Claims about built structures over Tukucha in Narayanhiti are false

Pravin Bhatta / September 18, 2022

Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s attempts at locating the rivulet Ichchhumati, better known as Tukucha, that had ‘disappeared’ between Narayanhiti and Kamaladi in Kathmandu, has divided public opinion. As city authorities dug a hole in the compound of Jay Nepal Cinema and found the rivulet flowing fifteen feet below the ground through a canal, social media users and news sites began claiming that illegal structures had been built over the rivulet, including within Narayanhiti Palace premises. 

Baahrakhari, a Nepali-language online news portal, claimed that, among other buildings, Narayanhiti Palace had been built over Tukucha. The same claim was posted by the news portal on its Facebook page along with a link to the news.

An screenshot of Facebook post by Baahrakhari

In addition, several Facebook users claimed that the Royal Palace had been built over Tukucha. 

Facebook user Jwala Sangraula’s post garnered 9,200 likes and was shared 225 times.

An screenshot of Facebook post by Jwala Sangraula

Facebook page Nepali News posted a similar claim, which garnered 13,000 likes and was shared 188 times.

An screenshot of Facebook post by Nepali News

A Google search with related keywords in Nepali reveals several claims on social media and online media making similar claims. 

An screenshot of Facebook post by page named Balen Shah Fan Club

South Asia Check fact-checked this claim.

To fact-check the claim, we first checked Google Maps with satellite imagery, which showed a rivulet flowing in the open on the eastern side of Narayanhiti Palace. No structure is built over the rivulet, which flows past the back side of the Republic Memorial.

Tukucha rivulet inside the premises of Narayanhiti. As seen on Google Earth

Further research on “Google Earth Pro” showed the rivulet flowing within the boundary of the palace, with a width of around 4.12 metres. 

Tukucha before construction of Republic Memorial
Tukucha after republic memorial started building

Furthermore, a pre-feasibility study conducted by Bonafide Engineering Consultancy for the High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilization on Tukucha Khola Corridor Management said that the rivulet is divided into 10 different segments, and the segment inside Narayanhiti falls under segment 3. The report reads: “Drone images were not collected due to high level of restriction in this area. The river in this section seems to be protected as viewed from the satellite images.” The report also mentions that this segment is 180 metres long.

Segment III of Tukucha rivulet as shown in the pre-feasibility study.

The rivulet is visible inside Narayanhiti premises in satellite images. 


Claim: Narayanhiti Palace is built over Tukucha.

Claimed by: Online media and Facebook users.

Fact-check: Misleading; satellite images show Tukucha flowing inside the Narayanhiti Palace premises. 

This material is copyrighted but may be used for any purpose by giving due credit to