| March 21, 2018

Locals reluctant to move from landslide-prone areas

Locals reluctant to move from landslide-prone areas
KATHMANDU, July 10: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bamdev Gautam said that the government is facing a tough time relocating settlements at risk of landslides in the earthquake-hit districts as locals are reluctant to leave their home villages for safer areas.

Addressing Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting on Thursday, Minister Gautam said that the locals are unwilling to be relocated even though they know that their settlements are at risk of landslides as they do not want to go far away from their villages just to live in temporary camps.
"They say, if the relocation is just for a temporary period, they would rather make an alternative arrangement near their village," said Gautam.

The PAC had summoned Minister Gautam to discuss the distribution of relief materials to the earthquake victims.

He said that locals at many risky places have already started making temporary shelters at places near to their settlements with the Rs 15,000 provided by the government as immediate relief to the quake victims.

"If locals themselves are unwillingly to move, we cannot force them to do so. They say they don't want to go far away from their home," added he.

The government on June 29 had decided to relocate settlements at risk of landslides in the 15 earthquake-hit to safer locations, fearing the hazards posed by the upcoming monsoon.

. Apart from the hassles of moving belongings and putting up with host of compromises in a camp, they are worried about their family's safety while living among strangers, said Secretary of Home Ministry Surya Prasad Silwal, who accompanied the Home Minister in the meeting.

He said that the government has shifted 500 households from hilly areas of Dhading district to the district headquarters, Dhading Besi. He said around 700 additional households in the district need to be relocated immediately but they are not in any mood to leave their village.

Officials at the Home Ministry said that around 50,000 households in 15 districts--Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Dhading, Dolakha, Gorkha, Kavre, Lamjung, Nuwakot, Okhaldhunga, Rasuwa, Sindhuli, Sindhupalchowk, Solukhumbhu, Ramechhap and Makwanpur--are at the high risk of landslides during monsoon.