House-owners tell govt offices to vacate

Damodar Bhandari

Bardiya, January 17:

Residents of Gulariya, the district headquarters of Bardiya, who had rented their premises to government offices have asked the latter to vacate their property.

They made the requests after the Maoists began a series of attacks on buildings occupied by government offices. The house-owners said they also registered their appeal in the District Administration Office (DAO). Laxmi Devi Khanal said she had filed an appeal in the DAO, asking the Cooperative Division Office to vacate her house as soon as possible. The office was in her house for the last 15 years.

Khanal said, “I came to apply here because we stay in a house next to our own. If Maoists launch an attack on the cooperative office, we might be in danger too.” She added her family had been staying nights in neighbours’ houses because of fear.

Over a dozen government offices, including that of the municipality, District Election Office, District Survey Department (DSD), Land Revenue Office and Women Development Branch, are running in houses rented from Gulariya locals.

A few days ago, Maoists detonated bombs in Sher Bahadur Bhandari’s three-storied building that housed the DAO and that of Sant Ram Basyal which housed the DSD office. Both house-owners complained they had yet to get compensation for the damage.

Bhandari and Basyal decided to get their respective premises vacated as there was no guarantee of compensation. Besides, even if they got it, the amount would not enough to cover the extent of damage.

Bardiya CDO Narendra Dahal admitted being besieged with pleas to ask the government offices to vacate the premises. He claimed the government was providing compensation after conducting an assessment, in case Maoists damaged any local’s property.