Fewa Lake Encroachment

PMC failing to implement court orders on Fewa Lake shores

Bijay Nepal 04 Mar 2024
PMC failing to implement court orders on Fewa Lake shores Fewa Lake (File Photo/HimalPress)

POKHARA: Implementation of the Supreme Court’s order to remove land and structures within 65 meters of Fewa Lake shores has fallen into uncertainty.

The apex court issued an interim order to authorities, including Pokhara Metropolitan City (PMC), on June 19 last year, to remove all buildings and structures within the designated distance from the lake’s shores. A division bench of Justices Kumar Regmi and Hari Prasad Phuyal issued the order in response to a writ petition challenging PMC’s decision to reduce the lake’s area to 30 meters from the shores. The full text of the verdict was made available on September 26.

Although the Gandaki Provincial Security Committee has formed an 11-member court verdict implementation facilitation committee, the committee has not made any progress. However, Motilal Timsina, the spokesperson for the PMC, said that they were preparing for the initial phase of ‘demarcation’ works. “The committee is also holding its meetings. Likewise, we are also conducting additional studies,” he added.

However, Timsina couldn’t provide a concrete timeline for the implementation of the verdict.

Advocate Manoj Gharti Magar, who is also a conservation activist, said the provincial government and the PMC were not taking concrete measures to execute the court’s directions. “It is the responsibility of all concerned parties to implement the court’s verdict and take other needful actions,” he added.

One of the hurdles in implementing the verdict was the confusion over whether individuals and businesses need to be compensated for removing their buildings and structures. Although this issue has been resolved now, authorities have yet to begin implementing the verdict.

The apex court has directed authorities to build a green within 65 meters of the lake shores. According to PMC, about 500 structures need to be demolished.

In its verdict, the Supreme Court has clearly stated that there were no disputes concerning Fewa Lake’s area until the 1970s. Consequently, it ruled that compensation shouldn’t be provided for removing structures that were built after the Fewa Lake dam burst.

Published On: 04 Mar 2024


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