Tuesday, 3 October, 2023

Seven years on, Jure landslide victims awaiting relief amount


By Bidur Acharya
Chautara, Aug. 8: Seven years ago, a massive landslide fell into the village of Mankha Rural Municipality on August 2, 2014. One hundred and forty-five locals of Mankhakagune, Damside and Tekanpur lost their lives when the Itini cliff of Ramche collapsed.
Seven years have passed since the Jure and Ramche disasters. Many things have happened along with riverside but no happiness has prevailed in the minds of the victims.
The relief amount of Rs. 22.4 million given by the donors for the landslide victims remained locked in the government account.
Landslide victims repeatedly visited the District Administration Office and up to the Ministry of Home Affairs for releasing the relief amount.
No rehabilitation plan was made for them and no house has been built for them. Even after seven years, the landslide victims have been expressing their outrage after the government failed to make any permanent solution to address the demand of homeless people.
The landslide victims received temporary relief but no effort has been made for long-term management due to government indifference, they said.
Some have become squatters and forced to take shelter on the land of Magnesite in Lamosanghu of the district, while others are still residing in rented rooms of Kathmandu. They are waiting to receive the money deposited in the government account in the name of the victims.
Ram Bahadur Tamang, who lost his family and house and land in the landslide, said that the government had repeatedly expressed hope that the relief process would be moved forward but now the victims have lost hope.
Rishi Ram Poudel, who lost everything including his wife and children, expressed his indignation over the government's decision to withhold relief meant for the victims.
The then Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokhrel, while addressing a meeting in Sindhupalchowk, had expressed his commitment to release the relief fund deposited in the name of the landslide victims.
The government had promised to provide Rs. 50,000 in two installments for temporary housing, Rs. 500,000 for permanent house construction and Rs. 300,000 for those who do not have a safe house and land of their own as additional costing.
Kedar Chhetri, ward chairman of Balefi Rural Municipality said that the Jure landslide victims have waited the relief amount since long and that now the Rural Municipality office would make its concrete effort to provide them their relief amount.
Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment of Bagmati Province Saresh Nepal said that the process would be started to distribute relief in proportion to the damage through the District Disaster Management Committee.
Chief District Officer Arun Pokharel said that the grievances of the Jure victims could not be addressed in time as all concerns were focused on Melamchi floods.