JHAPA, Sept 3: Newly elected peoples' representatives and local land owners, who recently sold their land to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) for the purpose of fuel storage, have asked the government and lawmakers to deposit the hefty amount of commission collected in course of land transaction in the state coffers.
Stating that brokers found involved in misusing funds from the state coffers should not be spared under any pretext, they vowed to continue to support the government for the good cause.
"We are land owners. They misused government fund by taking three times higher price than what we received as land owners," said Shreeram Marasini, a local of Chararli, Jhapa, who sold his three bigha land to the state-run oil monopoly.
A week ago, a parliamentary committee reached here for land inspection and found out the embezzlement of Rs 400 million in Jhapa alone. "We are ready to go anywhere to provide proof as we can't let those traitors escape so easily," Marasinni said. According to him, a country can never develop if such government organization is not punished for their misconduct.
NOC had bought 23 bigha, three kattha and 13 dhur land in Jhapa and Marasini is among the land owners who got the highest price for his land. He had sold his 3 bigha land to NOC for Rs 550,000 per Kattha. However, the cost of his land varies in the documents of Land Revenue Office where the price has been hiked to Rs 1,351,000 per Kattha. There are 15 more land owners like him who have been the victims of NOC.
Marasini along with another land owner Anil Kumar Gharti have been raising their voice against the NOCs irregularity since the time they heard of the land scam. However, there are some land owners who have chosen to stay silent on this issue. "They have been receiving threats from various people due to which they can't dare to speak against the embezzlement despite being aware of it," Marasini claimed.
Local representatives have joined hands with the land owners by supporting their demands. "Even after having so many proofs against the public enterprise, we will have to do it our way if the government still won't take action against it," warned Krishna Lal Sigdel, chairperson of Mechinagar-13. He also informed that a bank is in process of seizing the land of Luna Fertilizer Factory (LFF) which is attached to the land purchased by NOC. "The market price of NOCs land near LFF is not more than Rs 700,000. So we can imagine what has been done," informed Sigdel.
In a temptation to pocket hefty commission with the help of brokers, NOC had breached its own bylaws. It had tried its best to hide the issue but still it failed to shut the mouths of some daring landowners.