'Implement Bishwaprakash Lamichhane report'

Dismantle illegal structures on Fewa shores: SC


The report has determined the Fewa lake's total area as 12,874 ropani, 2 ana, 3 paisa [6,503,779.05 square meters] and set four boundaries -- dam side in the east; Morebagar in the west; Kharpoudi-Chankhapur in the north; and Chisapani-Raniban in the south. The report also states that out of the total, the water occupied area is 9955 ropani, 6 ana, 2 paisa, 3 dam; wetland area is 652 ropani and 12 ana; agricultural land is 2101 ropani and 1 paisa; and waste land is 165 ropani.

KATHMANDU, April 30: In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court has issued mandamus order to the government authorities to conserve the Fewa lake even if it requires demolishing the already built illegal strucutres.  

A division bench of justices Om Prakash Mishra and Sapana Pradhan Malla issued the order on Sunday, passing verdict on all six separate writ petitions filed over the past seven years in connection with Fewa lake conservation.

Republica had run a series of stories against the encroachment of Fewa lake as social activists had been launching campaigns for the conservation of the scenic lake in the tourist city of Pokhara. The apex court directed the government authorities concerned to protect the area within 65 meters from the edge of the lake. The court has ordered the authorities to demolish the structures erected on the lake's land and pay compenastion for only those structures that were erected legally.

"Let's implement the report prepared by a study committee led by Bishwaprakash Lamichhane," the bench said. Seeking the implementation of the report to protect the site, writ petitioners have sought the apex court's order to the authorities -- Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers; Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Construction; Land Revenue Office, Kaski; Survey Office, Kaski; National Lake Conservation Committee, Kathmandu; and Pokhara Valley Town Development Committee -- to work for the protection of the lake.

Likewise, in response to a writ petition filed by advocate Bhagawati Pahari, the court order has also nullified a plan to construct a cable car to the Tal Bahari temple, which stands on a small island in the lake . Meanwhile, a writ petition lodged by another group of people including Dharam Bahadur Lamichhane seeking the court's permission to construct a cable car has been annulled.

The court has also ordered the government to protect the Raniban area and protect's the lake's flora and fauna. In response to a writ petition filed by advocate Khagendra Subedi, the apex court has ordered the government to form a high-level committee to determine whether the Park Village Restaurant constructed near the lake has encroached the lake's land and whether the restaurant has been polluting the local environment.

The apex court has ordered the authorities to protect the lake on the basis of the Lamichhane committee's report, which had given a 9-point recommendation to the government. The report has determined the Fewa lake's total area as 12,874 ropani, 2 ana, 3 paisa [6,503,779.05 square meters] and set four boundaries -- dam side in the east; Morebagar in the west; Kharpoudi-Chankhapur in the north; and Chisapani-Raniban in the south. The report also states that out of the total, the water occupied area is 9955 ropani, 6 ana, 2 paisa, 3 dam; wetland area is 652 ropani and 12 ana; agricultural land is 2101 ropani and 1 paisa; and waste land is 165 ropani.

The Lamichhane committee also recommended declaring the Fewa Lake as a national heritage and setting up a Fewa Lake Development Authority for its proper protection and forming another Kaski Lakes Development Authority for the preservation of other lakes in the area; constructing Siltation Basin and Check Dam to protect the Fewa lake; protecting the environment by setting up a diversion channel to purify the dirt from the Seti, Bulaudi and Firke rivers. The committee has also recommended constructing a tunnel from Gairachautara to Seti dam.

Stating that the Fistail Lodge was constructed prior to the implementation of the Fewa Lake Conservation Project, the report has, among other things, also recommended allowing the existing building of the lodge throughout its life but disallowing rebuilding it. The lodge is currently operating as a trust.  

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