POKHARA, June 4: A land measurement team formed by the government has started to measure land encroached by Karna Shakya’s Water Front Hotel at Fewa Lake.

“We’ll measure the area and identify the encroached land,” Narayan Regmi, chief of Land Measurement Division under the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Urban Development said. Regmi also heads the committee formed by government to examine land encroachment at Fewa Lake. The committee is responsible to evaluate Shakya’s hotel along with other encroached land and submit report regarding its finding within 15 days.

“We’ll be able to reach a conclusion only after we identify the lake’s shores,” Regmi said adding that they’d see if the hotel was within or beyond 65 the lake’s shore. Apart from measuring the encroached land, the committee has collected water sample from the hotel for lab examination and studied its waste treatment plant.

The Supreme Court has issued a mandamus to the government to submit a report on Shakya’s hotel within two months against set criteria. The criteria include finding out whether or not the hotel encroached the lake, reuses waste water after treatment or gives an outlet in the Lake.

In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court had issued mandamus order to the government authorities to conserve the Fewa lake even if it requires demolishing the already built illegal structures.  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.

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.

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.