Poor families languish in tents as PRP promise fails

Rajbiraj, May 16

She had a home, but demolished it following the government’s assurance of a better one. Six months down the line Samjhadevi Sada of Chhinnamasta Rural Municipality, Saptari is still without a roof over her head.

“It was mid-winter when I dismantled my home thinking that I would get a better home in its stead. I braved the extreme cold under a flimsy tent hoping to get a concrete home, but months later I’m left to weather the monsoon under a tent,” lamented the woman.

The plight of 60-year-old Dukhanidevi Sada of the same place is similar. “Whatever it was, I had at least something to call my home. Ever since I pulled it down, I am living a pathetic life and there is no sign of the promised home before monsoon,” she said.

In fact, there are 48 other families in the village and some 1,248 Dalits and impoverished families who are waiting for the government to provide the promised home. Most of them have already pulled down their homes to make way for construction of a better home to be built under the People’s Residence Programme.

The government has approved construction of 800 homes for impoverished and Dalit families in Saptari in places such as Bishahariya, Kanchanpur, Maleth, Bodebarsain, Lalapatti and Chhinamasta for fiscal of 2074-75.

“Though we have plan to construct houses, we have only finished the survey so far. We are unable to start work due to lack of fund,” said Urban Development and Building Construction Department Division Office Saptari Chief Ramesh Thing, adding that the existing fund of 20 million rupees will be spent to complete construction of houses approved in the previous fiscal.