Earthquake victims without land left in a lurch
DHADING: While many victims of the Gorkha earthquake are in the process of receiving the second instalment of the housing grant provided by the government, hundreds of families in Dhading have not even signed the grant contract, because they lack certificates proving that they own their land.
The land at Baradanda, Baireni VDC of Dhading had been last surveyed in 1976/77. Many households were not even aware of the significance of land ownership certificates, and had simply neglected registering their land.
Although the National Reconstruction Authority had reportedly posted a public notice stating that land ownership certificates were mandatory to be eligible for the housing grant, most villagers had not even heard of the notice.
Chief of the District Land Revenue Office Shalikram Acharya said that only one person had responded to the notice and registered his land.
Shiva Prasad Adhikari, 70, of Baradanda in Baireni VDC said, “My family has been living in a tent for almost two years now, and it seems unlikely we’ll have a safer, more permanent shelter any time soon.”
Gothe BK of Nalang said, “I don’t know what will become of us. We have no money, our house collapsed in the earthquake, and we didn’t make it on the list of beneficiaries for the housing grant because of a technical requirement we found out about too late.”
As per the Land Registration Regulation 2016, quake victims who don’t have land ownership certificates could have their land registered and receive an ownership certificate at their respective land revenue office by following due process to make them eligible for the housing grant.
Nalang VDC Secretary Surya Prasad Devkota said that over 100 households without land ownership documents have been deprived of the housing grant in the VDC.
“Regarding the public notice on land registration, even I did not know about such a notice being issued,” Devkota said, adding that many households in other places including Thakre, Tipling, Jibanpur, and Mahadevsthan VDCs have also been deprived of the housing grant because of this.
The NRA, through the district Land Revenue Office, is said to have published a month’s notice twice regarding this on August 29 and November 19 last year.
– HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE