Quake-hit wary of moving out of villages

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 18, 2015-

The government’s plan to relocate quake-hit households from severely affected areas has hit a snag after many of them refused to move to safer places.

According to District Admi-nistration Offices in Rasuwa, Dolakha and Gorkha, their plan to shift households from disaster-prone areas to safer places has not gone smooth as many families are unwilling to move to temporary shelters set up. Villagers do not want to go to new places abandoning paddy plantation and other important works on their farmlands.

“Locals are ready to face the consequences but they are not willing to move to new places. They want to stay on in their settlement despite the difficulties,” said Rasuwa Chief District Officer Shiva Ram Gelal. Instead, affected households are living in their own villages seeking better options.

In Rasuwa, the local administration has recommended the relocation of 2,000 households. So far, the Rasuwa DAO has shifted 500 households to safer areas while other families are reluctant to leave their settlements. Some households that had shifted to temporary shelters have returned to their old settlements to continue their daily works.

According to CDO Gelal, 72 households of Hanku VDC have been shifted to Bogatitar of Laharepipal and additional 240 households of the same VDC have moved to Dhunche. Some 40 herders of Langtang, who were shifted to Shanti bazaar, had returned to their respective villages. The government on June 30 endorsed the proposal to relocate households in the 15 districts hit hardest by the earthquake that are at high risks of landslide. The DAOs were asked to complete relocation within two weeks.

“People have sentimental attachment with the place. Only those who have no other option have agreed to move,” said Dolakha CDO Devendra Lamichhane. In Dolakha, some 1,200 people have been shifted to safer areas so far while many others living in landslide-prone areas have not accepted the relocation offer. In the rainy season, hilly areas already shaken by the earthquakes are likely to face landslides.

According to Gorkha CDO Uddav Prasad Timilsina, out of the 2,300 households, 1,700 were shifted to makeshift shelters. Around 376 households of Derauja VDC were shifted to temporary shelters in Aarughat and locals of Laprak VDC were shifted to Gufsi Bhanjyang.

Published: 19-07-2015 07:45

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