Rampur (Palpa), March 15: With the advent of the Spring Season to be featured with the blooming laligurans (rhododendron), the national flower reddening the forests, the hills and forest this time are no more colourful. It is because the rhododendron forest is depleting day by day.
The rhododendron forests in more than 20 VDCs of Palpa district are now being reduced, as the people have extensively cut down the trees for firewood.
With sheer lack of awareness too, the community forest of rhododendron, which is also a source for other business as production of juice from the flowers, the thinning is continuous.
The coal from rhododendron tree remains warm for long. The branches and twigs are used for making different devices used for farming as handles for hoe and spade, and man for khukuri and sickle. It is because of these benefits, the forest is thinning, said a local from Khaseuli, Rana Bahadur Nepali.
Among dozens of species found in Nepal, here is the red rhododendron called Patesar in local language.
Dhan Bahadur BK from Rupse VDC said lately the use of Patesar is growing more especially for the coals used in the furnaces where the small weapons as axe, khukuri, and sickles are made and honed.
Hem Bahadur Rana from another Mityal VDC, blames the District Forest Office and Forest Users’ Federation and various organizations that they did not raise public awareness on the importance of the national flower.
The rhododendron flower is used not only to prepare soft drink, but also for medicine.