KATHMANDU, Aug 10: It has come to light that the Waterfront Resort being run on the banks of Fewa Lake in Pokhara by tourism entrepreneur Karna Shakya was built and operated without permission from the government bodies concerned.
The Tourism Industry Division, in its reply to the Supreme Court in connection with a writ petition filed against Shakya, said that the division didn’t give him any permission to operate a resort there.
“There is no record of this division recommending registration of Park Village Water Front Resort as a tourist resort in accordance with chapter 10 of the Tourism Act-2035 BS,” reads the answer given by the division to the Supreme Court.
Advocate Khagendra Subedi filed a writ petition at the apex court in June 2011 against encroachment of Fewa Lake and demanding that the operation of the resort be immediately stopped. The case named Karna Shakya, the Prime Minister’s Office, Tourism Ministry, Department of Industry, Tourism Industry Division, Office of the Company Registrar, Office of Cottage and Small Industry and the Tourism Office among others as defendants.
The Tourism Act has a provision that makes it mandatory to allow the operation of a hotel, resort or restaurant only after studying the land ownership certificate, the map, the kitchen, toilet and parking, a field report and an environment impact report.
Earlier, a government committee formed to probe Fewa Lake encroachment stated in its report that Shakya’s resort was built in the Few Lake conservation area.
In issuing permission to register a hotel, resort or restaurant in a tourist area, the Tourism Industry Division must adhere to its internal working procedures.
“Regarding the plaintiff’s claim that Park Village Water Front Resort Pvt Ltd had received permission from this division to operate as a tourist resort, we inform that this division hasn’t recommended registering the said resort as a tourist resort,” reads point (d) of the division’s reply to the court.
Responding on the same writ petition, defendant National Lake Conservation Development Committee in its reply to the Supreme Court stated that it had written to the Ministry of Physical Planning, Pokhara Sub-Metropolis, District Administration Kaski and Pokhara Valley Municipality Development Committee requesting on September 12, 2010 to stop the construction of the building at Pokhara Sediphant by director of Kathmandu Guest House Karna Shakya.
The committee has also stated that Shakya had later publicly expressed his commitment to stop the construction of the building.
Shakya has built huge infrastructure and has been operating the resort in then Sarangkot VDC-5, which lies inside the wetland area. He owns several plots of land -- 4 ana; 3 ropani, 3 ana, 3 paisa, 1 dam; 2 ana 2 paisa; 5 ana 2 dam; 6 ana 2 paisa; 3 ana; 2 ana; 1 ana 1 paisa; and 5 ana 1 paisa -- all of which fall inside the Few Lake Conservation Area, according to Bishwa Prakash Lamichhane, coordinator of the Fewa Lake Encroachment Probe Committee formed by the government.