Monday, November 19, 2007

CIAA opens Lapsiphedi land case

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has begun looking into a case against the Nepal Wildlife Development Company Pvt Ltd.“We are looking into the case,” said Bishwaraj Dhakal, an under-secretary at the CIAA. However, he refused to reveal the details, citing sensitivity of the case. “We have begun collecting information.”Demanding that the company return their land, people of ward number 3 and 8 of Lapsiphedi VDC had moved the CIAA against the company on June 11. The same day, THT had run a story about illegal operation of the company and its owner Belize national Kent Bruce Crane.The company was registered at the Company Registrar’s Office and the Department of Industry with the objective of promoting “eco-tourism and hospitality business through the establishment of a golf course and a luxury resort in 1993”.However, the company did not go into operation. “We want our land back. The company should honour the agreement it had struck with the villagers if it wants to begin operation,” said Krishna Bahadur Gurung, a local.He claimed that the company had not even informed the locals while leasing their land. The VDC also did not seek opinion from the land-owners before issuing permission to the company to use the land. A pact was struck between the company and the villagers after the latter protested. The company had agreed to provide Rs 15,000 annually to a village committee comprising the affected land-owners.

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