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Govt steps up relief distribution for demolished houses

- SAMIK KHAREL, KATHMANDU
Govt steps up relief distribution for demolished houses

Jul 7, 2014-

The government has expedited the process to pay damages for the houses that were completely or partially demolished during a road expansion drive launched two years ago in Kathmandu.

Relenting to the long-standing demand of house owners for early compensation, the Kathmandu Valley Town Development Implementation Committee (KVTDIC) this week issued checks worth Rs 80 million to owners that sought reimbursement for their demolished houses.

Earlier this month, the government had disbursed Rs 200 million for the people whose houses were bulldozed. “This is a welcome development as we were having a hard time convincing the people that they will get the promised relief, but could not set the date. In the lack of funds, we had been unable to compensate the victims,” said KVTDIC chief Bhaikaji Tiwari. “We will soon be getting Rs 120 million for the purpose.”

Earlier, the KVTDIC paid sums to a small number of owners whose dwellings were demolished. This was because the government had failed to allocate the required amount of money even after assuring prompt relief for house owners complying with its terms.

An estimated Rs 1 billion is required to compensate Valley residents directly affected by the road expansion drive. So far, the government has released a total of Rs 500 million for the purpose.

“We have asked the government for an additional Rs 180 million,” said Tiwari, adding that Rs 160 million would go to Kathmandu and the remaining Rs 20 million to Lalitpur.

Most owners awaiting relief are from Bagbazaar, Gongabu, Galkopakha, Old Baneshwor, Dillibazaar and Nayabazaar. Although the government has stated to pay Rs 1,750 per square feet of demolished property, the amount varies based on the age and condition of the property.

To some of the owners whose houses were completely razed, the government has announced to pay an additional 10 percent on the value of the building as determined by the Revenue Department. This scheme aims to rehabilitate the displaced people.

The government widened 200 km road in the Valley in the past two years. Another 200 km awaits expansion.

Published: 07-07-2014 09:08

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