Quake victims in Valley deprived of housing grant due to land disputes

Published On: June 25, 2018 05:15 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 25: Even three years after the 2015 earthquakes, many victims in the Kathmandu Valley remain deprived of the housing grant of Rs 300,000 due to the “National Reconstruction Authority’s inaction” in resolving the land ownership disputes.

Many earthquake victims in the Kathmandu Valley living on Guthi land or public land have either not been able to sign housing grant agreements or claim the grant despite signing grant agreement.

Many earthquake victims in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur districts living on the lands owned by the Guthi Corporation or private Guthis or on public land have either not been able to sign housing grant agreements or claim the grant despite signing grant agreements. Similarly, those victims who have multiple ownerships over a single plot of land and those who have boundary disputes over their lands have also been deprived of the housing grant as they have not been able to get their house design blueprints approved by the authorities. 

The NRA’s inaction in resolving the matter has slowed down private housing reconstruction in the Valley.

Of the total 103,260 quake victims in the three districts identified as eligible for the housing grant, 16,101 have still not been able to sign grant agreement. Similarly, only 27,154 of the total victims have been able to start reconstruction of their damaged houses.

At an interaction organized by NRA with representatives of Bhaktapur district last week, Nawaraj Gelal, chief of District Coordination Committee, urged the NRA to help resolve the problems related to land ownership immediately. He said private housing reconstruction deadline can’t be met without resolving the problem. NRA plans to complete housing reconstruction in all the 31 quake-hit districts by the end of the next fiscal year.

NRA spokesman Krishna Prasad Dabadi said the NRA has not been able to resolve the land ownership-related problem as the issue is overseen by other authorities. 

He said that the NRA is making preparations to table the issue at the upcoming meeting of the Steering Committee of the NRA, which is chaired by the prime minister. The meeting is likely to take place within this week. 

“The steering committee can make a decision to resolve the matter and instruct the concerned authorities to cooperate with the NRA,” he added.  

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