Kavre quake victims receive housing grant

Kavre, August 26

The government has provided housing grant to earthquake victims of then two VDCs in Kavre district. The quake victims who do not have their land ownership certificates have received the grant  two years after the deadly tremors struck the country, on the basis of land tax they paid to the land revenue office.

The recipients of the grant, who hail from Phalante and Bhumlutar of Bhumlutar Rural Municipality earlier could not sign the grant agreement with the government for house construction as they lacked their land ownership certificates. These villages lie in ward 7 and ward 8 of the rural municipality respectively.

People from these wards have remained without their land ownership certificates for the past 43 years. They had been unable to acquire their land ownership certificates due to some land disputes during the land survey in then Pipaltar VDC decades ago. The VDC was then divided into Bhumlutar and Phalante in 1975.

Nine months ago, concerned government agencies in the district had visited and inspected the two wards and agreed to provide grant for house construction on the basis of land tax payment slips. According to ward 8 chairman Motilal Lama, so far 530 families from the ward have signed the grant agreement with the government while another 51 families from ward 8 have started constructing their houses after obtaining the grant.

Lama said 420 households from ward 7signed the grant agreement, subsequent to which the first instalment amount has been deposited in the victim families’ bank accounts. “It is unfortunate that quake victims have got the grant two years after the quake hit them”, Lama said. Land rights activists had long been pressing the government to provide the housing grant. Meanwhile, District Land Revenue Office, Kavre has started the process to issue land ownership certificates to them after the locals approached the Ministry of Land Reforms. The locals, however, are yet to receive their documents.

The rural municipality chairman Gumandhowj Kuwar said land ownership certificates of 160 people from the wards were ready and that the land revenue office would start distributing the certificates to the owners after Dashain and Tihar festivals.

More than 1000 locals had applied for land ownership certificates at the district land revenue office, earlier.