KATHMANDU, August 29: The Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) has shown serious concerns over the recent media reports about increasing encroachment of Phewa Lake.
The organization, in a press statement, has stated that the huge area surrounding the lake has been continuously encroached by private land owners and hotels and added that the lake, which had a total area of 10 sq. km. in 1960, receded to 4.2 sq km in 2007—less than 50 per cent remained in the half century.
“Along with the spiraling land registration, many private hotels also have been constructed illegally. Besides, it is also reported that sewage produced by surrounding hotels are directly drained into the lake without treatment”, reads the statement.
The organization has urged the stakeholders to urgently act to save the lake before it’s too late and called upon the environmentalists to heap pressure on the concerned government authorities and other stakeholders to stop such illegal activities and revive the lake to its original size.
Apart from the increasing encroachment, the organization has shown concern over unbridled road construction in the watershed areas of the lake that has further deteriorated the condition as the sand and silt deposit has rapidly decreased its depth, threatening its existence.
Hence, to restore this beautiful and Ramsar site–globally recognized wetland, NEFEJ has called upon Government of Nepal, Pokhara- Lekhnath Municipality and all concerned stakeholders to stand up against the serious issue by annulling all the land registration, removing the structures built upon the area along with taking necessary legal and institutional actions for its sustainable development.