returned.

Why is the ecology-hysteria of Bomjonists so hypocritical

While Joan Stanley-Barker, the self-styled ecology expert of the organization dedicated to the worshiping of the pseudo-religious dictator Ram Bomjon is breaking the public’s hearts with her article “The uncertain future of Halkhoria Forest” on the Official Website of the guru, a much greater ecological catastrophe (than a few tree branches to feed vilagers’ goats) is taking place in the immediate vicinity of the “Dharmic Forest” (as they call Halkhoria): an international airport in the middle of the jungle of Dumbarvana (opposite to Halkhoria) with a frequented highway connecting it with Kathmandu cutting through the Nijgadh jungle (near Bomjon’s Ratanpuri site) is slowly planned and being slowly constructed.

sia_site-visit

Image: SIA (Second International Airport) site visit by Korean investors in 2010 when the airport plan started. This Pasaha Bridge is the entry point to the Halkhoria Jungle, which is a mere 6 km walk from here…(Photo: https://internationalairportnepal.wordpress.com)

Bomjon and his committees and sanghas and BSDS (and those many vague formations which always change their names, leaders and members) are fighting for many years against the right of local villagers to take a few dry-wood, grass, stones or herbs and mushrooms from the forest where they had lived for generations… After he moved there to “meditate”, as we had been told, in 2007, gradually he made the government jungle his personal property,  where the laws of Nepal stop to be applied as soon as one crossed the barbed wire fence raised by Bomjon’s ardent Korean-Canadian devotee, old forever-sponsor, Mr. Moon. He created his own rules,in that secret “kingdom”, which I am describing on this website… Yet apart from his inhuman “dharma” in connection to his victims, he also started to terrorize locals by a false claim that he was “protecting the pristine nature” of Halkhoria jungle against their harm. As I had shown in photos and videos, he and his sangha had been cutting trees and using tractors to bring construction materials to the jungle, depleted the water sources and caused the drying out of a whole lake…

Yet, even if this is well shown on my Google Earth reports, his Sangha (cult) continues to claim that it is those few villagers who come with their goats or pick stones to earn as little as 2 usd per tractor, who are destroying the jungle… Eventually they demonize the Forest Office, which is set up to protect the jungle from being damaged. Joan in her article tries to create a false image that Halkhoria would be preserved if Bomjon and his sangha had the right to take it officially over, fence it all around and continue with the violent and despotic activity which caused that they had been repeatedly requested by authorities to leave in the past….

To somewhat “prove” their claim that locals are destroying the nature (while Bomjon’s “blue monks” preserving it), the article of Joan is illustrated with photos showing a bucket of water with some fish…(allegedly “saved’ by the monks from who knows what?), or a photo of a tractor loaded with stones in the far riverbed… Most hypocritical though is when they are adding a photo showing a tree trunk after being cut: I had shown a similar photo with a cut tree trunk inside Bomjon’s own protected compound in 2012… During his construction, for his houses, Maitri Puja and 13 km fence he needed much more trees to be cut then the villagers ever had seen over many years. Near the office houses of Bomjon there was a huge pile of tree trunks stored for cooking and heating in 2012, and wood-cutters were daily carrying out trunks a few days before his Maitri Puja…

sia_accessroad

Image: access road to SIA (Second International Airport)… Beautiful jungle. How long? Photo: https://internationalairportnepal.wordpress.com

But Joan Stanley-Barker is ready to incite the international online public against poor villagers, while much bigger tree-cutting is taking place just on the other side of the road, in the same patch of Char Kose Jhadi jungles, of which Halkhoria is a part: a big international airport is being planned inside the jungle, to which a modern highway called “Fast Track” would be leading, which had been already partially built, leading from Kathmandu to Nijgadh (the town which is nearest to Bomjon’s birth-place, Ratanpuri,and is actually the nearest town also to Halkhoria, together with Simra on the other Southern side).  The Fast Track itself already needed and will need to cut not just a few branches like Ratanpuri villagers do for fodder, but tens of thousands of trees! Already in the first phase of the Fast Track it was an amount which would bring nightmares to any real ecologist (yet apparently keeps cool the Bomjonist “nature protectors”):

“Along the 29-km section between Lalitpur and Thingana of Makwanpur, 1.3-km-long tunnel needs to be constructed and more than 10,000 trees of 750 community forests would need to be cut.” https://internationalairportnepal.wordpress.com 

Though it is planned to use 80km of land for the project for which the area of the land hasn’t been fixed yet. Although the plan of unsettling the human residence from Dunarwana and deforesting some part of forest there has been ready. http://songsnepali.co/second-international-airport-in-dumarwana-bara/

fast track

The biggest problem to begin the construction work is transferring the settlement, owing the private properties and bring in the forest area under the project.The land that project is going to take place occupied 90% of forest land.Right one their are about 14 hundred 73 houses of squatters settlement. It is very difficult to transfer settlement of 1 or 8 thousands of public. But Forest and Land Reform Minister Mahesh Acharya, Minister Bahadur Rana has made a commitment to help as much as they by not creating any problem while using forest property and providing the detail of private property.

