NRA to lay foundations for one house, one heritage site on quake safety day

  • Post-quake reconstruction
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 8, 2016-

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) is preparing to lay the foundation stone for at least one house and an archaeological site that were damaged by the April 25 earthquake.

In a symbolic message of its commitment to reconstruction of the quake-damaged houses and infrastructure, the NRA, the central body responsible for reconstruction and rehabilitation of quake-ravaged structures, wants to begin the rebuilding campaign on January 16.

“We are holding a discussion with the concerned stakeholders for beginning the reconstruction campaign formally,” said acting NRA Secretary Madhusudan Adhikari. He, however, said the house or the heritage site to be constructed in the quake-affected district(s) is yet to be decided.

Nepal marks January 16 as the National Earthquake Safety Day. Officials at the authority are working to prepare a design for the houses and the heritage sites destroyed by the earthquakes in April and May last year and to ensure money for their rebuilding.

The authority, however, said that the reconstruction grants would be provided only after getting “exact details” from the ground on the destruction. There are concerns from donors over “possible misuse of funds” amid an unrealistically high number of claims of property damage. The number of quake-affected households, which was assumed to be 600,000, has now reached more than 700,000, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Ministry officials suspect the number could grow further due to “more lucrative relief schemes” from the government.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the government had announced to provide Rs200,000 in addition to an immediate cash relief and subsidised bank loans to each household rendered homeless.

The Central Bureau of Statistics mobilised a team of 138 engineers in Dolakha this week to collect the actual data on the families affected by the disaster. More teams of technical surveyors are being deployed in other districts.

The authority aims to complete grant distribution by April 24.

Published: 08-01-2016 09:42

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