Govt relief plan irks flood victims

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SURKHET, APR 19 – People displaced by last year’s floods in the district have protested the government’s recent decision to provide Rs 75,000 to each affected family to help procure land and build a house, saying that it was “absurd and impractical”.

They said their dream of beginning a new life with support from the government has been shattered as the proposed amount is too little to do anything.  Prem Sunar, one of the flood victims who lost all their property, including land and house, in the flood, said they have already started district-wide protests and are currently planning for new forms of demonstrations.

On Wednesday, the flood-displaced people took out a rally in Birendranagar. Addressing a gathering after the rally, the protesters said they will have no alternative other than encroaching upon the forest land for resettlement if the government continues to turn a deaf ear to their plight.

Stating that they have been living in tents for the past eight months, the protesters said they were compelled to take to the streets as the relief proposed by the government was “a mockery of their predicament.”

Heet Prasad Poudel, an officer with the District Administration Office, said the government decided to compensate 1,462 people identified as victims of the floods.

The government had also conducted a land survey in Guttu, Bidhyapur and Babiyachaur in western Surkhet rehabilitate the flood victims . However, authorities concerned are yet to come to a conclusion on the matter.