KATHMANDU, Feb 14: The employees of National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) have urged the government to immediately end the existing dual leadership row that has threatened the very existence of the Trust.
The NTNC has been embroiled in a series of controversies after Forest Minister Mohammad Wakil Musalman sacked Juddha Bahadur Gurung, who was appointed as member secretary by former Forest Minister Kiran Gurung, on the charges of financial irregularities and mismanagement.
While the Supreme Court restored Gurung to the post, Dr Siddartha Bajra Bajracharya, who was promoted to the post of member secretary by Forest Minister Musalman, has also been acting as the head of the organization.
At a press conference on Monday, NTNC employees committee that has a backing of the majority staff urged the government to terminate both the existing member secretaries and appoint a new member secretary through free and fair competition.
The committee says the NTNC employees are virtually divided into two camps as a result of the dual leadership.
"It is very unfortunate that the NTNC employees are split into two groups and they are signing two different attendance books," said Ratna Raj Timilsina, coordinator of the committee. "We want this situation to end at the earliest."
"As the dual leadership row besieges the NTNC, reports about some employees being misbehaved and threatened by the management have emerged," said Bidur Pokhrel, joint coordinator of the committee. "This has sapped the energy of the whole staff."
The committee says that the NTNC, which mainly relies on grants provided by some 100 donor agencies, may lose its financial resources if the member secretary row persists. "This is why we want the concerned authorities to step in," said Pokhrel.