6,000 quake victims living around BP Highway not granted permits for house reconstruction

Sindhulimadhi, November 17

Though the National Reconstruction Authority has finally granted the first instalment of grant money for reconstruction of houses damaged in last year’s devastating earthquake, more than 6,000 victims in the vicinity of BP Highway continue to await the green signal from the concerned authorities .

While the victims have received Rs 50,000 as first instalment, Kamalamai Municipality has not granted permits for house reconstruction stating that the land that is 62 metres off the road will be utilised for a road expansion project.

Banepa-Bardibas road section has officially declared it will appropriate 31 metres on both sides of the road from Bardibas in Mahottari to Banepa in Kavre.

Over 6,000 earthquake victims of Kavre, Sindhuli and Mahottari have been left in a lurch by the decision.

“Earlier, the road section had distributed compensation to private land owners within 15 metres on both sides from the central part of the main road and had appropriated 6 metres land for setback.

But now, people who own land within 62 metres from the road are not issued permission for construction,” said Amareshchandra Baidar, a Kamalamai Municipality resident.

Yet another victim, Shanta Pakhrin of Kamalamai, said the municipality had not granted them permission to construct houses as it was a directive issued by the Department of Road. “If the municipality captures our land, it is only right that they provide us compensation immediately,” said Pakhrin.

Meanwhile, Kamalamai Municipality Executive Officer Jagat Bhusal said they had written to inform the owners of the development project.