Himalayan News Service

Lekhnath (Kaski), January 15

A project for constructing honeymoon cottages in the middle of Dipang lake in Lekhnath municipality, started some four years ago, has remained on the backburner.

It was initially planned to be completed within 10 years. The municipality leased the lake to Dipang Agro Tourism Pvt Ltd for 20 years in Chaitra 2056 BS. The company started construction work also, which has been halted for the last two years.

Bhanu Bhakta Sapkota, chairman of the company, is currently busy in Kathmandu and the responsibility of the project has been taken over by Bal Chandra Sapkota.

Though dates have been fixed for resumption of work many times, work could not begin. However, the company is paying rent regularly, the municipality informed.

"We would restart construction in the coming summer," informed Bal Chandra Sapkota, adding that regular payment of the rent is proof that they are serious in restarting construction work.

He further said that the winter season and lack of adequate finances have forced them to halt work and they are currently in search of donor agencies.

Earlier, grass net around the lake was removed to start construction, said Pushpa Raj Tripathi of Kalika VDC. "It would have been very good if the work in the lake had resumed," he added.

Dipang Lake is situated below the Panthako hill at village development committee-6 of Lekhnath municipality. The municipality had planned to develop itself as a garden city of seven lakes and leased the Dipang Lake for honeymoon cottage construction.

The company had to pay Rs 32,000 per year for the initial five years, Rs 65,000 for the next five years, Rs 0.45 million for yet another five years, and Rs 0.519 million for the last five years to the municipality, according to the contract.

The company could develop fishing, boating, swimming, jogging, restaurant and bar services, picnicking and bird sanctuary in the first 10 years with an expense of Rs 5.1 million.

A plan to construct a park in the middle of the lake has also been approved. Sapkota informed that construction work would have been completed within the next two years which would cost around Rs 6.0 million to Rs 10 million.

Dipang Lake, which is also known as honeymoon Lake, is spread over an area of 8.98 hectares and is the fourth biggest lake among seven lakes in the district. The depth of the lake varies from 3.5 to 14 metres.