Houses constructed for poor families remain empty


By Liladhar Oli,Ghorahi, Mar. 25: Five years ago, six two-room houses were constructed for poor families on a hill just above a forest at Hansipur area in Ward No. 8 of Banglachuli Rural Municipality in Dang.

Poor families, especially those without a house and land, of the ward were expected to reside in the houses. However, no family has come to live in any of the six houses even years after their construction. 

"Since the houses have not come in use, they have started to worn out. The major reason families are reluctant to live there is that the houses are small and are built inside the forest," said Jhabindra Gaha Magar, ward chairman of Ward No. 8 of Banglachuli.

To bring the houses, which were constructed by spending millions, in use, the rural municipality allowed a secondary school in the area to use them as hostel. However, the students living there fell ill and the school stopped using the houses.

The rural municipality had constructed a total of 30 two-room quake-resistant houses in four different places in 2019/20.  Among them, six houses each were constructed at Hansipur, Badhipokhara area in Ward No. 2, and Ward No. 8. Likewise, 12 houses were constructed in Ward No. 5.

"There are poor families in the ward and the houses could provide a safe shelter for them. Three families had started living there, but they left within a few months. Now, the houses have remained empty for years and are in a dilapidated condition with nobody to take care of them," said Maite Pun Magar, ward chairman of Ward No. 2.

The houses were constructed spending Rs. 30 million. The federal government provided Rs. 20 million and Banglachuli Rural Municipality Rs. 10 million. The officials also constructed 15 toilets in the settlements with the money.

"But the families have been living only in 11 houses. The houses have already been constructed by the previous local government. We cannot let the resources go in vain, so we are also requesting the families to live there. But they insist that the houses were constructed in the unsuitable areas," said Tulsiram Pun Magar, chairman of Banglachuli Rural Municipality.

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