Rampant encroachment of Guthi land to build houses, roads and other structures
June 17, 2019 04:30 AM NPT
By: DB BUDHA
JUMLA, June 17: The encroachment of land belonging to the Bhairabnath Guthi Committee of Jumla has been going on for a long time. People are encroaching upon Guthi land to build roads, houses and public toilets, among other facilities.
A survey conducted after 1995 shows that only the then Talium, Chandannath, Garjyangkot and Depalgaun fall under Guthi land. However, the details collected in the year 1949 shows that the Guthi owns land in Humla, Bajura, Rini of Jumla, Jogibada and Kalikot. Sadly, the land belonging to the Guthi is owned by private individuals now.
People who owe the land are paying taxes in the name of Chandannath Bhairabnath Guthi. They can easily buy or sell the land.
Now, the Guthi owns 122,650 square meters of land. Huge chunks of land in Dadakot, Bharatibada and Simkhada of Chandannath Municipality belong to the Guthi. Similarly, around 9,990 square meters of land in Garjyangkot, Depalgaun, Talium and Mahat also falls under Guthi.
The Guthi is yet to receive the ownership certificates for three plots of land (around 48,356 square meters) near the Chandannath Bhairabnath, according to Ratna Prasad Acharya, registrar of the Guthi committee. The locals have accused government authorities of turning a blind eye to the rampant encroachment of agricultural land belonging to the Guthi.
Krishna Bahadur Rokaya, chairperson of the Guthi Committee, informed Republica that the committee has no knowledge of the Guthi's land outside the district. "Most of the land belonging to Guthi in Jumla has been encroached upon," said Rokaya, adding, "We tried to stop that but failed. The government did not cooperate with us."
The committee has time and again sent letters to the District Administration Office (DAO) and Chandannath Municipality to make efforts to retrieve the encroached Guthi land but in vain. In order to control the rampant encroachment, a monitoring team under the coordination of Kali Bahadur Thapa was formed earlier.
The team submitted its report on June 8, 2014. According to the report, five people had built their houses by encroaching upon Guthi land in the erstwhile Garjyangkot (now Guthichaur Rural Municipality). The report said that locals Daljit Budha, Ganga Budha, Kali Bahadur Bhudha, Hansha Budha, Dip Bahadur Budha and Purna Budha had built their houses by encroaching upon Guthi land.
Birkha Bahadur Swar of Chandannath has apparently dug up a way to his home through Guthi's land. Moreover, many people in the municipality have encroached upon Guthi land to build toilets and farms.
On December 6, 2011, the Land Revenue Office in the district publicized the details of encroachment that showed that huge chunks of Guthi land had been encroached upon. A committee which was established in 1979 has failed to curb the encroachment.
Recently, the committee formed an inspection committee under the leadership of vice-chairperson of the Guthi Committee, Daya Khatri. The team has started visiting the areas where Guthi land has been encroached upon and holding discussions. Those who have been accused of encroaching upon Guthi land have been told to contact the Guthi Committee office along with the necessary documents. "We have given them a week's deadline. We will take legal action against those ignoring our order," said Registrar Acharya.
The Guthi Committee has accused businessmen of misusing Guthi land by erecting unnecessary tents. Some of them do not even pay the rent for the land.