Pokhara houses violating building code

Pokhara, May 27:

Pokhara has been witnessing a spurt in haphazard construction of houses due to the non-enforcement of construction codes.

It may be noted that Pokhara Sub-metropolis and Pokhara Urban Development Committee (PUDC) have issued separate codes of construction for private houses and public buildings. The separate codes have encouraged all and sundry to erect buildings by violating building codes.

“Fifty per cent of the people, who built houses in Pokhara last year, violated our code of construction,” says on official at the sub-metropolis.

Kaski district chairman of Transparency International Surendra Thapa Magar says, “Officials of the sub-metropolis pass maps that violate the the construction code and let people build houses based on such maps.”

This act can be controlled by taking action against such officials of the sub-metropolis, he says.

“Though we have the authority to pass maps of houses, we have no authority to take action against those who construct houses and public buildings by violating the code,” says

chief engineer at the Urban Development and Public Construction Department at the office of Pokhara Sub-Metropolis, Purna Bahadur Gurung.

“Though our construction code bars the construction of houses with more than two storeys in Lakeside, even four-storey houses are being built there,” Gurung says.

Violation of the building code is rampant in Lakeside, Nayasadak, Chipledhunga and Chhorepatan of Pokhara. According to chief engineer Gurung, some 1,500 houses are being built in Pokhara every year.

Ananda Raj Mulmi, a member of the Civil Society, says, “The Pokhara sub-metropolis and PUDC should take action against those who construct houses by violating the construction codes.”

“A committee comprising representatives of Pokhara Sub-metropolis, Lekhnath municipality and the PUDC has been formed. This committee will prevent the violation of the construction codes and dismantle structures erected by violating construction codes,” PUDC chairman Bishwo Prakash Lamichhane says.

“The political parties and representatives of the Civil Society should take take action against those who construct structures by violating the construction codes,” says administrative officer at the Pokhara Sub Metropolis Krishna Prasad Koirala.