THT 10 YEARS AGO: Lumbini still awaits a new master plan
May 03, 2017 Himalayan News Service
The commitment to draw up an integrated master plan covering sites associated with Gautam Buddha appears to have gone with the wind. The story dates back to December 2004, when Lumibini witnessed the Second World Buddhist Summit amid much fanfare and excitement among people associated with the promotion of the archaeologically important sites. The summit was known more for what it pledged to do by way of promoting all the sites related to the life of Buddha than anything else. On top was the commitment to have an integrated master plan encompassing over five dozen sites linked to the life and times of Buddha. Top among the sites to be covered were the palace of Suddhodhan in Tilaurakot, Kudan, Sagarhawa, Sisaniya, Arorakot, Pipari. These places are linked to the Lumbini Garden, the most revered of the surrounding sites. The summit, inaugurated by king Gyanendra amid international glitter, had felt the need to draw up the integrated master plan. “The summit had proposed to draw an integrated master plan, but the process of drawing it up has not kicked off,” Nabin Chitrakar, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Lumbini Development Trust, said. At least 19 reports on Lumbini were prepared between 1971 and 2000, but recommendations made in the report have not been implemented. “We need somebody to read old reports. Rather than devising new plans, we should focus on implementing the suggestions made in the old reports,” he said.