The Phewa Boat Owners’ Association have started constructing a dock near Barahighat by depositing rocks in the lake without taking permission from any of the concerned authorities. It is mandatory to seek permission from the sub-metropolis and district development committee (DDC) before erecting any kind of infrastructure within the town area.
“The association has flouted regulations by constructing the dockyard without approval from the sub-metropolis,” said legal officer of the sub-metropolis Narayan Prasad Sharma. Moreover, Sharma said the confusion surfaced after it was unclear as to who’s jurisdiction the lake comes into.
“The submetropolis, aware of the ongoing activities, has failed to show concern,” Sharma claimed. The proposed infrastructure will likely undermine the beauty of the lake and affect the environment. Meanwhile, Local Development Officer Ishwor Prasad Poudel maintained that the construction would not be allowed to proceed without prior approval from sub-metropolis and DDC. The association, however, justified their actions stating that the dockyard was being built to facilitate tourists and park motor boats.
“The construction will facilitate the traveling tourists and will not damage to environment,” said Chair of the Association Buddhi Bahadur Nepali. Tourists, on the other hand, were sceptic of the construction and asserted that the dock would ruin the natural beauty of the lake. Rampant unaccounted for activities polluting the lake have posed a threat to the efforts to include Phewa lake under the ‘World Ramsar list’ as part of the World Heritage Sites. Although various organisations have been campaigning to keep lake clean and to demolish temporary structures, they have failed to present any concrete results.
Phewa, national heritage site originally spread over 22,000 ropanis, has shrunk to 8,000 ropanis at present.
Source: The Kathmandu Post