KATHMANDU, Oct 7: The probe committee, formed to investigate the transfer 32 ropanis of public land at Mahankal VDC in the capital to the private ownership, has recommended forming High Powered Committee for the deeper investigation.
After studies of field books and the maps as well as field visit, the five-member probe team under the coordination of Chief of Land Revenue Office at Chabahil, Shankar Bhetwal recommended formation of a High Powered Committee to investigate the case and for the protection of the public land.
It has also recommended forming a long term local mechanism to save public land from further encroachment.
“As the trend of the misuse of public land has continued unabated and is a complex issue, we suggested forming a High Powered Committee to deal with the issue and to find a permanent solution,” Bhetwal told the Republica. “Forming a long term mechanism for the protection of the public land has also been recommended in the report,” he added.
Government had formed the probe committee after the a investigative story about the transfer of ownership of 32 ropanis of public land at Ward no 9 of Mahankal VDC to the names of various individuals was published three weeks ago in the Republica. Similarly, anti-graft body, Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has also initiated investigation.
The probe team has found that some of the individuals in the area have been deliberately altered their Land ownership Certificate to increase area of the land whereas some of the building has been built encroaching upon the public land.
“The study found that some land ownership certificates has been modified to register the public land to their possession while most of the lands has been encroached upon,” said Bhetwal.
“In course of the study, it was found that Survey Department had provided consent in revising land owner certificates, so our report recommends the new probe committee with full power be formed for the deeper investigation,” Bhetwal added. 6 Number Goshwara Office had registered the public land to the private ownership in the course of updating the land in the valley.
The report prepared by the committee also recommended forming a high level commission to investigate the situation of public land across the country.
“The mandate of protecting public land have been divided into Survey department, Land Revenue Office and there is lack of coordination between them. So the report recommends a Long term Local Mechanism to ensure the protection of public land,” Bhetwal said.
The report prepared by the probe committee has recommended forming a local mechanism under the coordination of office bearers in the local bodies and with the presentation from district administration office, district land revenue office, police and political parties in all the districts.
The report further suggested forming a National Policy on Public Land Conservation basing on the recommendation made earlier by High Level Commission to Protect the Public Land.