NRA told to ensure homes for quake-hit before monsoon

- Post Report, Kathmandu
A compiled data from the NRA shows 14,000 houses damaged by the earthquake have been rebuilt and another 30,625 are under construction as of Wednesday

Feb 9, 2017-A parliamentary committee has directed the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to ensure that all the earthquake-affected families have their houses rebuilt before the start of the rainy season, in the next three months. 

The Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature Parliament took the decision at a meeting on Wednesday where parliamentarians showed concerns over the delay in distribution of the housing aid to the affected families and rebuilding of the damaged houses in the 14 districts worst-hit by the Gorkha earthquake in April 2015. 

The meeting called by the committee had asked for the presence of Govind Raj Pokharel, NRA chief executive, directed the authority to complete the distribution of the first and second tranches of the private housing aid to all the quake-affected families in those districts in the next one and three months respectively, said PAC Chair Dor Prasad Upadhyay. 

The slow spending of reconstruction budget, inadequate mobilisation of technical experts and masons to aid rebuilding of the damaged households and poor coordination between the ministries and concerned agencies were some of the concerns raised by the parliamentarians, Upadhyay said. 

“The reconstruction works, particularly the rebuilding of the private housing, are still moving in a conventional way despite the change in the NRA leadership.”

During the meeting, NRA CEO Pokharel presented updates on the reconstruction works to the committee and said that the authority was working to ensure help to the affected households in rebuilding their damaged homes before monsoon. 

A compiled data from the NRA shows 14,000 houses damaged by the earthquake have been rebuilt and another 30,625 are under construction as of Wednesday. The NRA has released a total of Rs 8.32 billion for the distribution of the second instalment of the private housing aid in the 14 districts. Out of 7,360 households that have applied for the second instalment, 1,091 households have been verified for the further aid. Under the NRA provision, only those households that have laid the foundation of the newly built house with the first instalment are qualified for the second instalment of housing aid.

Pokharel also informed the meeting that 200 trained security personnel from the Nepal Army, including trained masons, will be mobilised in Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap and Sindhuli districts beginning next week to aid rebuilding. 

Similarly, trained staff from the Armed Police Force will be mobilised soon in Rasuwa district. 

He explained that 1,056 trained students, along with an additional 3,000 students from Pokhara University currently undergoing training, would be mobilised in the affected districts as volunteers to facilitate the reconstruction works.

Published: 09-02-2017 08:31

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