At least 56 settlements to be relocated

KATHMANDU: The government has identified more than 56 settlements in five hilly districts that need to be immediately relocated, as the devastating earthquake and subsequent aftershocks have turned the localities uninhabitable with risk of landslide at an all–time high in the monsoon season.

The government has entrusted three ministries to ensure relocation of vulnerable communities to safer places. Geologists have recommended relocation of at least 16 settlements in Gorkha, 14 in Sindhupalchowk, 13 in Dolakha, 10 in Rasuwa and three in Dhading district.

“Three ministries — home affairs, federal affairs and local development and urban development — have been assigned the task of jointly implementing their plans to relocate vulnerable human settlements in quake-devastated districts,” government spokesperson and Minister of Information and Communications Minendra Rijal told reporters after a meeting of the Council of Ministers this afternoon.

According to the Department of Mines and Geology, several teams comprising senior geologists studied the fate of villages from Barpak, the epicentre of the April 25 quake, to Sunkhani of Dolkaha district. The teams recommended that the residents of Goje, Isnan, Gairigaun and Jholunge villages of Barpak, which is home to at least 1,400 families, should be relocated to nearby safer places due to risk of landslides and falling rocks. “All 600 households of more than seven toles of Laprak VDC have been recommended to shift to nearby Gupsidanda area,” geologists added.

Kamigaun village of Ghyachowk, Maithum of Tandrang VDC and lower belts at Dhansira, Garthumpakha and Aamtar in Gorkha also face high risk of landslides, the geologists found.

All five settlements of Fulpinkatti VDC in Sindhupalchowk are no more safe for over 100 households to live in, according to a study. “The displaced Fulpinkatti residents, who are taking shelter on the premises of Narayan Lower Secondary School at Thapi, should also be immediately relocated to a safer place, as the school premises is also at high risk of ground instabilities,” the report states.

The government team has also identified Nadum area to provide temporary shelter to the hundreds of villagers displaced from Liping Rangbasa, Thamigaun and Dugunagadhi settlements of Tatopani VDC.

“Households at Larke of Bhotang VDC, Talgaun of Gumba VDC and Chaku Bazaar, Lampate and Pokhari villages of Marming area can be relocated to Dallepokhari and Golchhe in the district,” the study recommended, adding, “Kodari highway is also at high risk of landslip.”

In Dolakha, the study team has identified Kolepa and Chyasarpa villages of Chilangkha for relocation to Loting and Thapagaun areas, whereas lower belt of Lamidanda has been identified for the resettlement of Laduk villagers at Singati bazaar. “Koyam and Nangara of Bigu, Sanwa, Amartole and Bhirkuna villages of Khopachangu can be relocated to Benpa and nearby safer areas.”

Locals who faced a high risk of landslide at Sunartole and Bulungkhani of Bulung VDC can be shifted to Chautara and community forest area, while Banchre of Lamidanda VDC, Syauli Bazaar of Sunkhani and Hoksila of Bhimeshwor Municipality also need an immediate relocation, the report adds.

Hundreds of households at Hakubesi, Thulohaku, Sanohaku and Gagane villages of Haku VDC in Rasuwa district need to be relocated to Dhunche and Betrawati, while Mailung and Simle of Dadagaun can be shifted to Santibazaar, according to a study. “Lower belts of Temrangaun, Danagaun, Safrubesi and Langtang are also threatened by recurring landslips,” states the report.

Laipurkharka of Madevsthan VDC, Hindung village of Sertung and Kapurgaun of Lapa in Dhading district are vulnerable to possible landslides in monsoon season. “Hindung villagers can be relocated to Thulogaun, while others to nearby safer locations,” the finding adds.