The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has sent a letter to the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation to initiate a procedure to deregister the record of the land owned by individuals within the Tukucha River and riverbanks.

The metropolis has cited Section 2 of the Property Act, 2034 (1997), which stipulates that the land under the jurisdiction of rivers and streams is considered government/public land.

“As it appears that the land within the Tukucha river channel in the Hattisar area has been mistakenly registered in the names of individuals, such land should be deregistered as soon as possible,” Kathmandu Chief Administrative Officer Basanta Adhikari wrote to the ministry on Monday.

The decision from KMC comes after the Patan High Court handed the verdict regarding the Tukucha River case, stating that it is a tributary of the Bagmati and hence should be conserved.

However, the court also ruled that the river shares its area with private property which also should be protected by the state authorities.

Meanwhile, even though the ruling of the high court doesn’t order or suggest evacuating the property, and in fact asks authorities to consult with affected landowners to find the best solution to the problem, KMC Mayor Balendra Shah (Balen)’s social media post on the subject has been misconstrued by select media outlets, and subsequently the public.

According to KMC Spokesperson Nabin Manandhar, “the (high court) ruling states that if KMC wants to use or demolish the land built above Tukucha river for public purposes, we will have to take consent of the land owner. Hence, we are ready to coordinate with the land owners and compensate them, if it is necessary as per the law”.

He informed that the city is taking forward efforts to restore the integrity of the Tukucha River and bring the land to public purpose.

“The reply and decision from the Land Management ministry will determine what can and should be done regarding this matter,” said Manandhar.