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Landless quake survivors in Sindhuli allowed to build homes on public land they’re using

The Kathmandu Post
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The list of victims was prepared after checking their utility bills.

Sujata Lama

The landless quake victims in Sindhuli will finally get to rebuild their homes. The 1,880 survivors of the 2015 earthquake who were put on the roster of beneficiaries of the state’s compensation package will be building their homes in the same area where their homes stood before the disaster.

According to Surya Prakash Bista, chief of the District Project Implementation Unit of the National Reconstruction Authority, slow reconstruction by landless victims is the prime reason behind Sindhuli’s lacklustre showing in the reconstruction process.

The landless victims are primarily based in the district’s Kamalamai Municipality, Marin Rural Municipality and Hariharpur Gadhi Rural Municipality.

Lal Bahadur Rai from Hariharpur Gadhi said that he is happy that his family will finally build a new home. Rai, the sole breadwinner for the family of nine, is a labourer.

“It was very hard [for us] even to make a living, let alone purchase a new plot to construct a house,” Rai said. “We are happy that the government has kept its promise and we are finally relieved that we will build a home soon.”

Bibimaya Theeng from Marin Rural Municipality echoed Rai. “We had made a makeshift shelter on public land and we feared that the government would displace us,” Rai said. “But we are happy now that we will get a new home.”

The decision to provide survivors with the public land they are currently using to build on was made by a meeting between Ganesh Kumar Pahadi, a member of parliament; provincial parliament member Pradip Katuwal, and CDO Janardan Gautam, among others.

The roster of victims was prepared after checking the electricity and water bills submitted by the people living on public land.

Stakeholders say that the government should now decide on the compensation amount.

Among the total 38,054 quake survivors, only 19,238 had received the third tranche of the relief amount—35,919 had received the first tranche and 28,088 the second.

“Because the reconstruction work has not progressed as it should have, we decided upon the current scheme,” Bista said. “We hope the reconstruction will now gain momentum.”