RDO, police destroy illegal structures along Araniko highway
October 2, 2018 06:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Oct 2: The Road Division Office (RDO), Bhaktapur, has started removing the illegal structures built along the Sanga Bhanjyang-Dhulikhel section of the Araniko Highway. The office started demolishing such structures from Monday citing that the pedestrians are facing difficulties due to the encroachment of the road by such structures.
“The local representatives, too, have supported the RDO and Banepa Municipality itself took the lead to remove such structures,” RDO's engineer Sudarshan Karki said, “We had to start demolishing the illegal structures after the people who built them showed no sign of removing them even after several notices.”
Even though the criteria for the construction of any structures along the highway prohibits the construction of structures within 25 meters of the road, the road division has started destroying structures within 23 meters only. The division office had issued several public notices prior to demolishing such structures in accordance with the Supreme Court's order.
According to the mayor of Banepa Municipality, Laxmi Narsingh Bade, a meeting of the chief of District Coordination Committee Kavre, local administration, and ward chairpersons concerned had decided to take the details of structures built beside the road before 1974 and send an application to the Department of Roads for compensation to such structures. “We had sent repeated notices to the people concerned after the meeting that the structures would be demolished from October 1,” he said.
Locals in dismay
The locals of the road section have said that the RDO has dealt severe injustice to them by demolishing the structures just ahead of the Dashain festival.
“We had requested the mayor to postpone the demolition work till the end of Dashain. We had even told him that we would remove the structures on our own after Dashain,” a local Ishwar Shrestha said, “We were not even given time to remove our belongings from our houses.”
Shrestha said that the Sanga bazaar has been reduced to rubble after the demolition. “Sanga bazaar looks like a graveyard now,” he said, “The houses built by our forefathers were destroyed in front of our eyes.”
A police team accompanying the officers from the RDO had to use force on the locals after they tried to obstruct the demolition of the structures on Monday morning. According to the locals, a local Jayendra Shrestha was injured in the incident. The RDO has even destroyed the Sanga Police Post in the process.
The road division also plans to remove the illegal structures built along the road in Dhulikhel Municipality.