HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai today pledged to temporarily resettle the squatters evicted from the Bagmati River banks last week in Chobhar.
Bhattarai made this promise while visiting the landless lot in Thapathali, adding that the government will soon make permanent arrangements for the displaced.
In a day or two, I will secure “Cabinet approval” for temporarily settling the displaced people in the land belonging to the Himal Cement Factory in Chobhar, the PM said.
He informed that the government plans to provide subsidised loans to enable the squatters living along river banks in the valley to build their own houses.
It is specially risky for women and children to live in unhygienic environment along the river banks, Bhattarai said. He urged around 1,000 squatters, who have been living in the UN Park since Tuesday after the government demolished over 250 homes on the Bagmati banks, to accept the government-announced immediate relief package — three-month house rent of Rs 15,000 to each household of genuine squatters — and shift to another place. He blamed squatters for rejecting the relief package under the influence of various NGOs.
Commissioner at the Kathmandu Valley Development Commission Keshav Sthapit also accompanied PM Bhattarai.
At a separate programme, Sthapit informed that the government has started the process of resettling the displaced squatters by providing a three-room house for each family in Kathmandu.
It is the responsibility of the state to provide residences to the landless lot, Sthapit said. He urged the landless people to remain calm, saying the government can provide a house to each landless family.
Sthapit said the government is providing Rs 15,000 and temporary residences for the squatters in Chobhar for now.
He claimed to have planned the construction of a school and a swimming pool in Chobhar for the squatters and monthly stipend of Rs 15,000 for each landless individual living with disabilities. While Sita Danuwar, a squatter, demanded lodging and fooding arrangements for the squatters.