Jamuna Barsha Sharma, POKHARA: A report has been recently published mentioning the revised area of the Phewa Lake.
There was a dispute in regard with the Phewa Lake area for long. A committee formed by the government to determine the lake area had on February 14 submitted its report to the government and the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation on February 16 presented it to the Council of Ministers. Being based on the same report endorsed by the Cabinet on February 23, information about the lake and its boundary has been published first time in the Nepal Gazette on March 1. The report about the revised area of the lake has drawn concerns from the public sphere. On social sites and media, voices are being heard expressing the concern over the ‘reduction’ in the area. According to information which is featured on the part 5 (section 70) of the Nepal Gazette, the lake’s area is 11,255 ropanis 11 aana and one paisa (5.726 square kilometer).
Committee coordinator Punya Prasad Poudel argued that the area of Phewa Lake has been increased legally, not decreased. He added that one can be free from confusion regarding the area of Phewa Lake if the report is studied in depth. Poudel shared, “We determined the area of Phewa Lake based on different basis. Its area is measured from 494.70 meters height from Phewa dam. Area covered by water during rainy season, analysis of study reports regarding the Lake carried out so far, statement of local senior citizens are among the basis to determine the area.”
He added that earlier as per the record of Land Revenue Office, the area of Phewa lake was 8,707 ropanis 12 anas and 2 paisa 2 dam and now it has increased to 11,255 rapanis 11 paisa and 1 dam as per the latest report. According to him, this is the real and official area of the Phewa Lake as the measurement has been done intensively and is based on scientific method. As per the study reports available so far regarding the area of the Phewa Lake, the British Survey of India (1925/1926) mentioned the area of the lake as 3.46 square kilometres, the Survey of India (1957/1958) at 4.39 square kilometres, the Nepal-India Cooperation Mission Report (2018 BS) at 10.35 square metres, the First Killa Survey (Kitta No 297, 2032 BS) at 4.43 square kilometres, the Study Report (2038 BS) of the Government of Nepal and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at 5.80 square kilometres, IUCN Report (2052 BS) at 4.49 square kilometres, the District Development Committee Kaski (2058 BS) at 4.25 square kilometres, and the Pokhara Valley Town Development Committee Report (2064BS) at 5.06 square kilometres.
Similarly, the report prepared by Bishwo Prakash Lamichhane in 2069 BS determined the area of the Phewa Lake to be 6.5 square kilometres, the Ministry of Land Reforms Report (2072 BS) fixed the lake’s area as 5.07 square kilometres, the Pokhara Metropolitan City (2077 BS) determined the area to be 5.08 square kilometres and the committee formed in 2077 BS to prepare the map of Phewa Lake fixed the area at 5.726 square kilometres. It is mentioned in the Nepal Gazettee that the Phewa Lake is bounded by the Dam Site to the east, Morebagar to the west, the Damkilo between Khapaundi-Chankapur to the north and Chisopani Raniban area to the south.
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