Monday, March 26, 2007

Court seeks clarification on Chamati land pooling

The Supreme Court issued an order Sunday to the Chamati Land Pooling Project to furnish answers regarding the project. The court issued order after a hearing on sunday on the petition filed by the project at the Supreme Court on rethinking the interim order the court had issued about three months ago against it.
In the order, the Supreme Court has sought answers from in clear terms and words regarding the failure for completing the project even five years after start of the project, the progress report of the project, problems faced for completing the project and measures taken to resolve them.
Some specific questions sought by the court to Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, chief executive officer of Kathmandu metropolitan and the chief of the project, to be answered include: policy regarding providing additional land to people having less than 2-anna (700 sq. feet) land with additional payment otherwise they would not get land within the project area; number of people who have been provided land for building houses as compensation for the land pooled.
The court has also asked about clarification and legal basis of the monetary donation from the people within the project area and the details of income and expenditure so far and the additional money to be required to complete the project.
It has also demanded clarification about the legal basis of freezing the people's property for an indefinite period. Until replies to the questions are furnished clearly, the interim order will remain and the court will hear the case again as soon as the answers are received, the court said today.
The local people had filed a petition at the Supreme Court three months ago for the abolition of the project and the court had issued an interim order and show cause notice to the project. The project instead filed another petition at the Supreme Court to rethink about the interim order.
The local people said they want the project to be annulled, as it would cause the displacement of people with low land holding of 2 anna and two to four annas. Already 850 land owners with two annas have been displaced. There are 898 holding two annas or less land and 820 people with two to four annas. They said all of them would be displaced if the project goes ahead.
The project was started four years ago to develop land from Balaju to Swoyambhu area mainly along the Bishnumati River. The project had already pooled 1369 ropanis (one ropani equal 5625 sq. feet) land and the local people say it has been of no use.

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