Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale has said the agreement related to operation of Nepal Bharat Maitri Pashupati Dharmashala (guest house for pilgrims) was withdrawn through a ministerial level decision.
“We have made a decision to retract the Dharmashala on the basis of the recommendation of the investigation committee. Now, the Batas Group will no longer operate the Dharmashala,” he said.
An investigation committee formed under the coordination of Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) treasurer Narayan Subedi had submitted its report to Minister Ale. The report concluded that there was vested nexus in leasing out the Dharmashala and the leasing out agreement should be withdrawn.
The Dharmashala was being operated following an agreement between the PADT and the Hotel Ananda Pvt Ltd under the Batas Group. The Group was accused of operating the Dharmashala as a hotel using the structures constructed by the Trust and charging exorbitant prices.
Minister Ale had carried out a monitoring of the Dharmashala following these allegations against the Batas Group. It was found in course of the monitoring that the number of beds and the price rate had been altered and additional structures constructed in contravention to the agreement, the Group had not paid the rent to PADT, various offices had been kept at the Dharmashala and several structures had been constructed without taking permission from the PADT.