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Nepal Government initiates temporary shifting of disaster-risk settlements

National Reconstruction Authority, Urban Development, and Building Construction Department, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority would forward activities as per the agreement. Necessary preparations were underway for a geographical study of the area, said Deputy Spokesperson for the NRA Manohar Ghimire.
High disaster risk area Panchpokhari thangpal-8 Tippeni bazar of Sindupalchowkk district , photo- Devraj Subedi

KATHMANDU:- The government has started a temporary shifting process for safe settlement of the communities of different places of the country, which are at the risk of monsoon-induced disaster.

Arrangement of temporary settlement has been started for the safe settlement of the communities at the risk of monsoon-induced disaster. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, a necessary process for the geological study has also been started for permanent management. The process has been initiated from Sindhupalchowk, the hardest disaster-hit district. A total of 53 people have lost their lives and 26 have gone missing from disaster-related incidents in Sindhupalchowk this year. Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Anil Pokharel, said that 600 tarpaulins have already been provided for temporary settlement in Sindhupalchowk through the District-level Disaster Risk Management Committee. He further said that activities are underway to make necessary work procedures for the management of settlement of other districts.

Some people of landslide-hit and disaster risk areas have already started living in the temporary settlement. An agreement was reached to carry out technical study and survey of risk areas in a meeting held in Kathmandu at the initiative of Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota. Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Finance Minister Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Basanta Kumar Nembang, Chief Minister of Bagmati State Dormani Puudel, among others were present in the meeting. National Reconstruction Authority, Urban Development, and Building Construction Department, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority would forward activities as per the agreement. Necessary preparations were underway for a geographical study of the area, said Deputy Spokesperson for the NRA Manohar Ghimire.

Two hundred ninety-nine settlements in 26 districts across the country were at risk of an earthquake, according to a survey conducted during the April 2015 earthquake. Out of around 5,000 people at risk, 3,000 have been shifted to safety and the process to relocate remaining settlements is ongoing, said Ghimire. The NRA has put the area where the Lidi landslide occurred some days ago in Group ‘B’. Thirty-one people were killed and a big property loss was caused by the disaster. Group ‘B’ disaster victims are required to be saved instead of their relocation. There is a delay in carrying out a geographical study of the disaster-hit area due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Director-General of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Maniram Gelal. The Department has been tasked with the relocation of eight disaster-hit settlements of seven states.

The resettlement process involves land management for the victims, said Gelal. Fifty-three people were killed and 26 missing in flooding and landslides that occurred in Sindhupalchowk district in the Nepali month of Ashad and Srawan, said Chief District Officer Umesh Kumar Dhakal, adding that 105 houses were completely destroyed. Local-level and stakeholders were coordinating for temporary resettlement of the settlements at risk, said Dhakal. For a permanent relocation, a committee has been formed under the chairpersonship of the district coordination committee chairperson Krishna Gopal Tamang and a decision is said to be taken acting on a study carried out by the committee. For landslide victims at Lidi and other areas, the construction of temporary housing is underway at Banskharka. Two hundred thirty people were killed and 55 missing in various landslides in the country this year.

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