people being evacuated from bagmati river side

Illegal Squatters from Bagmati River Banks being Removed by Kathmandu Metropolitan

Tuesday, May 9 2012, Kathmandu Metropolitan along with Kathmandu Town Development Authority, High-powered Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilization and using Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Metropolitan Police, initiated a forceful evacuation of illegal squatters from Bagmati River Banks. More than 250 huts were demolished in the process, and numerous families went homeless. According to the local source, more than 10,000 settlers have occupied almost 75hectars of land beside Bagmati river for illegal encroachment, since 1990s.

It must have been a sight to see, when the huts where poor lived were being demolished using a bulldozer, numerous families being homeless, children weeping and crying on the scene, protestors being dragged by Police, and the ultimate hullabaloo for couple of hours, in the capital city of Kathmandu. Nepalese Government plan to relocate legitimate slum dwellers to Ichangunarayan, where they have bought a huge piece of land for relocation purpose. According to the local police, the area has been evacuated 8 times before, however, people come back to resettle in the same area, over and over again. Government decided to provide Rs.15,000 (Approx. $180) as compensation to them who lost their home, and with a relocation opportunity, unfortunately, only 67 people showed up for claim.

Samyukta Rastriya Sukumbasi Morcha Nepal {The Landless Scatters Struggle Committee (LSSC)}, declared a general strike to protest government action and urged them to fulfill their three-point demand. A primary school inside the settlement, with over 150 students, was also demolished, and many children who lived in the area couldn’t go to school.

To talk about the current administration of Nepal, The Communism Government, it is known for supporting poor and disadvantaged people, and putting them before all other state activities in every step of administration. As much I know, Communist government hasn’t done anything fruitful for the people of Nepal ever since they came to power. Roadside pavements and houses close to road have been demolished to widen the road, however, the rebuilding process hasn’t been started yet. They have promised to draft the constitution numerous times, still unsuccessful to deliver their promise.

Slums of Kathmandu is smaller compared to Dharavi Slum, however, people living here are similar to every poor and disadvantaged people living in any part of the world. People came to Kathmandu from different part of the country, running away from various economic difficulties or social maladies, to build their future, to provide their children with better facility and education, or just for cheap accommodation. Lives of people here in the area is counted similar to some harmful pests by local government, because they make the The capital City look poorer and dreadful, and also they are considered as the ultimate hurdle towards the process of development. In reality, Yes they are eating up the local resources and jobs of thousands.

I wasn’t born in a slum, or ever lived there, or even stepped a foot into that place for even 5 minutes at most. I covered my nose and moved my sight elsewhere whenever I passed the area. It smelled, and I couldn’t help it. I lived my life in a mere luxury, like many other middle class locales and I couldn’t face the bitter reality of life that was happening in my neighbor. I wasn’t there when they were removed from their homes. I couldn’t protect them nor protest the move. I wasn’t their to comfort them. I lived in a better off situation, with good income and safe accommodation, so I didn’t care. I didn’t knew about the situation until I was shown the daily paper this morning, or watched it in the Television. Shrugging my shoulder with same people, I disregarded the fact that is happening the place where I live.

I realized that I’m wrong, the Government is wrong, and the situation is wrong. Though I cannot change anything or make anyone Else’s life better, I’m making a point to tell everyone about the situation of the capital city of Nepal, and how People here live in an unimaginable circumstances, n’ still the things go wrong totally wrong.

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4 comments

    1. Well, the Sukumbashis (Tribal inhabitants and other socioeconomic immigrants) have illegally occupied the river banks of Bagmati in Kathmandu for decades. The poorer financial situation, lack of employment opportunities, social life etc has contributed in keeping them from owning a proper house or a status in Nepalese society.

      The state wants to keep the city cleaner therefore, they wish to resettle or remove these illegal squatters from the major river source. Currently, the state has somewhat failed in resettling them. If you visit Kathmandu, you can still find them living in poor conditions on the river banks.

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