KMC bans construction on Lalita Niwas land, to halt ongoing worksThe Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police makes three new arrests in connection with the land scam.
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City will no longer approve any new structure to be built on the premises of the Lalita Niwas at Baluwatar amid controversy surrounding the transfer of ownership of the government land into private individuals.
As per the KMC notice obtained by the Post and to be issued on Monday, the metropolis would neither give approval for building any new structure nor issue completion certificates.
“If a building is currently under construction, works should be stopped immediately,” according to the draft of the notice obtained by the Post.
The KMC would demolish such structures but owners of the structures would be made to bear the cost of demolition as per Section 39 of the Local Government Operation Act-2074.
On Sunday, municipal police chief Raju Nath Pandey visited the area and gave the owners of the temporary shacks on the Lalita Niwas land a week to move out.
According to KMC officials, there are around two dozen shacks and temporary structures on the Lalita Niwas land.
“The Lalita Niwas area comes under the jurisdiction of the KMC, and it is the KMC’s duty to preserve public property,” said Surendra Bajagain, press coordinator for Mayor Balendra Shah. “The City will take further action after the court gives its verdict in the case.”
Meanwhile, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police on Sunday made three more arrests in connection with the land scam.
According to CIB Senior Superintendent Dinesh Acharya, those arrested are Baburaja Maharjan, Ghaman Kumar Karki and Shivaji Bhattarai.
With the police investigating the forgery of government documents related to the transfer of Lalit Niwas land, the CIB has started arresting people on charge of forgery.
Earlier, on June 27, police had arrested seven individuals including ex-election commissioner Sudhir Shah, Bhatbhateni supermarket owner Min Bahadur Gurung and former government officials including Kaladhar Deuja, the then chief of the Dillibazar Land Revenue Office. The others arrested were Surendra Kapali, Dharma Prasad Gautam, Hupendra Mani KC and Gopal Karki.
Deuja, Kapali and KC were released later in the day citing a stay order issued by the Supreme Court on August 4 last year that had prevented their detention for investigation in another case related to the land scam.
SSP Acharya said that an investigation into the scam revealed that Maharjan is one of the fake tillers, Bhattarai was the then Kathmandu Metropolitan City ward number 4 secretary and is currently an official at the metropolis, while Karki was an employee at the Department of Survey.
According to CIB, during the expansion works of the Prime Minister’s Office at Baluwatar when Madhav Kumar Nepal was the prime minister, Karki as survey official had recommended that the land was not government property. Following Karki’s recommendation, the ownership of over 14 ropani [0.71 hectare] of land was transferred to various fake tenants and other private individuals.
The Kathmandu District Court June 28 had remanded four people, including Shah, Gurung, Gautam and Karki who were arrested by the bureau on June 27, to seven days in police custody.
Lalita Niwas covers around 300 ropani [around 15 hectares] of land and includes the areas of the prime minister’s residence, Nepal Rastra Bank’s central office and some other VIP residences including the Prime Minister’s official residence.