Victims changing property titles for aidEarthquake victims from several villages in Dhading have been frequenting the District Land Revenue Office at Dhadingbesi, the district headquarters, these days to change the land titles held by their elderly parents and grandparents.
Earthquake victims from several villages in Dhading have been frequenting the District Land Revenue Office at Dhadingbesi, the district headquarters, these days to change the land titles held by their elderly parents and grandparents.
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has announced to provide housing reconstruction aid to only those people who have land titles. Many victims of the April 2015 earthquake had been living in houses built on the land owned by their parents and grandparents. After the quake toppled their houses, the only way for them to receive the housing reconstruction aid from the NRA is to change the land titles to their names.
After Tarak Bahadur Gurung and his five brothers of Marpak VDC lost their homes that were built on the land owned by their grandfather. Since he and his brothers were ineligible to receive the housing reconstruction aid according to the NRA regulation, they decided to visit the land revenue office with their 89-year-old grandfather to change the land deed.
Gurung said he and his brothers transferred the land ownership from their grandfather’s name after spending three days in Dhadingbesi.
An official at the land revenue office said up to 150 applicants show up daily to change land titles. Most of the applicants come from northern region of the district, where the earthquake had caused the most damage.
Bhola Gautam, information officer at the District Development Committee, said the reconstruction works have been delayed, because many victims do not have land ownership documents in their names. So far, the NRA has completed signing the aid agreements with the earthquake victims in only 10 VDCs, he added.
Complaints of irregularities
Some earthquake victims have claimed that they had to bribe the officials at the land revenue office to change the land titles. Laxman Ramtel, an earthquake victim from Sunaulabazar, said he and his brothers had to pay Rs 10,000 to get the land titles. Tarak Bahadur Gurung of Marpak VDC also revealed that he had to pay Rs 10,000 to get the job done on time. The money, according to Gurung, was charged as paralegal fee. Senior Land Revenue Officer Rewati Prasad Dhakal denied the claims, saying he has not received any complaints from the clients so far.