KATHMANDU, August 30: Expressing serious concerns over the increasing encroachment of the Phewa Lake, Nepal Forum for Environmental Journalists (Nefej) has urged the government authorities concerned and other stakeholders to work toward protecting the lake.
Issuing a statement Tuesday, Nefej has urged the government, Pokhara-Lekhnath Municipality and all stakeholders to work toward stopping the encroachment. Nefej has urged one and all to stand up against the encroachment and requested the government to scrap the illegal land registrations and demolish the structures built on the encorached land.
A huge area surrounding the lake has been continuously encroached by private land owners and hotels. The lake, which had a total area of 10 sq km in 1960 had shrunk to 4.2 sq km in 2007.
Nefej also expressed concerns over the pollution caused in the lake by the hotels, which Nefej said dischrage their sewage directly into the lake. "There is urgency to act to save the lake before it's too late," said the statement.
Nefej said that the condition of the lake has further deteriorated as the sand and silt deposit has rapidly decreased its depth threatening its very existence besides rampant encroachment.