Butwal evicts squatters from public land to construct covered hallFor the past 48 years, 16 landless families, who are now displaced, had been living on public land
The city of Butwal has evicted 16 landless families from two kathas of public land to construct a public covered hall.
The displaced families had been living in the area for the last 48 years. The city office had notified the residents multiple times before evicting them, according to Shivaraj Subedi, Butwal mayor.
The city employed a bulldozer to cleared the land of shanties in the third week of May. Hari Bishwokarma, one of the displaced, said that they had staged a protest after the city evicted them from the area. “We don’t have any other place to go,” said Bishwokarma.
On Wednesday, the city office and the squatters had reached an agreement. Butwal would provide each displaced family with Rs 25,000 and assured them that new homes would be built for them under the People's Housing Programme within a year.
“The metropolitan office is going to manage a suitable place for them to live in temporarily and then we will build permanent houses for them,” said Subedi.
A stable constructed by the queen of Yuddha Shumsher once stood on the land, said Kalpana Devi Gautam, one of the displaced. After the two-storey building collapsed 48 years ago, landless people gradually encroached on the land.
“We have been living there ever since,” said Gautam.
On June 7, the squatters had also filed a complaint at the High Court in Tulsipur, demanding the return of their land, citing the fact that they had been living there for a long time. The court, however, issued an interim order stating that individuals or groups cannot lay claim to public land.
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