44 yrs on, man yet to retrieve land occupied by govt
SIRAHA, Jan 4: Usually we hear about individuals occupying or encroaching upon government land but a man in Siraha has been running from pillar to post for over four decades to retrieve his land occupied by government office.
After 44 years, the Supreme Court finally gave justice to Brahma Dev Mahato of Lalpur VDC-8 but again the order has yet to be implemented.
For the past five years he has been visiting the District Administration Office and District Police Office with the court order and landownership certificates of 10 kattha and 16 dhur [0.91 acres) of land occupied by a government office. “I have been denied justice. Where should I go to seek justice,” said Mahato.
In the course of construction of the East West Highway in 2025 BS, the Department of Roads had temporarily used Mahato´s two plots of land in Asanpur VDC-7 in the district for unloading construction materials.
After the completion of the project, the Department of Roads shifted to Lahan leaving three sheds on Mahato´s land. But later, the Area Health Office was set up on the land which is still occupying the land. And despite the Supreme Court ruling of 2007 that ordered the government to either purchase the land or evacuate it, it has done neither.
“I have neither been provided any rent nor has the office evacuated the land, but I am still paying the land revenue for my land," said Mahato.
Mahato is dead on his feet visiting the Ministry of Health and the Department of Roads for the past five years seeking implementation of the court order, but to no avail. According to Mahato, the Ministry of Health has already written to the Area Health Office to leave the land and move to its own newly-constructed building, but the office has not moved.
Mahato even complained with Hello Sarkar, a hot line set up by the government to entertain public complaints, and sought help from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Vigilance Center, but his problem remains unresolved.
Chief District Officer Dhruba Prasad Dhakal however said other individuals too are facing similar problems. "The land occupied by the Area Police Office and the Armed Police Force base camp too are private property. I have already written to the center to start the necessary process to give back the land to Mahato,” he said.