Enchroachment rampant along highways in the West

- POKHARA BUREAU, POKHARA

Jan 9, 2017-Locals are found to have been rampantly encroaching upon the land on the roadside in the western region for a long time. 

People have grabbed the land of Syangja and Palpa road sections along the Siddhartha Highway and Tanahun road section on the Prithvi Highway and built houses and other structures. With most of those encroachers enjoying the political patronage, the Division Road Office (DRO) is unable to evict them from the 

public land. 

A majority of houses in Malunga, Galyang, Putalibazaar, Nagdanda and Phedekhola in Syangja that lies along the 79-km stretch between Kubhinde and Ramdi on the Siddhartha Highway were built in violation of road rules and regulations. 

According to the DRO in Pokhara, around 7,000 huts and houses in Syangja were built violating the rules. The Road Act-2031 forbids construction of any infrastructure within 25 metres of a highway and 15 metres of a feeder road. 

“The Ministry of Transport has reduced road boundary by up to 6.5 metres in Putalibazar, locals are still building houses with utter disregard to the regulations,” said a DRO official. 

Settlements have been built around Putalibazar for the last five decades, enchroaching upon the land reserved for the road. 

The failure on part of the concerned authorities to take action against the guilty has motivated more people to encroach the public land, noted Gokul Adhikari, a local. 

“The DRO has not taken any initiative to stop the encroachment,” he said. 

Some settlers, who have been there for long enough and even obtained land ownership certificates, vowed to not vacate the place until they are compensated.

Navaraj Subedi, chairman of the Syangja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said people are living in the area for a long time. “The government should provide compensation to the landowners and expand the road,” said Subedi. 

Engineer Prem Prakash Khatri admitted that they were facing problems to evict some of the households with land ownership certificates. “But we can clear the encroached land when the DRO starts road expansion,” he said. 

The problem is also rampant in Tanahun district, with people encroaching road at Damauli, Dumre, Chhirkeni and Bimalnagar areas along the Prithvi Highway. 

Around 100 houses have been built illegally on the roadside land, said Sarswoti Gurung of Kalesti Bazaar. 

While the encroachment is telling between the Kotre-Prithvi Chok stretch of 

the highway in Kaski, roadside land in Baglung’s Naudanda, Lumle and Kande stretch of Bhupi Sherchan Highway are dotted with illegal structures.

In Gulmi, many houses are being built along Ridi to Tamghas road section violating the instructions of the DOR and Resunga Municipality.

Published: 09-01-2017 07:45

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