No sight of solution to thousands of landless Kavre quake victims’ problem

Kavre, January 4

One-and-a-half years have gone by since the devastating quake struck the country, but the plight of 12,000 landless earthquake victims is as it was. They are still deprived of the government grant amount for house reconstruction in Kavre.

The National Reconstruction Authority had assured the victims that the cabinet would take a decision by mid-December last year and settle the problem facing tremor victims.

However, the dispute between the government and opposition in the Parliament has overshadowed the victims’ plight leaving the receipt of the grant amount in uncertainty.

Almost 1,000 quake victims from Bhumlutar and Phalante VDCs are yet to sign the grant agreement for building houses due to lack of land ownership certificates.

Motilal Lama of Bhumlutar complained that their situation was the same as that of squatters for want of land ownership certificates.

Quake victims from other VDCs have started building houses, but we are yet to get the grant,” Lama lamented.

National Reconstruction Authority, however, has not stopped assuring that the problems of landless quake victims would be settled by a cabinet decision.

District Land Rights Forum Kavre Chairman Ram Bahadur Tamang said that NRA had assured the quake victims that their problems would be settled. “The plight of quake victims, nevertheless, continues unabated. They are having a hard time in the freezing cold,” Tamang said.

According to Tamang, his forum has been agitating for the rights of around 12,000 quake victims without land ownership certificates.

Kavre District Administration says it is mulling over providing grant amount for residence construction to landless victims.

Locals from Bhumlutar and Phalante have been without landownership certificates for the past 42 years. Despite possessing the ‘quake victim’ ID card and citizenship certificate, among other documents, they have been deprived of the grant due to lack of land ownership certificates.

Meanwhile, after the locals forwarded the process to the Ministry of Land Reform, Land Revenue Office Kavre started the process of issuing land ownership certificates last year. More than 600 locals have filed application for land ownership certificates at the Land Revenue Office.

District Disaster and Rescue Committee maintains that it has been acting on the NRA’s directive. Planning Officer Dholakraj Dhakal of Kavre DDC said that residence building grant agreement could be signed if the people of the two VDCs had land with certificates in other VDCs.