Hetauda, January 17
The Road Division Office, Hetauda has started demolishing illegally-built private houses and other infrastructure along the highway in Hetauda from today.
The division office had issued a 15-day notice to locals to remove infrastructure built within 25 metres on both sides of the road. Bulldozers have been used to demolish the houses after the given deadline ended yesterday. Buildings on Rapti Road are being demolished.
The division office said demolition of illegally-built infrastructure would continue as part of the road expansion drive. Information Officer at the Road Division Jaya Ram Adhikari said that the road expansion project would not stop.
Meanwhile, a group led by Makawanpur Chambers of Commerce and Industry called a bandh in Hetauda Bazaar from yesterday protesting the demolition. They have said infrastructure cannot be demolished without compensating owners for the land. The bandh continued today too.
The Hetuada Settlement Conservation Committee led by the MCCI had organised a rally yesterday. Some house owners had reportedly started to remove their belongings from their houses prior to the demolition.
Chief of the Central Regional Administration Office Binod KC said action would be taken as per the law of the land against those who obstruct the state-sanctioned project. “There will be no compromise made on this matter,” he said, adding that it was irresponsible to attempt to protect illegal infrastructure.
The road expansion project was reportedly disrupted earlier due to lack of cooperation from the local administration. With KC’s initiatives, the expansion project has now kicked off.
The division had removed infrastructure of District Traffic Police Office, DPO, Hetauda Hospital, District Postal Office, Nepal Telecom, Nepal Bank Limited, Nepal Trust, Institute of Forest and Science, District Livestock Service Office, Area Police Office, Pashupatinagar, and Industry Management Office some 15 days ago.
A version of this article appears in print on January 18, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.