Quake-displaced locals in a lurch

July 9, 2016 01:50 AM SANTOSH POKHREL and NARAHARI SAPKOTA


POKHARA and GORKHA, July  9: The failure by the authorities to relocate the landslide-displaced locals of Keraunja VDC in Gorkha distrct to safer locations, has proved costlier for the locals.  

A landslide that occurred last Tuesday killed three villagers, who had chosen to remain in the village although they had been warned about the possibility of a landslide.  

Last year, a team of geologists led by lawmaker Chhyam Bahadur Gurung, an elected representative from the constituency covering Keraunja VDC, had surveyed the village and recommended immediate relocation of the settlement. The monitoring team had recommended relocating all the 400 locals to Mangaltar in Aruchanaute VDC in Gorkha at least for a temporary period.
 
“We had earlier asked the local authorities to relocate the displaced locals within 15 days, but they have yet to respond,” said Lawmaker Gurung. “Their tardy action has ultimately shown the consequences.”

However, Gorkha Chief District Officer (CDO) Narayan Bhatta informed that villagers were reluctant to move to safer places despite the monitoring team's recommendation.

“We tried our best to convince the villagers but they were not ready to shift elsewhere,” CDO Bhatta added.

According to the locals, they refused to move elswehere as basic amenities were not guaranteed to them.

“They asked us to move but didn't guarantee us permanent shelter,” one of the locals complained.

With rainfall continuing, Keraunja is seeing more landslides. Many locals have now started moving to safer places for on their own for temporary period.


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