Myanglung blaze victims deep in debt

Terhathum, April 30:

Five years ago, people of Myanglung lost their houses in a blaze. Now they are deep in debt.

Eighty-five houses were destroyed in the blaze that spread in this township on December 8, 2002.

Donor organisations had allocated a total of Rs 10 million for the blaze victims. The fund was equally distributed among the victims. The victims have built concrete buildings in place of the destroyed wooden houses. Bhuwan Narayan Shrestha, a fire victim, said the victims built the houses selling their ancestral property. “We will never forget the day,” he said referring to the December 8 blaze. “The fire victims are deep in debt now.”

In the arson, Shrestha lost property worth Rs 5 million, including four houses and a cosmetic shop. But he just got Rs 1.3 lakh as financial support.

Shrestha said government’s pressure also compelled the victims to erect concrete buildings. The government provided financial aid to the victims on the condition that they will erect concrete buildings. Selling his land, Shrestha has built a four-storey building. Taking loan from the Agriculture Development Bank, victims Roshan Shrestha, Kedar Dhungana, Chandra Joshi, Bhuwan Narayan Shrestha, Tulasi Joshi and others have built concrete houses.

Krishna Narayan Shrestha, Sunil Pradhan and Pramod Shrestha, who had taken loan from the bank before the blaze, have been given rebate as relief while 10 blaze victims were give no rebate, it is learnt. Victims Bhagat Lal Shrestha, Shiva Narayan Shrestha and Dambar Bahadur Shrestha have been displaced from the headquarters after they could not repay the loan.

The government had pledged to send the victims abroad for employment but no victim was sent abroad.