Landslide victims say government failed to bring pledged relief

- ANANDA GAUTAM, KHOKLING (TAPLEJUNG)

Feb 28, 2017- A special relief programme, announced by the government two months ago, in the name of the landslide displaced families of Khokling, Libang, Lingtep, Santhakra and Thinglabu VDCs in Taplejung has not reached them.

Eighty-eight families from the five VDCs were rendered homeless by landslides triggered by torrential rains in 2015 and 2016. They are currently surviving as tenant farmers, expecting the government officials to come to their rescue. No one has come so far.
Pawan Puri, one of the landslide victims, said they were living in a hope that the government would resettle them and help rebuild their lives.
“We are worried because we have nowhere else to go. We cannot remain here like this forever,” he said.
Puri added that some the families have already migrated to other places because they were not convinced that the government help would arrive. 
“The delay in arrival of relief programme got them into thinking that the government was not serious about their plight, that it was just a hollow promise, typical of our government and the political leaders. Those families who remain here like to think that it is not so, but it is getting late and both our patience and trust in the government is wavering.”  
Nara Bahadur Limbu, another landslide displaced victim, said words of assurance were the only thing they have received from the government so far, besides the emergency relief materials distributed in the wake of disastrous landslides. 
“The local administration seems uninterested about our condition. And the local political leaders have nothing to offer other than assurances and promises,” he said. 
Chief District Officer Ram Bahadur KC, who is also the coordinator of the District Disaster Management Committee, said that they were committed to resettle the displaced families. But when asked about the resettlement plan and the time frame, he had no answers.

Published: 28-02-2017 09:35

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