SC puts brake on road expansionThe Supreme Court has directed the government to stop displacing people from their homes citing road expansion work.
The Supreme Court has directed the government to stop displacing people from their homes citing road expansion work.
The court decision comes at a time when local governments are facing criticism for preparing to widen roads by demolishing homes and settlements without the occupants’ consent.
The court has ordered the government to first acquire land to resettle the families affected by road expansion and provide them with sufficient compensation.
“Unless there is an alternative to house the affected families, no activities should be carried out that could impinge on people’s right to residence,” the SC has ruled.
The decision handed down by a joint bench of Justice Kedar Prasad Chalise, Justice Hari Krishna Karki and Justice Purushottam Bhandari mentions that private properties cannot be acquired without the consent of their owners.
Demanding that the road expansion work by demolishing private properties must be halted, around four dozen locals whose homes are located along the Kalanki-Nagdhunga road had filed a writ petition at the apex court three years ago.
Similar writ petitions were also filed against the road widening work taking place in other parts of the Kathmandu Valley.
The SC has advised the authorities to consider if their action is putting families out of their homes.
Besides, the court has also told the authorities to take into consideration the education of children.
Displaced children may not get admission in schools if they move to a new location in the middle of the academic session, the court has said.
Kathmandu Valley Development Authority Development Commissioner Bhai Kaji Tiwari said the authority was ready to compensate the concerned landowners, provided that the government releases the necessary budget.