BHAIRAHAWA, August 23: A parliamentary sub-committee has concluded there were irregularities in the process of purchasing land for Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) in Bhairahawa. Members of the panel said on Tuesday after a field visit that those involved in the deal, with the help of brokers, quoted unusually higher price of the land than the market price.
Following the site inspection and interaction with the locals, the supply sub-committee of the Industry, Commerce and Consumers Rights Committee concluded that NOC purchased the land in unusually high price than the existing price.
The coordinator of the sub-committee said that the parliamentary team found NOC had purchased land near Rohani River in higher price than the existing price. The team of lawmakers also found that 70 percent of the total purchased land area lies in a river bank which is prone to inundation.
“The state should invest huge money for embankment and other works to make the land usable for fuel storage station,” said Janak Buda, a member of the sub-committee. The parliamentary panel had studied the geographical status of the land, price and other issues. Lawmaker Budha said that the committee will submit the report to the full committee soon.
Land sellers and local unit representatives demanded punishment for the culprits for their involvement in irregularities by buying the land at a price many times higher than the actual price.
Coordinator of the District Coordination Committee Ekraj Biswakarma said that the land has been purchased at higher price than the land for international airport.
Ward committee chairman of Rohani Rural Municipality-2, Saroj Kumar Pandey, said that the local units will not allow any construction of NOC in the area unless the corrupt NOC officials are punished.
“The NOC has purchased the land at Rs 1 million which was sold by local farmers at Rs 200,000 which is open corruption,” said Pandey. He also revealed that brokers lured and threatened the locals to sell their land at cheap price.
Chief District Officer Hari Prasad Mainali demanded probe into the unusual price paid by the NOC. NOC had purchased 14 bigaha land for fuel storage station from 12 locals at Rs 314 million two months ago. Ten land owners have been found selling their land to NOC through broker Hari Prasad Pokhrel and two owners sold their land directly to the NOC.