‘Give cash to quake victims for shelter’

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 11, 2015-

Lawmakers on Monday asked the government to provide immediate cash for earthquake victims for building temporary shelters before monsoon.

Deliberating on the common resolution motion tabled in Parliament recently, they criticised the parties and the government for not specifying the amount to be provided to the victims. Due to disputes among the parties over the relief amount, motion only states that “appropriate relief materials” would be provided to the victims without any delay.

While the leaders have called for providing cash to the quake-hit families for building temporary shelters, the motion is silent about it.  

Nepali Congress lawmaker Mohan Basnet of Sindhupalchok asked the government to fix the amount to be distributed to the affected people without any delay. He said many of the quake-affected people in remote villages in the district are yet to get the basic relief package due to the transportation problem.

The lawmakers also demanded their role in relief distribution and reconstruction of damaged infrastructures. “The role of Parliament and parliamentarians should be defined in the relief and reconstruction works,” said NC lawmaker Nabindra Raj Joshi. Another NC lawmaker Ram Chandra Pokhrel demanded that all 601 CA members be deployed to the affected areas to perform the tasks.

They also asked the government to keep a close eye on the activities of foreign teams involved in the rescue and relief works. A majority of lawmakers from the opposition UCPN (Maoist) and CPN-UML said some foreign teams were violating their norms and values. “The foreign teams and support staff should be mobilised as per the necessity and priority of the people,” said Maoist lawmaker Shakti Basnet.

Effective implementation of common motion resolution was another prominent issue raised by the lawmakers in the House. Once the Parliament endorses it, they said, the government should implement it without any delay. The cross-party lawmakers reiterated that the government had failed to mobilise the national and international foreign teams on time for rescue works.

“The lack of elected local bodies made it very difficult to implement the motion, the proposed all-party mechanism cannot implement it,” said lawmaker Anuradha Thapa Magar.

The lawmakers urged the government to step up its efforts in providing relief packages in the rural areas.

NC lawmakers seek role in relief distribution

Over a dozen Nepali Congress (NC) lawmakers on Monday expressed dissatisfaction over being deprived of any role in the rescue and relief operation launched by the government in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake.

During a meeting of their Parliamentary Party, a majority of the lawmakers shared the ground realities of the affected districts and stressed on the need for a clear instruction for them in rescue and relief efforts.

The lawmakers criticised the government and ministers for their ineffectiveness in rescue operations, complaining about absence of reliable information regarding the actual loss of lives and properties, said NC whip Ishwor Neupane.

In the meeting chaired by Prime Minister and NC President Sushil Koirala, the NC lawmakers underscored the need for their role in rehabilitation and resettlement of the quake survivors in the affected districts, said NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel.

NC Chief Whip Chinkaji Shrestha said the lawmakers warned of the possible loss from landslide and flooding likely to be triggered by the upcoming monsoon and pressed for temporary settlements and effective distribution of relief materials.

Published: 12-05-2015 09:25

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