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The Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives, and Poverty Alleviation has issued the 'Standard for Allowing the Use of Public Land-2021' to make the existing related provisions more systematic.

As per the standard, the government may allow community schools, government health facilities or hospitals and other government offices to use public land if they need such land, and the areas concerned do not have government land. "Public land shall not be provided to any non-governmental organisation or office. Only government entities are eligible to use public land," it says.

The public land shall be registered in the name of the Government of Nepal before allowing it to be used. "The public land may be provided to eligible government organisations or offices for a period not exceeding 30 years on the basis of need and utilisation of public property.

However, the period may be extended on the basis of its rationality," the standard reads.

It has also determined the criteria for providing public land.

An office, organisation or entity wishing to use public land shall submit an application to the District Land Revenue Office concerned requesting for the land, recommendation letter of the local level, recommendation letter of the central agency of the entity requesting for the land and recommendation letter of the Ministry of Home Affairs and other documents.

After receipt of the application, District Land Revenue Office, in association with the Survey Office, District Administration Office and the local level concerned shall conduct an onsite investigation and deed of public inquiry to ensure that providing such land will not affect the life of the public and places of historical, archaeological, religious and cultural significance.

"The District Land Revenue Office shall submit a report with its opinion to a five-member recommendation committee led by chief district officer. The committee shall conduct an inquiry to ascertain the appropriateness of the report received from the District Land Revenue Office," it says.

If the recommendation committee decides to recommend providing the public land, the District Land Revenue Office shall send such recommendation along with necessary documents to the Department of Land Management and Archives.

Eventually, the department shall send it to the ministry, which in turn will table the proposal to the Council of Ministers for final approval after necessary inquiry.

If the Council of Ministers decides to provide the land, the District Land Revenue Office shall enter into a contract with the concerned office, organisation or entity regarding the use of public land, by also specifying terms and conditions thereof.

Upon entering into the agreement, the District Land Revenue Office shall issue a certificate to the concerned office, organisation or entity for the use of public land. If concerned office, organisation or entity is found to be using public land for purposes other than those stated in the contract, the DLRO may recommend termination of such contract.

The Himalayan Times