Dolakha quake victims deprived of housing grant

Dolakha, October 15

As many as 70 households of earthquake victims at Fulpaka of Bhimeshwor Municipality–2 in Dolakha have been deprived of the second instalment of housing grant for reconstruction of their damaged houses as they do not have their land ownership certificates.

Earlier, the families were, however, provided Rs 50,000 as the first instalment of the government grant. Some of the families have already completed the reconstruction of their houses. The trouble started after the municipality didn’t approve the maps of their houses as they lacked their land ownership documents.

A victim, Aaiti Thami, 33, of the locality complained that they had been using someone else’s lands. “I have frequently asked the land owner to provide my share of land after splitting it, but in vain,”  Thami said.

Another victim Kumar Basnet of the locality said, “We had no option but to till others’ lands due to poverty. The municipality doesn’t pass the map of our house. How can we construct our house?” said Basnet.

Murari Tripathi from Land Survey Office, Dolakha,  said the victims had to wait one more year if their land owners didn’t give them their shares of land. He informed that if any landlord didn’t split the land for a year, the government could hand over half the total land to the tiller after a year.

Another victim Gore Bahadur Thami, 55, said he was undecided whether to build his house on someone else’s land. “We are uncertain about what we should do if the landlord demolishes the house we built,” said Thami.

Reconstruction Authority District Coordination Committee Chief Sagar Acharya, however, said it should not be a big deal for quake victims to obtain the second instalment of housing grants when they have already received the first trance.

He said his office would find an easy way out to the problem. He was of the opinion that the victims needed to reconstruct their houses in time as per the time-frame set by the government.