KATHMANDU, Sept 25: The Environment Protection Committee of Parliament has directed government and concerned ministries to major steps in protection of Fewa Lake.
The meeting of the committee held on Monday has directed the government and stakeholders to implement the suggestions and recommendations with high priorities given by different probe committees that were formed to protect and manage Fewa Lake.
Issuing a statement after the meeting, the committee has directed Prime Minister’s office, different ministries including Forest and Soil Conservation, Tourism and Population and Environment to make detail studies on the activities being conducted around the lake including operation of hotels and lodges.
Likewise, the committee has issued a directive notice to the Prime Minister’s office to form a high-level committee to make detail study, investigate and implement the ongoing climate change issues.
It has been learned that land around the lake, which is listed as a Ramsar wetland conservation area, has been registered as private property and the area of the lake also shrunk from 10 square kilometers in 1961 to 4.20 square kilometers in 2008.
Experts have said that the depth of the lake is also decreasing, and it is now 18 meters, down from 33 meters during the previous survey held in 1974. The report states that the lake could see maximum shrinkage in 75 to 100 years if the agency concerned failed to pay proper attention to its conservation.
The then prime minister Baburam Bhattarai-led government had formed a high-level probe committee to investigate the land encroachment of Fewa Lake. The committee later submitted a report and recommended confiscation of land ownership of about 950 people. Among those people, about 700 had their lands inside the Fewa Lake Conservation Area.
The committee had recommended confiscating land ownership certificates of those owning encroached lands and enlisting the lands as government property.