LMC razes ‘illegal’ structures

Lalitpur, September 8:

The Lalitpur sub-Metropolitan City (LMC) today demolished sheds that had allegedly encroached upon the public area next to the Hotel Greenwich Village at Kupondole following a 2005 order of the Patan Appellate Court and the LMC’s over two-year-old decision to demolish them. The sheds were owned by Ram Maharjan and his brothers. The demolition was carried out at around 11.30 am with the help of Lalitpur District Police and District Administration Office. According to Khagendra Prasad Osti, legal officer at LMC, Bimala KC, a neighbour of Maharjans, had filed a telephonic complaint at the LMC about the encroachment upon the public area in 2003. KC is the wife of Bal Ram KC, a justice of the Supreme Court. “After then, an inspection team of the LMC had found that the sheds were built without getting permission from the LMC,” Osti said adding that the LMC had then decided to demolish the structures. He added the demolition could not be carried out after Maharjan brothers moved the Appellate Court. According to Osti, the Patan Appellate Court approved the LMC’s decision in 2005, but the Maharjans brothers appealed to the Supreme Court. Though the SC yesterday ordered to present the files related to the case, it could not stop the LMC’s decision to demolish the sheds.

“We had asked them to clear the area following the Appellate Court order, but we had to forcefully demolish the sheds as they did not comply with our request,” he added. However, Ram Maharjan said the sheds had not encroached upon any public area and he has the land ownership certificate for the land. “As people in the neighbourhood started to use our open space as a dumping site, we built temporary sheds without acquiring building permission,” Maharjan said. Maharjan asked LMC officials why only his sheds were demolished while the walls in the same row have not been touched? “If our sheds had encroached upon the public area, then these walls have done the same. Why are not they treated equally?” He asked.

Osti, however, said the LMC does not take action unless complaints are filed. “We had received complaints against their sheds, hence we took action against them.”