GORKHA, Dec 2: Locals of Doyal and Payau villages in Gorkha have demanded resettlement in safer zone following high risk of landslides in the hills. Recurring landslides since the devastating earthquake of 2015 have already displaced a dozen families in those villages. And the fear not only persists, it has actually aggravated as the hills look more fragile and landslides have been more frequent.
According to Ram Kumar Gurung, chairperson of Chumnubri Rural Municipality – 3, where the two villages lie, massive landslides 15 years ago had devastated several settlements in the region.
People have been fearing similar disaster. "Landslides are getting so frequent that everyone fears of great disaster. There is a possibility of entire villages getting swept away," Gurung said. "The families displaced after the earthquake have not yet been resettled. We are simply not ready for another disaster," he added.
Gurung further stated that the process of resettlement of the displaced families is underway. Lands have been purchased for the affected people. But, houses have not been built yet.
"It will still take some more months to build the houses. The families have been so far living in makeshift huts," he said. "And now over 50 households at Paiyu and Doyal villages are likely to be affected if landslides occur, and they have demanded resettlement at the earliest," he added.
According to Kumari Gurung, vice chairperson of the rural municipality, the local unit had spent Rs 3 million last year for landslides prevention measures. "But there is no option of shifting people from here. The risk of landslides now is too high," she remarked.
Meanwhile, chairperson of the rural municipality Gurung stated that the grant provided by the government for quake and landslides hit families is not enough because of the remoteness of the villages. Since the transportation charge of the raw materials to build house is too high, they remain at loss, he said. "The government provides the same amount of money to all the victims, but while it comes to building houses, families in the remote areas are always in disadvantage. In remote hills, it is very challenging to transport raw materials," said Gurung. He further stated that the wage of mules that is used to transport goods is too high.
According to Gurung, the government must treat the remote places with additional support for reconstruction.