TIKAPUR, March 6: As many as 16 families of Balchaur in Lamki Municipality-3, who have received compensation from Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Project, are refusing to vacate their property.
The project has arranged housing plots for these families in Amauri in Janaki Municipality-5. But these families are building new structures near the irrigation canal instead of relocating to the new location, according to the project office.
The project office last year provided two kattha of land to each family in the new location near Tikapur-Lamki road. The new location has graveled road as well as electricity and drinking water facilities, among others.
Along with providing land plot, the project office has also provided financial support to such families to build their house, according to Bidur Shrestha, senior division engineer of the project. “Some of the families displaced by the project have already built their house in the new location after receiving first installment of the financial support,” he added.
Not only families who are refusing to relocated to a new location, but other families have also started building houses in the area, according to Shrestha.
Kalicharan Chaudhary, who has also received compensation from the project office, told Republica that they have not decided on moving to the new location yet. “As we have already received compensation, we will have to shift to the new location sooner or later. But, we have not decided yet,” he added.
Balchaur is a settlement of freed kamaiyas – a form of bonded labor. As many as 300 freed kamaiya families have been living here ever since the government outlawed the kamaiya system.
“We don’t want to live this place as we have been living here for the past 10 years,” Sahadev Chaudhary said. “As we are emotionally attached with this place, our relocation plan is getting delayed.”
Laxmi Ram Chaudhary said most of the families do not like the new place. “But there is nothing we can do now as most of us have received. Sooner or later we will have to leave this place,” he added. “My family is not being able to move to the new place as I have not been able to build house due to lack of workers.”
Shrestha, however, said the project office might have to use force to relocate families, who have received compensation, to the new location. “We are requesting them now. If they do not agree to move, we might have to take the help of local units as well as security agencies,” he added.
Bhakta Chalaune, chairperson of Ward 3 of Lamki Chuha Municipality, said both sides should find amicable solution to the issue. “The project has not faced any obstacle from the locals so far. But those receiving compensation should move to the new area at the earliest possible,” he added.
The project, which is estimated to cost Rs 27 billion, targets to irrigate over 40,000 hectares of land in eastern part of Kailali district.