Violation of Private Property Rights in Biratnagar

Since last two and half 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 citizens. 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 public, better road system often means more convenience, better life quality, economic development and possible appreciation in property value in the area. However, it should be noticed that these possible improvements come at a cost bore by a minority of property owners whose right has been seriously infringed. Right to property has been guaranteed as a fundamental right in the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007. The Constitution of Nepal allows private property to be taken in case of its public utility under the premises of due compensation. After the series of case study, Bikalpa-an Alternative conducted the research on “Road Expansion and Violation of Private Property Rights in Biratnagar”. This paper focuses on several case studies of property right violation in Biratnagar and the laws regarding land acquisition in Nepal. A weakening situation of property rights in Nepal is observed through our case analysis.

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