Kavre, February 1
The Division Road Office of Bhaktapur has started pulling down unauthorised structures along the Araniko highway for the highway’s upgradation.
The office has started clearing illegal structures in Dolalghat bazaar and those built on the banks of Kavre’s Indrawati River in the first phase.
“Currently we’re working in Dolalghat and we’ve granted one month’s time to the concerned landowners to clear illegal structures on their own along the Sanga-Dolalghat stretch,” said DRO Bhaktapur engineer Sudarshan Karki, adding that around two dozen hotels were demolished in Khawa, Panchkhal Municipality.
Karki informed that his office was planning to demolish structures built within 25 metres from the middle of the road along the Dhulikhel-Dolalghat stretch from the end of the second week of February. “As of now, work to upgrade the road is under way along the Dhulikhel-Panchkhal stretch,” he said.
It is estimated that around 2,000 houses will be demolished from Sanga to Bandeu of Dolalghat for upgradation. With a view to upgrade the road into a six-lane highway from Surya Binayak to Dhulikhel, the DRO had written to the district land revenue and district land survey offices about a year ago to provide fresh land ownership certificates to the concerned landowners by excluding the part of land that falls under the road area.
Meanwhile, locals have staged protests demanding compensation if their structures are to be pulled down as per the new criteria. The concerned locals had formed different struggle committees vowing to fight after the DRO issued a one-month notice by introducing new criteria to upgrade the road about three years ago.
“A rule was made in 1960/61 as per which landowners are required to leave 22.86 metres on both sides of the road. Four years later, the then government also drew up a law on the basis of the provision. Now they are up to demolishing our houses within 25 metres from the middle of the road, which is not fair,” said local social activist Lambodar Kayastha of Banepa.
A version of this article appears in print on February 02, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.