KATHMANDU, July 1: In order to protect the birthplace of the Buddha, the Supreme Court on Sunday has ordered a ban on new factories in the Lumbini area.
The apex court on Sunday directed the authorities to ban new factories within the 15 kilometers perimeter of the Lumbini development area.
A division bench of justices Tej Bahadur KC and Manoj Kumar Sharma issued the interim order following a hearing on Sunday.
The bench also directed the authorities to ban heavy vehicles in the area.
The bench was responding to a public interest litigation filed by the chairman of Pro-Public, an NGO, some three months ago demanding the apex court intervention to protect the development area.
Even though the Industrial Promotion Board had prohibited factories within the development area in 2010, the ban was not implemented strictly.
Stating that the factories established along the border with India have also been polluting the environment of the Lumbini area, the petitioner sought the apex court order to investigate the matter and strictly work for the protection of the area.
The bench also directed the government to form a five-member probe panel to investigate the issue and complete the investigation within four months.
The government has been asked to include government officials and a representative of the petitioner in the five-member probe panel.