Sindhulimadi, September 26
The integrated residence facilities meant for earthquake victims of last year have been lying useless for quite some time now in Sindhuli given the delay from the concerned authorities to shift the victims there.
The government has constructed integrated residence facilities at six places in Dudhauli, Purano Jhangajholi, Bhuwaneshwor and Bitijor VDCs as well as Kamalamai Municipality Ward No 4 and 9 for families that have been living in the open after last year’s earthquake damaged their houses.
Each of the residences can accommodate 18 families.
Of the residences, the ones in Kamalamai Municipality-9, Dhungrebas and Bitijor VDCs were built by the Nepali Army, while the rest were built by Urban Development and Building Construction Department of Sindhuli.
Purano Jhangajholi, Bitijor and Bhuwaneshwori were worst hit by the tremor last year.
“But long after the integrated settlements were built, the authorities have not yet allowed the quake victims to live there,” said quake victim Dhanjung Thapa of Purano Jhangajholi, adding, “We’ve written to the VDC office, requesting them to let us shift to the integrated shelters, but to no avail. We are still staying put in a tent.”
Interestingly, a police post has been set up in a community residence built in Kamalamai Municipality-9.
Regarding the delay, UDBCD Sindhuli chief Engineer Achyutam Khatiwada said that his office was responsible only for build the houses. “Our job was to build the houses, and we’ve accomplished it. The matter as to whom to keep in the houses will be decided by the District Natural Disaster Management Committee,” he said.
Meanwhile, committee chairperson and Chief District Officer Tara Bahadur Karki said preparations were under way to let the victims live in those facilities. “Earlier, we had entrusted the District Development Committee with the task of shifting the victims in the facilities.
But as the DDC has shown no interest in the task, we are now preparing to select the families who will shift to the residences by following due process,” said the CDO.
A version of this article appears in print on September 27, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.