Balaju demolition uproots 18 houses

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 20, 2014-

A group of victims of the road expansion drive in Kathmandu on Tuesday

filed a complaint in the National Human Rights Commission against the authorities’ high handedness and police excesses.

The families that were rendered homeless by the demolition carried out in Balaju Bypass have claimed that the expansion drive targeted them as they are helpless people, urging the national human rights body to investigate into the case and its anomalies. They demanded action against the Kathmandu Valley Town Development Implementation Committee (KVTDIC), the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Nepal Police for arresting the locals who were protesting the expansion.

Last month the KVTDIC bulldozed around 50 houses in the road section and 18 households were displaced. “We aren’t against the drive, but the expansion should be carried out on either of the road. In this stretch, only one side of the road has been cleared, just because powerful people own properties on the other side,” said Bijaya Sainju, a human rights activist. Victims have claimed that a film hall is owned by UML lawmaker Ram Bir Manandhar on the other side so no demolition took place there. “The expansion has to be carried out justly and not only the weak should be trampled over,” added Sainju.

Refuting Sainju’s charges, KVTDIC chief Bhaikaji Tiwari said the expansion has been carried out in a fair manner. “The houses that were demolished were built on the property owned by Nagarjun Forest. We even found forest demarcation pillars where the houses stood,” said Tiwari. “We made repeated calls to the concerned officials to demand compensation and produce their property documents, which they ignored,” said Tiwari.

This in not the first time road expansion authorities have been blamed for irregularities. Two weeks ago, the KVTDIC demolished a house in Dillibazaar, despite a stay order from Patan Appellate Court. Then, authorities escaped with a claim that they had mistaken one house for another.

Published: 21-05-2014 09:01

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