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Probe panel tells govt to scrap the deal that let Batas operate a hotel at Pashupati dharmashala

Batas Orgazation has been operating Hotel Anand in the premises of a dharmashala built by India.
Batas Orgazation has been operating Hotel Anand in the premises of a dharmashala built by India.

Kathmandu, January 17

An investigation committee formed by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has told the government to terminate an agreement signed between the Pashupati Area Development Trust and the Batas Organization, a conglomerate, on the basis of which the group had converted a dharmashala meant for pilgrims into a hotel in the Pashupatinath area of Kathmandu.

The panel led by the trust’s Treasurer Narayan Subedi handed over the investigation report to Culture and Tourism Secretary Maheshwar Neupane on Monday, concluding the agreement was illegal and signed in collusion with the company itself.

Reportedly, at the forefront of this collusion was the trust’s then member-secretary Pradip Dhakal who leased the property to the group. Since then, the organisation has been managing the dharmashala, which should have been a social enterprise for pilgrims, as a business.

Receiving the report, Secretary Neupane said the ministry would study the document and take appropriate action.

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