Kathmandu, August 21
Tundikhel, which was jammed with more than 13,000 homeless people after the April 25 quake, still shelters 60 victims.
The quake victims gradually started shifting to other houses vacating Tundikhel from July onwards. However, there still are 60 quake victims living in four tents. They are unwilling to vacate because of lack of affordable accommodation.
Twelve temporary toilets constructed by Oxfam International still stand there and safe water is provided to quake victims for household and other purposes. Security guards patrol regularly to maintain discipline and safety. The quake victims arrange food by themselves and go to work in the day time.
Diyali Magar, 50, from Dhading, said she had been living in a tent in Tundikhel since the temblor hit the country on April 25. She is living with 20 other quake victims under one tent and makes her living by selling vegetables on the streets.
“It is very difficult to get affordable rooms. House owners are charging up to Rs 7,000 per room in the city area,” she said, adding that she does not earn enough money to pay such expensive rent and she does not have any relative to tend to her.
“I have still not prepared the meal. I don’t have any refuge except for a free tent provided by the Chinese government,” she said scrubbing the dirty pressure cooker.
According to an armyman, Heaven Land, an INGO has committed to relocating 40 remaining quake victims to an open space spread over three ropani in Nakkhu by next week. Heaven Land will be providing water and toilet facilities for homeless quake victims, whereas Nepal Army will provide the tents and manpower for constructing toilets.
He regretted that the remaining 20 homeless quake victims will have to search for new rooms in order to leave Tundikhel.
A version of this article appears in print on August 22, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.