Faulty survey puts Udayapur households at risk of displacement

Gaighat, January 9

Locals at Old Gaighat have charged that the survey carried out by Alternative Highway Construction Project was faulty and had put seven households at high risk of displacement in Triyuga Municipality of Udayapur.

The locals said the project had conducted the survey in such a way so as to save the land belonging to a former joint secretary.

The problem occurred after the project cleared the base from the southern part of the road instead of clearing both sides for expansion.

“The one-sided survey from the southern part of the road has affected scores of households in the area,” said project-affected Saraswati Mahatara. Mahatara, chairperson of the Victim Protest Committee,   informed that the project had not cleared even an inch of land in the northern part of the road.

She added that the project had carried out faulty survey only to protect a house belonging to former joint secretary Shiva Katwal that lies in the northern part of the road.

As per the survey of 1971/72, the road was supposed to be expanded 10 to 15 metres on each side. But the road was expanded 30 metres only from the south, said another victim Padam Budhathoki.

A local social activist Love Dhakal said the recent survey should be rectified as the locals’ houses were at risk. He added that nobody had accepted the new survey because many households would face displacement. “It is wrong to displace scores of local residents just to save an individual’s house,” he said.

The victims claimed that the survey had affected plot number 80/510, 81/150, 112/127 of Triyuga Municipality. The victims have appealed to political parties, civil society and mediapersons, among others for justice. They said nobody would’ve been affected if the road was expanded from both sides.

Nepali Congress District President Bidur Basent said a multi-party meeting had decided to request the project to expand the road on both sides.

Meanwhile, Chief of the project Umesh Bindu Shrestha conceded they had made some mistakes while straightening the road.