KATHMANDU, Aug 12: Tenants who have been living in roadside houses have become an unwitting victim of the Kathmandu Valley Town Development Authority´s ongoing demolition drive.
So far, around 100 houses in Kathmandu and Lalitpur have been demolished as part of the campaign. This has forced the tenants living in these houses to immediately look for a new refuge.
Nibha Jha who had been living in a rented apartment at Bagdole was in office when she received a call asking her to move her belongings immediately. But finding a room in the capital on such a short notice was not so easy. “I packed my belongings, loaded them onto a vehicle and wandered around the city looking for a new place to live.” It was only at 10 in the night when she finally got a three-room apartment on the outskirts of Kathmandu.”
Similarly, Rishav KC, who had been living in a rented apartment at Kuleshwar, had already paid three month´s rent in advance. With the three-storey house now demolished, the landlord has refused to return him his money. “I had to leave the house in a hurry. But now when I ask the landlord to return me the money, he makes lame excuses,” said KC.
Though landlords have been complaining that the authorities demolished the houses on a short notice, the authorities claim that they had given enough time to the house owners to inform their tenants.
Bhai Kaji Tiwari, chief of the Town Development Implementation Committee (TDIC), Kathmandu, said the house owners were informed about demolition at least a week in advance. “We have been cooperating and even providing additional time but tenants have been at the receiving end as the house owners have not been informing their tenants,” said Tiwari.
There are dozens of other tenants who have been forced to move in to new houses paying exorbitant rent.
According to Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights Nepal, some of the victims have even contacted them. “We have known that house owners have been taking undue advantage from tenants,” said Bimala Khanal, a member of the forum. She said landlords have doubled the rent in placed like Sanepa, Balkhu and Kamal Pokhari.