Govt to use force to remove squatters along Narayangadh-Muglin road section

CHITWAN: The Narayangadh-Muglin road expansion project has decided to remove squatters residing along the highway as most of the areas are prone to landslide and landslip after the road expansion.

The local government has said that forces would be mobilised if the squatters hesitate to relocate themselves from the areas.

As many as 45 house-owners have received the first installment compensation amount from the Narayangadh-Muglin road expansion project.

22 out of 45 houses in the high risk zone have received their full compensation amount and moved elsewhere, whereas 23 houses in Khanikhola are hesitating to move.

Chitwan Chief District Officer Jitendra Basnet said, "If they don't relocate by themselves, we will use dozers to remove them from the area."

Basnet further said, they have already received their compensation amount, so, they will be removed before the onset of monsoon as the areas are prone to natural disasters.

Narayangadh-Muglin road project chief Rohit Kumar Bishural said, "The local government has been notified about removing the squatters along the highway as the second extension of five days granted to them has expired on Tuesday."

"With high risk of landslides and landslips, they do not have any alternative other than to move from there," Bishural added.

Most of the villagers had migrated to the roadside along the highway from nearby villages in 1981 for trade and earning livelihood. However, most of them are defying order as they fear earning livelihood in remote villages would be difficult.

Likewise, Shiva Khanal, Information Officer of the Project said, "Last year the project had conducted livelihood training on mushroom farming, briquette, goat farming among others. This time around also they would be given such training. After the training, they would be provided with Rs 10,000 to facilitate their start-up."

The compensation amount to the victims was set on the recommendation of the Project Evaluation Committee at the District Administration Office. The project, which is financially supported by the World Bank, also distributed moving transportation expenses to the victims.

As per the condition of the houses, the compensation amount ranged from Rs 70,000 to Rs 1,410,000. At least 33 per cent of the squatters have received their first installment of the compensation amount.

Earlier, the World Bank representatives and Nepal government's Parliamentary Development Committee had suggested to remove squatters from Khanikhola owing to high risk of natural disasters.