Purchasing Land for Construction in Nepal : Some tips

Construction of a building following all the parameters is one of the toughest and most time-consuming jobs. But before that, selection of land is an even more challenging task, which has direct impact on your future planning and construction.

We engineers screen some of our basic engineering approaches and make the decision accordingly before giving constructive suggestions to our clients.

If you purchase a plot of land for Rs 25 lakh per anna, for instance, but have to invest an extra Rs 60 lakhs during construction because of a terrace and other complications, then the overall investment will go up in the long term. So some tips can be helpful to tackle any future ambiguity.

Area and orientation of the land
The first consideration is the area and orientation of the land. It's imperative to understand that we can't buy land that is less than 2.5 annas anywhere or 6 dhurs in the Tarai. We always recommend our clients to consider buying more area to allow for better planning. So we always ask our clients to consider buying at least 4 annas of land for best construction.

Shape of the Land
The shape of the land also plays a vital role in construction. A square or rectangular piece of land is the best for construction, but if the land is triangular, irregular or has a small width, then you need to rethink before considering it.

Road Connectivity
Then comes road connectivity, as land with good road connectivity and facilities is a must. The basic rules say that the minimum width of a road needs to be 6 metres, and for a 6-metre road, you need to have a setback (minimum distance which a building or other structure must be set back from a road or river) of at least 1.5 metres. If it is a dead-end road, the road must be four metres wide.

For land which does not have a road width that is listed above, you and your neighbour must contribute to make it of standard width. For instance, if the road is just 4.5 metres, then you and your neighbour will need to leave 1.5 metres for the road, while an extra 1.5 metres must be left individually during the construction.

Land on a slope
Land on a slope is another important parameter that needs to be taken care of. As much as possible, sloppy land must be avoided.

Your investment will keep increasing if such land has a slope that is more than 15 degrees. In such a case, you shouldn't consider such land at all.

We always recommend that you buy land that is at least 100 metres away from a sloppy land, and the same applies for land that is below a slope.

Land Soil
Land that is being filled with soil also needs to be taken care of. Such land needs to be given time for soil to settle, and one can use load impact practice, in which you pile loads such as bricks or similar materials for a certain period of time before construction.

We recommend at least six months of such practice.

The next important thing to consider is if the land is near a river. A river might seem small, but during the peak rainy season, it can prove catastrophic. So it's better to buy land 100 metres away from the river bank, and as per the rules, if the river is small, you must have a setback of at least 10-30 metres. Big rivers could flood areas of up to 60 metres.

Power lines

High tension power lines are taken lightly by many people, and they land in trouble later on. If there is a high tension line passing near the land you intend to buy, it's good to stay 100 metres away from it. Government rules require one to have a setback of 1.5 metres from the centre of an 11 kV high tension line, 3 metres for an 11-22 kV line, and at least 15 metres for a high tension line of 33 kV or above.

If your land is surrounded by a road on three sides or four sides, a setback of 1.5 metres is necessary as land with many road connections can drag you into a big problem afterward.

These are some of the technical aspects that we consider before making the valuation of the land and giving suggestions to our clients. But there are more important parameters, such as knowing the history of the land, which is equally important to ensure that it is not guthi land or similar land belonging to some trust. To get more indepth information, connecting with the neighbours is the best alternative.

Talking to your neighbours is important to know more about the land and also to get connected with them, as you must live with them eventually.

When you are done with these things, now it's time to see if the area of the land in the field conforms to that of the document. Always tally the blueprint, land ownership certificate (lal purja) and field site area. Confirming all the details can help you to negotiate with the land owner afterward.

Verifying the condition of the land and the people associated with it or any ambiguity that might arise in the future will relieve you of many problems later at the Land Revenue Department (Malpot Karyalaya).

We engineers always recommend our clients to make a checklist of all the parameters that have been listed above and make a tick so as to make a decision accordingly. These tips can save you from any future problem.

For anyone who wants to invest in land, you can buy it cheap if it has a rough road but no facilities, and the nearest road connectivity with good facilities is 500 metres to 1km away. Such land will have access to all facilities within a short period of time, and it will give you good returns on your investment.

This is one of the best tricks to find good land on an economic budget.

We always advise our clients to consider at least five different plots of land before arriving at a decision and make a wise decision by considering the flexibility, econometry, accessibility, viability and sustainability of the land.

Bhattarai is a senior engineer consultant

source: PRAGYAN BHATTARAI, The Himalayan Times.,11  April  2022