GYAN P NEUPANE
KATHMANDU, April 18: A recent study has found that 30 new earthquake-hit settlements are likely to be added to the list of settlements that require relocation.
The study conducted by a team from the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has shown that around 30 additional settlements have been identified as vulnerable and therefore they need to be resettled in safer area.
“Currently, we have just finished our survey at around 200 earthquake-hit settlements,” Kamal Ghimire, an officer at the Land Management and Geological Study Section of NRA, told Republica.
He further said that the final number will be out after further assessment by the technical team of NRA. “I think, there are just 30 settlements that will be added in the list of the settlements which are in need of resettlement,” he said.
Earlier, the NRA had conducted a study in 200 earthquake-hit settlements and of them, 55 settlements were identified as requiring relocation. Last year, the Department of Mines and Geology carried out a separate study in the 11 worst-hit districts and identified up to 117 settlements as vulnerable. Of them, 56 settlements were identified for relocation.
The study identify vulnerable settlements is underway in 593 settlements across the earthquake-hit districts.
“This time, we have conducted study in less-affected sites. So we are not excepting big number of settlements that might require relocation,” Ghimire said.
He informed that the final number of settlements, which are in need of resettlement, will reach up to 140. Of them, 56 were identified in first phase and 55 were identified in the last survey.
The NRA has mobilized at least one geologist, one landslide expert and soil erosion expert in a team in each spot to study the vulnerability status of the settlements. “The settlements which are in need of relocation does not mean that all households in the same settlements need to be relocated. Some of the houses in the same area may still be out of danger,” he added.
According to NRA officials, the NRA has already started the process to relocate settlements of Laprak and Baguwa villages of Gorkha, Giranchaur of Sindhupalchowk and Shusmawati village of Dolakha so far. The government will develop safer areas with basic infrastructures to shift the community who are still living under risky conditions.
The NRA earlier this month had approved the guideline for relocating the quake victims away from places that have been proven to be too risky. Likewise, the NRA has suggested to the government to provide a lump sum of Rs 200,000 per household to buy plots of land in safer places.
First appeared in Republica national daily