Earthquake survivors still await govt grant

Nuwakot, September 9

The survivors of last year’s Gorkha earthquake in some VDCs of Nuwakot district have been deprived of the government-pledged grant for reconstruction of their quake-damaged houses.

Although over a year has elapsed since the government started signing grant agreements with quake victims, as many as 804 registered quake survivors in Ghyangfedi, 400 in Sikharibesi and 854 in Lachyang VDC have yet to receive the grant.

The delay in distribution of grant has been attributed to the dispute regarding ownership and management of land since many quake-damaged houses in these VDCs were built on the lands owned by Guthi.

Ghyangfedi VDC Secretary Raju Adhikari said signing of agreements with quake victims had been delayed as many quake-damaged houses in the VDC were build on land plots owned by Gosaikunda Trust.

He further explained, “The distribution of grant has been halted in Ghyangfedi VDC because the government has yet to issue directives on the usage of land for the same purpose.”

The government has failed to decide whether to relocate the quake-victims from their existing illegally built houses on the Guhti-owned land or to allow them to rebuild their houses in their original location, shared Loknath Regmi, chief of District Project Implementation Unit, Nuwakot.

Take Raju Tamang, of Sisipu in Ghyangfedi-6, however, is not regretful for illegally building a house in the government-owned land. He said many victims like him were left in the lurch for want of safe shelter after the 7.6 magnitude quake damaged their houses on April 25, 2015.