GC seeking government support

Kathmandu, January 15

Guthi Corporation, an autonomous body that regulates financial and administrative matters of religious shrines, cultural heritage sites, and cultural activities across the country, is in dire need of government support to control misuse and encroachment of land belonging to various guthis.

The Guthi Corporation Act 1976 states that “The government and Nepal Police have to support Guthi Corporation for any kind of support they need.” But, due to the indifferent attitude of government bodies, the GC is not able to control the increasing encroachment of its land and cannot even collect the expected amount of revenue from the land it owns.

Spokesperson of GC, Saroj Thapalia said, “We have to work in coordination with various departments of the government which make our work very complicated, we frequently complained about this to the authorities concerned, but in vain.”

The major hurdle for the GC is collecting revenue from tenants who use guthi land  for different purposes. GC is even pressured by local leaders to transfer the guthi land to the ownership of tenants, according to GC officials.

The government used to provide regular financial and administrative support to the GC during monarchy but in the last 10 years it has not got any support from the government. Moreover, it is the government itself that misuses and confiscates guthi land,” Thapaliya said, adding that in Janakpur, the government forcefully used guthi land to build various government offices, similarly the government had encroached thousands of hectare  guthi land inside Kathmandu Valley.

Around 21 ropani land in Naxal near Naag Pokhari has been forcefully taken by the government even though the government has not used the land for any purpose, according to the officials of GC.

Besides the revenue collected from the land it owns, the GC makes regular income from its commercial buildings.