The National Human Rights Commission has expressed serious concern about the alleged violation of people’s right to housing by Kathmandu Valley Development Authority ‘on the pretext of road expansion’ in Balaju, Baneshwor and Khokana areas.

“Our attention has been drawn to the report of forceful and indiscriminate demolition of houses by KDVA in a manner that violates people’s right to housing,” read a press release issued by the rights body, adding that it had carried out monitoring of road expansion from time to time.

According to NHRC, KDVA had used bulldozers and excavators to pull down 39 houses in Balaju area with the backing of the police force without providing prior notice to the concerned house owners during the festive season. The demolition caused huge loss of property. However, the victims are yet to be compensated.

“Our monitoring report suggests that they have also been deprived of alternative accommodation.

Police also intervened in the peaceful protest and relay hunger strikes organised by the victims and misbehaved with them for demanding justice,” said the release.

The rights body informed that the NHRC central office and Bagmati province office have been carrying out monitoring of incidents. It said the KDVA’s act was in contravention of the constitution, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nepal is a party, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ans ILO Convention and Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

“The act of the government authorities have violated people’s right to housing and property.

We call on the Government of Nepal to provide reasonable compensation to the victims whose houses have been demolished against the Supreme Court order and guarantee people’s right to housing and property,” the NHRC said.