NRA endorses two-tier structure for rebuilding

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 13, 2016-

Nine months after the devastating earthquake, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has finalised structures to rebuild the quake-ravaged villages and infrastructure. 

Endorsing a two-tier structure—at central and sub-regional levels—to oversee the overall reconstruction and rehabilitation of quake destroyed houses, a directive committee of the authority has created six departments at the centre and sub-regional stations. 

Authority’s central office will be supported by six divisions—Planning, Monitoring and Development; Urban, Housing and Heritage; Rural, Housing and Resettlement Development; Human Resource Management; Public Building Development and Social Mobilisation and Rehabilitation. A joint-secretary will lead administrative works of each division and government-appointed expert members of the authority will oversee overall activities. 

Joint-secretaries will head six sub-regional offices in Dolakha, Kavre, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Kathmandu and Lalitpur. One more sub-regional office will be formed to oversee 17 districts with lesser degree of damage in the earthquakes.

The authority has also finalised positions of 208 civil servants, including 17 joint-secretaries and 36 under-secretaries. “Our first priority is to fill vacancies through deputation. We may have to go for option B, i.e. hire outsiders on contract,” said NRA Acting Secretary Madhusudan Adhikari. 

With no top government officer deputed yet to the NRA, the authority has decided in principle to let concerned authorities hire technicians as required. “They can hire technicians as per necessity,” said Adhikari, citing example of the Central Bureau of Statistics. The CBS has deployed over 200 engineers to assess damage in Dolakha and Rasuwa districts. Besides, the bureau has mobilised 1,500 engineers in 12 other quake-affected districts to verify details amid reports of discrepancies in numbers of quake-damaged houses just ahead of distributing government announced relief schemes. 

After finalising organisational structures and numbers of officials, the NRA will launch a national reconstruction campaign on January 16, marking 1934’s devastating earthquake anniversary. And reconstruction works will begin on April 24 coinciding with the first anniversary of April earthquake.

Having distributed relief in two phases--immediate cash relief worth Rs15,000 and Rs10,000 as winter relief to each displaced household, the government would provide Rs200,000 to each household for reconstruction. The NRA is, however, planning to distribute reconstruction aid distribute money only after getting detail damage assessment report and ensuring availability of construction materials and skilled labour force in the villages. 

“The money will be provided on instalments. They can also get more funds as subsidised loan,” said NRA Chief Executive Sushil Gyewali, adding that the authority is planning to train thousands of engineers to ensure houses rebuilt in disaster-hit areas are earthquake resilient before releasing the fund for reconstruction.

Published: 13-01-2016 08:38

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