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Valley’s squatters: Taskforce gears up for eviction drive Print E-mail
Posted by Administrator   
Friday, 13 January 2012
By: Binod Ghimire

Kathmandu: After getting a go-ahead nod from the government, the taskforce formed to implement the plan envisaging the eviction of squatters residing on the banks of the Bagmati River has decided to start its campaign from the UN Park. A meeting of the taskforce held at the District Administrative Office, Kathmandu, on Thursday decided to launch the drive from the third week of January to reclaim the park’s encroached land.

The mechanism has stepped up preparations as the 35-day deadline given by the Patan Appellate Court not to execute the plan ends on January 17. The court on December 11 had ordered the government to put on hold its plan for 35 days to give squatters time for alternative arrangements.
A meeting of representatives from the ministries of Home, Physical Planning and Works, and Environment—headed by Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar—on November 27 had formed the 17-member taskforce to carry out the eviction.
Mahesh Bahadur Basnet, chairman of the High-Powered Committee for Integrated Development of the Bagmati Civilisation and coordinator of the taskforce, said they would be legally free to execute the plan once the court’s deadline ends.  Basnet said eviction is necessary as the committee faced stiff resistance to execute the second phase of the project due to dense settlements on the Bagmati banks. It has already awarded a contract worth Rs. 230 million to start a sewage management programme from Tilganga to Minbhawan. Twenty-meter area on either side of the Bagmati, Bishnumati, Hanumante and Manohara rivers is registered as the public land. The government record shows that there are around 14,000 squatters in the Valley, while the squatters claim this number to be around 23,000.

Source: The Kathmandu Post, January 13, 2012
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