Kathmandu, Jul 3 (UNI) The government of Nepal has decided to construct housing for displaced persons under its pilot project 'Co-existence Living Development Programme', media reports said.
The government will construct 25 houses in Kanchanpur district in far western Nepal for 25 families in the next six months, Kantipur reported.
''It's the beginning of re-settling the displaced of the decade-long Maoists' conflict,'' the paper quoted Shyam Sundar Sharma, spokesperson at the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction as saying.
He said the government will choose 25 displaced families living in Kailali and Kanchanpur districts in the first phase.
Under the project supported by the Rural Housing Company, the government will bear 60 per cent of the cost of construction while the company will bear 10 per cent and the family concerned will have to pitch in with 30 per cent.
''We are also working to provide long-term loans to make the families feel comfortable in paying back the loans,'' said Sharma.
The government is coordinating with development banks for long-term loans to the displaced families.
According to a preliminary estimate, the construction of each house with two rooms and a kitchen will cost about Rs 200,000.
The government has set out criteria for selecting families under the first phase of the project, the spokesperson said adding, there are tough challenges ahead.
''Families headed by a female will be given first priority followed by widows, the physically challenged and the old,'' he said.
The government has allocated Rs three million for the first phase of project.
Mr Sharma said the government is planning to settle all displaced persons once the pilot project is successful.
According to a recent report submitted to the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction by a task-force formed under former secretary Srikanta Regmi, there are 40,000 displaced people in Nepal.
Among the displaced, a majority are from western and mid-western Nepal where Maoists insurgency hit hard, the paper said.
UNI XC RJ DS1253