Gandaki provincial government started an initial survey on Thursday following the Supreme Court’s direction to acquire all encroached land around Fewa lake within the next six months.
After the court ordered the government to take action against encroachers on November 22, 2018, the provincial government formed a committee, led by Bikash Lamsal, Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment, to implement the decision on January 23.
The top court had directed the central and provincial government to evict several resorts and eateries within 65 metres from the lake’s shores. Rajiv Pahari, a member of the committee and also a member of the provincial assembly, said that they have started a field inspection and conducted initial survey works from Thursday. Lamsal, who is the chairman of the committee, said that they will move ahead in accordance to the report of the initial survey.
A meeting of the committee held on Wednesday passed the working guidelines and also discussed construction of pillars to mark the boundary of the lake. The meeting also decided to notify illegal settlers to evict the lake’s land within 15 days.
According to the Lamichhane Commission report, prepared two years ago by the Fewa Lake Conservation and Management Office, there are 204 illegal structures on the lake’s property.
The Commission’s report mentions that 86 hectares of the land around the lake was illegally converted to personal property.
It recommended the government to terminate their ownerships. However, the report recommendations were not implemented.
Fewa lake is a major tourist attraction in Pokhara. Over the years, its size has shrunk significantly. Lake Fewa shrinks every year mainly due to the silt deposited by around 50 rivulets that feed it, geologists say. Back in 1957, the lake covered an area of around 10 sq kms.
The measurement in 2007 showed that its area had shrunk to 4 sq kms.