Drive against Kalinchok land encroachment starts

- RAJENDRA MANANDHAR, Dolakha
Drive against Kalinchok land encroachment starts

Dec 18, 2014-

Following complaints of rampant land encroachment in Kalinchok area, local authorities in Dolakha have started anti-encroachment drive to preserve the area with immense religious significance and tourism potential. “We started the campaign to preserve the natural heritage after holding discussions with concerned stakeholders,” Chief District Officer Prem Bahadur Lamichhane said.

As part of the campaign, a team of 13 forest officials led by District Forest Officer Rabindra Maharjan demolished seven illegal structures in Ghyangdanda. The team razed six permanent and one temporary structure. “The team has served a seven-day notice to halt work on about 90 structures under construction,” Acting Chief District Officer Chandra Bahadur Thapa said. While some locals have started protesting against the move, Lamichhane warned of stern action against people not abiding by their directive.

Authorities said the surge in the number of tourists visiting the area in the past couple of years led to land encroachment in the area for business purposes.

Forest officials said the area is deemed suitable for the development of ski resorts or a golf course to boost tourism. Located 3,842 metres above the sea level and 17 kilometres from district headquarters Charikot, Kalinchok has developed itself as a favored tourist destination in recent years.

As the area offers the same thrill as that of other renowned walking trails, people across the country reach the site to witness the majestic Himalayan range and savour the mesmerizing sight of sunrise and sunset.

Meanwhile, Hindu devotees flock the area during festivals around the year as it carries immense religious significance. According to Sundar Karki, chairperson of the Regional Hotel Association, Kalinchok is one of the must-see destinations for thrill seekers and pilgrims in the district. Land encroachment in the area is said to have gained momentum after a road was constructed in the area a couple of years ago.

Moreover, as businessmen started constructing structures chipping away the hilltop where the temple of Goddess Kalinchok is located, the threat of landslides and destruction of the area has become imminent.

Meanwhile, Kuri, the last human settlement with food and accommodation services on the way to Kalinchok, has also fallen victim to widespread land encroachment.

Published: 19-12-2014 09:20

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