Mechidanda locals fear displacement after construction of bridge

Published On: February 4, 2018 03:32 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

MECHI, Feb 3: The news that a new bridge will be built over the Mechi River has elated a lot of people except for the 27 families of Mechidanda, Kakkadvitta who have been living under the fear of being displaced.

The Asian Development Bank has announced to invest Rs 1.5 billion in the construction of the bridge and a four-lane road in the northern part of the Mechi Bridge. Those who are on the verge of displacement have urged the government for an alternative management. "We are not against development but we can't just let anyone snatch our shelters in the name of development," said Dilliram Adhikari, a local.

According to Adhikari, the municipality and the government should take efforts to ensure shelter for the to-be displaced households. Showing the red mark near his house he said "They have already red-marked our land. We might have to leave our houses anytime," said Adhikari.

Most of the locals living here are middle class families who have been managing their life by doing small businesses. Since the announcement of the construction of the bridge, locals here are having sleepless nights wondering about their future. They have urged the government to take their problem seriously and help them cope up with it. 

In order to solve this problem, a team of representatives led by Bimal Acharya, the mayor of Mechinagar Municipality has reached Kathmandu. They have drawn the attention of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.  Prime Minister Deuba has assured them to find measures to solve the problem. "It is a serious problem and the victims will of course receive compensation. But we are not sure about the amount of compensation," said Mina Pokhrel Upreti, deputy mayor of Mechinagar.

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