In 2067 (Western Calendar 2011) there was an agreement made by Forest Ministry in which in cutting down of a tree would be paid back by planting back 25.For the planting of those trees the Ministry have to show the place they should be planted. Similarly it is not clear where they are transfer the holy places and health posts.According to specialist there is chances of controversy and obstruction whit transferring the settlement.There is situation where the budget will increase while going through agreement of all sides and forcing is going to create misunderstandings.The Finance Miniater Dr Mahat suggested to finish all the work related to land at first rather than involving on other issues.

http://songsnepali.co/second-international-airport-in-dumarwana-bara/

nepal-east-west-rail-projectfeasibility-study-draft-report-presentation-24-728

 

Image: as it is seen clearly on the map, the SIA airport is planned to be just cross the current east-West Highway from Halkhoria Jungle.  

Are not the ecological consequences of building a whole airport and an adjacent highway cutting through the “holy jungles” where “Buddha Boy” had been allegedly meditating, not much bigger and more serious, than the mushroom-picking old men, barefoot Madeshi shepherds feeding their only cows or a few tractors of stone collected for 2 usd per load, by people who would be otherwise starving? If Joan Stanley-Barker was ever seriously interested in Halkhoria’s ecology, she would understand that tigers, bears, deer or peacocks are really not so fond of the humming airplanes above their heads or that swiftly rushing cars, buses and trucks on a nearby highway to Halkhoria pose a great danger to passing wild animals…

So it is more than clear that such articles as written by Joan Stanley-Barker for the Official Website are not created to promote peace, a tolerant co-habitation with locals and the nature, and not with the aim to really protect the jungle, but to create negativity, outrage on the side of online readers against the locals, and a false image that Bomjon and his cult members are beneficial for the Halkhoria Jungle. The Google Earth images speak for themselves. The efforts of Bomjon and his Sangha are not to protect Halkhoria Jungle and its animals from real dangers. Otherwise they would have targeted also the Nijgadh Airport project and the Fast Track building long ago, with their megalomaniac plan of a rough intrusion into Char Kose Jhadi’s ecosystem.

Yet I must admit that the locals in the area were viewing the project positively, when I interviewed a few of them, as it would bring them a huge development as they believe, thus I don’t have a right to “fight” against their preferences. I just wished here to pinpoint at the great hypocrisy of the Bomjon-cultists, who behave as if they had never heard about the projects destroying the local jungles and animal habitats, just a few minutes drive from Halkhoria. As I myself love Nepal’s jungles and animals, and if it was me, I would not destroy a jungle because of an airport and a highway, I cannot be sincerely positive about this project. But certainly creating conflicts and enraging foreigners against the Nepali locals, what Bomjon and his cult,represented by Joan-Stanley-Barker are doing, would be not my tools to protect the nature…

Yet as always, Bomjon is not brave enough to face the “big fish”, and focuses on the “small fish” – poor and helpless villagers who are not using more natural resources than what is their personal need. They are of course an easy target…

So it is not about the principles to protect the jungle and animals of Halkhoria, which will be dramatically effected as soon as the Nijgadh airport starts to be built a merely few minutes motorbike drive from Bomjon’s “meditation tree” It was never about the principle to protect the nature and animals. Ecology and conservationist sentiments are merely hijacked by Bomjonists and their “jungle expert” Joan Stanley-Barker, as tools to paint a picture about a meditating “boy” who is desperately fighting against the destruction of a jungle with his child-monks in blue robes…

The best picture of how Bomjon is caring about animals is how cruelly he let his horse to die – or killed (?). People who saw that horse a few hours before it died out of its wounds,and those who had seen its photo cynically posted by Sangha on their Facebook pages, could probably hardly sleep after seeing the terrible suffering of that animal… The death of Bomjon’s white horse is a typical picture of his “care’ about living beings. After that terrible event which I did not even learn about for long (as Bomjon had forbidden his followers to inform me about any events) the efforts of Joan to create an image of Bomjjon as the “heroic protector of jungle animals” becomes very odd…

 

SIA-Nijgadh-4

Image: The megalomaniac plan of the “Airport in the Middle of the Jungle” to be built by Korean investors. How many thousands of precious plants, birds, rare protected animals and trees will be totally diminished and losing their habitat… Would the reprimanding of villagers by Bomjon’s “blue monks”, after they bring a few fish for their lunch from Halkhoria’s lake, save all those millions of living creatures from extinction by an airport like this…? The airport is planned also on a historical ancient religious site, the Khat Ghat Shiva Temple inside the jungle, a pilgrimage place of local Hindus. Probably the first time in history will Nepalis sell their dharmic tradition for a hope of material prosperity.

Links about the Nijgadh international airport and Kathmandu-Nijgadh fast track highway:

http://www.nepalitimes.com/blogs/thebrief/2015/03/17/deal-inked-for-fast-track-dpr/

https://internationalairportnepal.wordpress.com

http://nijgadh.com  (in Nepali)

http://songsnepali.co/second-international-airport-in-dumarwana-bara/

 

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2 thoughts on “International airport across Halkhoria Jungle

  1. Pingback: Not seeing the wood from the trees in Halkhoriya | The Halkhoria Times

  2. Pingback: A slow track towards fast-track | The Halkhoria Times

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