Panel begins survey to clear Phewa Lake encroachment

- LAL PRASAD SHARMA, POKHARA

Jun 6, 2018-

 A probe committee formed by the government to investigate into Phewa Lake encroachment began its survey from Monday.

On April 29, the Supreme Court had ordered the government to remove the buildings and business establishments built by encroaching the lake area in Pokhara.

The court had also ordered the government to submit a report on lake encroachment within two months.

As per the directive of the apex court, the committee began its study, starting from hotels built within 65-metre from the lake’s edge.The committee is also studying about the untreated sewage sources that are channelled into the lake. The committee is led by Narayan Regmi, chief survey officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives.

Regmi said the main objective of the committee were to determine how much of the lake’s area has been encroached since 2032 BS so that it can be reclaimed and restored.

The committee members are currently tallying their study findings with the records at the Kaski Land Revenue Office. They are also involved in other data collection work. The committee will submit its report to the Supreme Court within 15 days, Regmi said. The Supreme Court has set down the lake’s area at 2,874 ropanis (6.5 sq km approx). Until 1957, the lake covered an area of around 10 sq km. The measurement in 2007 showed that its area had shrunk to a mere 4 sq km.

On May 2012, a commission led by Bishwa Prakash Lamichhane, the former chairman of city development committee of Pokhara, had mentioned that 86 hectares of the land around Phewa Lake had been converted into personal properties by illegal means. It had also recommended the government to terminate the ownerships of such properties .

The commission’s report also lists the names of over 1,000 individuals who had acquired properties within the lake’s immediate surrounding. According to a report prepared by the Phewa Lake Conservation and Management Office two years ago, as many as 204 buildings have been built by encroaching the lake’s property.

Published: 06-06-2018 07:07

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