Survivors likely to get grant for rebuilding only after April

  • post-quake reconstruction
- Post Report, Kathmandu
A national campaign for reconstruction will begin on January 12 and reconstruction work in all villages and municipalities will begin by April 24Sushil Gyawali, CEO, National Reconstruction Authority

Jan 11, 2016-Earthquake survivors have to wait until the country marks the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake on April 25 before they can receive the grant announced by the government to rebuild their damaged houses. 

While presenting his reconstruction plan at a House panel meeting, National Reconstruction Authority Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyawali said on Sunday that reconstruction work in all villages and municipalities will begin by April 24.

Gyawali was appointed the head of the reconstruction body in the last week of December, almost after eight months since the earthquake. 

The reconstruction body got full shape last week only.

“A national campaign for reconstruction will begin on January 12,” Gyawali told the Parliamentary Development Committee.

As per NRA plan, quake survivors will start receiving the government-announced grant of Rs200,000 to rebuild their houses only after April. 

Immediately after the quake, the government had announced formation of the NRA, but political bickering delayed the process. Though donors had pledged over $4.1 billion for reconstruction, the fund could not be spent due to lack of a central authority to oversee the projects. 

As months elapsed, discrepancies in numbers of quake-affected people and damaged houses and infrastructure surfaced, which further complicated the grant distribution.

The reconstruction plan, according to CEO Gyawali, was delayed in the absence of ‘exact details’ about the damaged houses and infrastructure. The number of quake-affected households, which was estimated to be 600,000, now has crossed the 700,000 mark. The number of quake-affected people is also expected to rise to 1,000,000 if all applications registered at the local bodies are to be incorporated in the victims’ list, according to PDC Chairman Rabindra Adhikari. 

The government has asked the Central Bureau of Statistics to conduct fresh census in the earthquake-affected districts. 

Hundreds of engineers have reached all 14 quake-affected districts to collect Detail Damaged Report. 

Urban Development Secretary Dipendra Nath Sharma said it will take at least two and a half months to complete the assessment. 

Immediately after the earthquake, the government had announced various schemes for people affected by the disaster. 

As part of immediate relief, the government had distributed Rs 15,000 each to families who were rendered homeless. 

Currently, the government is distributing Rs 10,000 as winter relief package. But the winter relief programme too has hit a snag, with many quake survivors yet to get the aid and officials involved saying that the number of claimants has risen. 

During Sunday’s PDC meeting, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who was called to brief the House panel on the progress made in distribution of winter relief package and efforts made to reconstruct damaged houses, informed that the government had already disbursed Rs 5.99 billion as winter relief for quake survivors. 

PM Oli said that “critical political situation” that emerged after the promulgation of the new constitution, fuel crisis in the wake of an Indian blockade and government compulsion to focus on relief and rescue operations delayed the reconstruction work. 

“Since the National Reconstruction Authority is now in place, the government now will fully focus on reconstruction,” said PM Oli. 


Published: 11-01-2016 08:22

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