Property rebuilding within two years, PM pledges in Parliament

- Binod Ghimire, KATHMANDU
Property rebuilding within two years, PM pledges in Parliament

May 9, 2015-

The government on Friday said that all the private and public properties destroyed by the devastating earthquake would be reconstructed within two years.

Addressing the Legislature-Parliament on Friday, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said a National Reconstruction Fund of Rs200 billion would be mobilised to reconstruct the structures.

Presenting the reconstruction programme endorsed by the Cabinet, Koirala said damaged facilities and services such as schools and colleges, health centres, water supply, electricity and government offices would be restored within two years while religious, archaeological and cultural sites would be reconstructed in five years.

Koirala also proposed a three-layer all-party monitoring committee to make relief and rehabilitation works “fair and non-discriminatory”. There will be a central monitoring committee comprising leaders of the parties represented in Parliament at the centre, and districts and local governance units. The third will be an all-party monitoring committee in Parliament.

PM Koirala called on all Nepalis, neighbouring countries and migrant workers to lend helping hands to the government in the reconstruction effort. “No Nepali will be left homeless and let fall victim to malnutrition,” he said.

“Let’s unite to confront the national disaster, seizing this opportunity for transformation,” he said, calling for help from all the parties including the opposition. Stressing the need for moving ahead in partnership, Koirala also reiterated the need to complete the constitution writing project.

Koirala announced relief packages for the victims. The government has decided to provide up to Rs200,000 to a family that lost its home in the quake in addition to waiver of bank loan up to Rs 50,000. The government would also provide immediate grant of Rs25,000 for those who want to renovate their damaged houses.

Quake victims will be given bank loans at two percent to rebuild or repair their damaged houses. Homeowners in Kathmandu Valley, whose houses have been damaged, will get up to Rs2.5 million in loan while those outside the Valley will receive up to Rs1.5 million.

Industries and business complexes will get soft loans after assessing the damage. According to the Home Ministry, a total of 289,995 private and public houses have been destroyed while 251,872 have been partially damaged.

According to the PM, each victimised family will get an identity card and will also be prioritised in government jobs. Farmers in the 14 worst-hit districts will be given free seeds and fertiliser under the relief package. This applies also to the people in Banke, Dang, Surkhet and Bardia who faced severe floods and landslides last year along with the flu-affected Jajarkot.

“Maintenance of damaged roads is ongoing and caution has been adopted to avert a possible disease outbreak post disaster,” added Koirala.

The PM said that foreign trips of ministers and high-ranking officials would be controlled except for emergency situations. He promised to reopen schools and hospitals at the earliest. Assuring good-governance in all sectors, the PM said a new land use plan will be devised to strictly implement the Building Code.

Sharing that an international conference of donor agencies would be organised to seek further financial assistance, Koirala also presented an action plan to construct an earthquake memorial.

The budget for the next fiscal year would focus on relief to victims of natural disasters.

Also addressing the House, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the government should take the command and control of all relief distribution and reconstruction works. He asked the government to take all the parties into confidence for relief distribution and reconstruction. “The government should form an authority representing all the parties to carry out reconstruction,” he said.

Published: 09-05-2015 09:17

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