New rule to protect Pokhara’s Phewa lake: No physical structures within 30 metres of the shore

File: Phewa lake, Pokhara, Nepal's tourism capital
File: Phewa lake, Pokhara, Nepal’s tourism capital. It takes some six hours to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara via road.

Pokhara, March 31

The local government in Pokhara, Nepal’s tourism capital, has adopted a new rule to protect the Phewa lake, the central attraction of the city, from encroachment.

According to the new rule, no physical structures will be allowed within 30 metres of the shore.

This, however, is seen as a rather regressive move from the environmental point of view as a previous rule had stated the structures would not be allowed within 65 metres of the shore. The rule was apparently not implemented.

Therefore, some stakeholders had filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court demanding measures to conserve the natural resource. In response, the court on April 29, 2018, had told the government to implement new rules about the border of the lake.

Delaying the implementation of the order, the local government just recently fixed 30 metres as the standard to forbid physical infrastructures around the Phewa lake. Meanwhile, the city government also decided on such standards for Begnas and Rupa lakes (at 55 metres).

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Amrit Subedi is a Pokhara-based correspondent for Onlinekhabar.

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