Biratnagar squatters to be removed from river banks

Biratnagar, August 30

Biratnagar Metropolitan City is planning to remove squatter settlements from river banks of the metropolis after floods a fortnight ago caused severe damage to the settlements on the banks of Keshliya, Singhiyakhola and other canals, displacing around 2,000 families.

Mayor Bhim Parajuli said his office had started looking for an alternative to manage the squatters. “We are working on an alternative arrangement for squatters  and planning to pass the proposal from the municipal council,” Parajuli said. He said the metropolis had urged donors to provide assistance for alternative management of squatters.

Parajuli said the metropolis had come up with an alternative long-term solution for the safety of squatters in times of flood in the metropolis. He said his office had asked the squatters not to construct permanent structures on the river banks. “The work on alternative management of squatters will start from this year,” Parajuli informed.

Parajuli said some donors were ready to extend help for construction of model settlements. “We are searching for land to establish a model squatter settlement,” he added.

Some squatters have their houses in Biratnagar. They have rented their house and are living on the river banks as squatters. “We will not involve such people in the rehabilitation project,” Parajuli said. He said the metropolis would identify genuine squatters and rehabilitate them.

As many as six persons were killed and more than 12,000 people were left displaced in the floods a fortnight ago in Biratnagar. Most of the people living on the river banks had become homeless due to the flood.