Twelve years on, Dadeldhura flood victims await relocation
September 17, 2016 12:00 AM NPT
By: Barun Paneru
DADELDHURA, Sept 17: Over 200 families in Dadeldhura displaced by floods in 2003 are forced to live in a pitiable condition as government's promise to relocate them hasn't materialized even 12 years after they were displaced from their settlements.
The floods had killed over 32 people and displaced over 200 households of Ladauli, Rakchyani, Shirsa, Sukurla and Basauti of Shirsha VDC, and Simalkhet of Jogbuda VDC.
As their settlements are still at high risk of floods and landslides, these families have been living in the banks of Banara River and nearby community forests since then.
Although influential leaders including the current Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN-UML leader Madav Kumar Nepal, among others, had visited the settlements in the past, none of them made any serious effort for their relocation.
“Leaders promised the victims that they would relocate them in the Tarai region. However, the local authorities said relocation will be within the district. Yet, none have taken initiatives for relocation,” a social worker, Dharma Bahdur Chand, said.
About two years ago, the government had approved a budget of Rs 20.5 million for the relocation of the flood victims through Water-induced Disaster Control Office (WDCO).
However, nobody knows what happened to that budget. The District Administration Office (DAO), Dadeldhura, informed they never received any budget related to the relocation of flood victims.
According to the victims, all that the DAO tells them is that a relocation plan is being formulated. As per the plan, 51 displaced families of Sirsa and Jogbani VDCs would be relocated in the first phase.
However, no visible step has been taken by government bodies for resettling them.
“We are not able to do much as higher authorities have remained indecisive on the matter,” he lamented," said Karunakar Awasthi, assistant chief of the DAO.