557 shelters of quake survivors in Gorkha at high risk of landslide
July 1, 2016 04:36 PM NPT
KERAUJA , July 1: At least 557 shelters of April 25 earthquake victims at Kerauja VDC in Gorkha are at high risk of a landslide.
Their problems are so severe that they want to leave their shelters as soon as possible, but apathy of concerned authorities towards their woes is only making the matter worse.
The quake-affected people are living in tents or huts in various areas of the VDC in the district after their houses were destroyed by the quake on April 25, 2015 that killed nearly 9,000 people across the country, injured around 22,000 and destroyed hundreds of houses and structures.
Even around 15 months into the disaster, they are forced to live in such pitiable condition coupled with monsoon as their roofs leak, troubling them without proper rehabilitation.
This is not the first time that they have to live with fear for their lives due to a landslide risk with 13 huts of ward no-4 swept away by landslides recently over the past two weeks.
Likewise, scores of huts of quake survivors were washed away by landslides during last year's monsoon.
However, their hardships remain as fresh as ever as concerned authorities are yet to pay heed to their problems despite their repeated calls to find a solution, the victims said.
Moreover, without any other option left, some of them go to nearby forest to live at nights and return home at day, fearing landslides.
The victims have demanded that they should be relocated to a safer place at the earliest.
Their problems are genuine as fear for their life haunts them every time when it rains that risk a landslide.
"How can we sleep as my house is just below a cliff susceptible to a landslide. I have nowhere to go. And I cannot stay here any longer risking lives of me and my family either," said quake victim Man Bahadur Gurung of Kerauja-4 whose shelter is at high risk of a landslide.
He is worried about where to build a house after receiving grant amount of Rs 200,000 given to each family whose house was destroyed by the quake, as he does not have any safer place to build a new house.
On the other hand, geologists earlier have warned that the area is at risk of a landslide and that the entire settlement should be moved to a safer place at the earliest.
None to turn to for help, the locals are left with not any option, but approach Suka Bahadur Gurung, former VDC secretary for finding a solution to their problems.
However, Gurung is yet to come up with an effective idea to this effect as his repeated meeting with concerned authorities to relocate the locals at risk of a landslide has not yielded any result so far.
"I reached the district headquarters three times and met Chief District Officer at least 10 times with the problems of the locals, but to no avail," he said, adding that he also asked the District Development Committee to provide gabions, but authorities were yet to respond.
Meanwhile, at least 552 shelters of the quake survivors at Puchargaun VDC are also at risk of a landslide. RSS