House Demolition Issues
Building a house is difficult but demolishing a badly damaged house, which cannot be lived in for fears of collapse, is costly. Houses in Gongabu have been damaged extensively and residents are facing difficulties trying to demolish their damaged houses. One of the house owners in Gongabu, Mr. Anil Shrestha, shared his part of the story while demolishing his 7-storey building. Mr. Shrestha is a resident of Gongabu who lives in a joint family and owns 2 houses in the area. One of the two houses owned by Mr. Shrestha was damaged and had to be demolished to ensure the safety of his neighborhood. Estimated cost for demolishing that house was Rs. 18 lakh of which Rs. 8 lakh was already paid to his contractor.
The cost of demolishing a house is problematic for Mr.Shrestha. He is currently living in his other house after renovating the damaged pillars. He hasn’t been able to receive the Rs. 15,000 from the ward office because he owns two houses in the area and is ineligible for any kinds of compensation. Since the cost for it is in the lakhs, he has no interest in the money given by the ward office. After demolishing, a new house has to be erected. Mr. Shrestha is not counting on the government to assist him. Another problem that emerged during demolition is the safety of the workers. Those laborers have been working without any gloves and are bare footed. So incidents of minor injuries and bruises are common.
One positive outcome of the large scale demolition of houses is that it is able to create job opportunities for labor families but they lack the proper technical knowledge required for the task. If government is able to provide basic safety equipment to these labors, it would be helpful to Mr. Shrestha and other people like him in Gongabu area.