Gorkha victims claim ‘massive irregularities’ in relief distribution

- SUDIP KAINI, Gorkha

May 20, 2015-

The earthquake victims have claimed of “massive irregularities” in relief distribution underway in the quake-affected areas in Gorkha district.

The victims say lawmakers, local politicians, representatives of private organisations and government employees are distributing relief on their own, despite the government instruction to conduct the aid distribution works through one-door approach.

“We requested them to hand over the relief materials to the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC), but they threatened to take the supplies to where it came from,” a DDMC member said on Wednesday.

Many victims from the worst-affected areas have said even the government teams have not reached their villages to assess the damage and collect data of the victims. DDMC does not have the exact data on the victims who have or have not received relief materials.

Relief materials meant for the victims in Barpak, the epicentre of the April 25 earthquake, disappeared en route recently. So far, the local administration has not found who took the supplies.

“The authorities should investigate into the matter,” said Jit Bahadur Ghale of Barpak.

Similarly, a truck-load of relief materials sent by France-based Anil Gurung, a native of Laprak VDC, was looted in Baluwa village.

“There is no security to the vehicles as well as the people delivering the relief materials,” Gurung said. In some places, clashes have erupted over the dispute of who gets the relief materials. A scuffle broke out between police and the local youths of Gankhu VDC recently.

One VDC secretary claimed that some private organisations involved in relief distribution in Gorkha are merely there for self-promotion.

“They are distributing relief materials carelessly, without coordinating with the local administration,” he said.   

The DDMC has so far distributed 95,000 tarpaulins in Gorkha. There are still many victims who claim that they have not received tarpaulins so that they could build temporary shelters.

District Development Officer Premraj Giri said they plan to distribute tarpaulins only to the genuine victims as there have been cases where people who did not suffer any loss in the earthquake asking for relief.

In the absence of a mechanism to monitor the relief works, relief materials sent by the government for the quake victims are being distributed in an unplanned manner and, in many cases, at wrong places. In Gorkha Municipality, for instance, only those families that owned houses received tents. “Families living in rents did not get tents. We, too, have been affected and have no place to live in,” said Laxmi Gurung.

China to construct bailey bridge at Rasuwa border

RASUWA: The local administration has informed that the Chinese government is preparing to install a Bailey bridge over Miteri bridge (“friendship bridge”), a permanent bridge at Rasuwagadhi on the Nepal-China border. The Chinese government had taken the decision to this effect in order to avert any untoward incidents in the future as the bridge connecting Rasuwagadhi-Kerung is crucial for vehicular movement facilitating bilateral trade between the two countries, said assistant Chief District Officer Gautam Rimal. The bridge had sustained damages after being struck by dry landfall triggered by the quake. (PR)

 

Published: 21-05-2015 08:40

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