KMC, DoR resume demolition drive

  • action against bagmati river encroachment
- GAURAV THAPA, Kathmandu

Feb 21, 2016-

Kathmandu Metropolitan City authorities have started demolishing illegal structures along the Bagmati River corridor.

A team of officials from the KMC and the Department of Roads pulled down 22 such structures along the 800-metre stretch of the Bagmati in Sahayoginagar. The structures along the western bank of the river were built in breach of building codes and were found encroaching the right of way of the river, officials said.

According to chief of KMC’s Enforcement Division DSP Dhanapati Sapkota, those structures hampered plans to build roads on the either side of the Bagmati and several of them will have to be demolished. Parts of buildings and walls belonging to VS Niketan School, Pentagon College and Bishwa Shanti Bihar, along with other private houses, were bulldozed on Saturday in the presence of security officers from the Nepal Police and the KMC. Rest of the homeowners in the area have pleaded for more time with authorities and promised to demolish illegal structures on their own.

A high-powered government committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilisation is overseeing the preservation of the river system. According to Project Manager Rajesh Prasad Singh, the land survey of 1965 shows that the river flowed through areas where the houses have been constructed now. “More than 76 hectares of land in the 28-km stretch of the Bagmati from Sundarijal to Chobhar have been encroached upon to build houses. The Tilganga-Balkhu section has the most encroached upon area,” he said.

Rules state that buildings can only be constructed 20 metres away from the river banks. The space is meant for building roads and planting trees, but people were found to have registered the land in their names. The committee had brought out several notices in the past, including the one on January 29, giving homeowners a 35-day ultimatum to demolish the illegal structures.

The KMC is focusing its drive to remove illegal structures along the Minbhawan-Gairigaun stretch of the river. The metropolis claimed back a little more than one and a half hectares of land in Gairigaun after starting the demolition drive last year, but the earthquakes in April and May and Indian border blockade hampered the committee’s plans, Singh said. He added that the KMC is weighing a political solution to remove illegal squatters from the river banks.

Published: 21-02-2016 07:48

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