Right to property has been guaranteed as a fundamental right in the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007. It allows for private land to be taken in case of its public utility upon due compensation. Since last 2 years Sub-Municipality of Biratnagar has started a road expansion project that demolished hundreds of road side houses that covers most of the roads of the city including market place. Most of the houses are built legally on private properties. But the local government started demolishing the houses without carrying out the process of compensation, whereas district court has already ordered municipality to start the process of compensation before demolishing the houses. This has caused a huge loss to those citizens who have to give up their private property under the coercion, which has violated the private property rights of the people. In this case, Municipality also seems disobeying the verdict of the court and neglecting the fundamental rights of the citizens in the name of public good.
For the general audience, the demolishment of private property might mean better roads, managed traffic, and a significant appreciation in property value if the properties are near the main roads. However, the cost bore by property owners due to development of these public projects often goes unnoticed.
After the series of case study, Bikalpa-an Alternative created the video on the “Road Expansion and Violation of Private Property Rights in Biratnagar”. The main objective of the video is to show and sensitize people on how Biratnagar Sub-metropolitan city’s road expansion initiatives had violated the private property rights of the citizens of Biratnagar.