KATHMANDU, Oct 14: With the government failing to resettle the squatters from Thapathali even six months after eviction, the squatters have announced protests to press the government to find a permanent solution to their problem.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattari in April had entrusted the commissioner of the Kathmandu Valley Town Development Authority (KVTDA) with resettling the squatters evicted from the bank of Bagmati River in Thapathali.
“We have recently submitted a memorandum to KVTDA commissioner Keshav Sthahpit warning him that we will launch protests after Tihar for permanent to our problem,” said Suman Chaudhary, secretary of the squatter struggle committee, adding, “We will also meet the prime minister in a few days and ask him about the reason for the delay.”
According to Chaudhary, Sthapit told them that the authorities need time to adress their issue and that the prime minister himself would take a decision on the issue.
Of the 258 squatter families evicted from the area, only 13 have been resettled on the banks of Manohara in Lokanthali, Bhaktapur. Initially, the government had planned to resettle the evicted squatters in Chovar and Sundarighat but had to withdraw from the plan following locals´ protest.
On May 8, a high-level committee represented by officials from the Home Ministry, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, the High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of the Bagmati Civilization and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City had been formed to evict squatters from Thapathali.