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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Natural history museum at TU

It is expected to be completed in five years

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: Two decades of effort seem to be finally bearing fruit. The country’s biggest natural history museum is being set up on the premises of Tribhuvan University (TU), Kirtipur within five years.

Natural History Museum (NHM) with more than 55,000 specimens, including 60 per cent flora and fauna of Nepal is located at Swoyambhu. However, the museum building is in a sorry state.

“We are in the process of designing the museum, which will be established as an international standard heritage of the country known for its biodiversity,” said Prof Keshab Shrestha, chief of NHM. “Construction of the museum will begin this fiscal,” he said.

TU, which provided about 200 ropani land for the museum about 12 years ago, had approved the plan to establish it two decades ago. However, the plan suffered due to government apathy and non-allocation of budget.

The government has allocated Rs 8 million for construction in the current fiscal, said Shrestha. “It has been estimated to cost about Rs 1 billion to complete the museum. We have planned to complete it within five years,” he said.

The museum will be erected at Golden Jubilee Park of TU with modern facilities and equipment to attract international researchers, scientists, tourists and students as well as local visitors. “The museum will contain all flora and fauna of tarai, hills, mountains, valleys, gorges of Nepal and the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region,” said Shrestha.

The preliminary design of the museum is being prepared in coordination with Astra Development Construction. German professors are designing the museum, according to NHM. “We are going to call tender in the near future as soon as TU okays our files,” said Shrestha. The museum will help develop flora and fauna parks on all TU premises spread over thousands of hectares of land.

The museum has a gallery for permanent exhibition of acquired specimens. It will be open on all working days. Special exhibitions will also be organised on occasions such as Education Day, Environment Day, Shree Panchami and Buddha Jayanti.

Special attractions of the museum are butterflies, moths, insects, amphibians, frogs, crocodiles, snakes, lizards and different birds and mammals.

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