‘Do not build houses without govt assistance’

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The request from the authority comes at a time when the quake victims have begun to reconstruct houses on their own

Feb 28, 2016-The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has asked earthquake victims not to begin housing reconstruction in quake-affected districts unless the authority provides government announced aid and technical assistance.

The request from the authority, the body responsible for post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation, comes at a time when the quake victims have begun to reconstruct houses on their own as the authority continues to delay in providing the state-announced aid to them. The authority has also asked I/NGOs not to distribute any sort of aid for rebuilding houses without consulting the authority.

Issuing a press statement on Saturday, NRA Spokesperson Suresh Adhikari has appealed quake victims to wait for a while to begin housing reconstruction. Dismayed with the government’s apathy in reconstruction, earthquake victims in the affected districts have started to reconstruct houses on their own. The authority is concerned that the houses constructed without consulting technicians may not be earthquake-resilient.

The NRA’s Planning, Monitoring and Foreign Aid Assistance Department has asked all I/NGOs to consult before providing any sort of reconstruction assistance to the earthquake victims. The authority is said to be formulating a separate policy in mobilising I/NGOs and private sector in rebuilding houses.

The government had announced to provide Rs200,000 to each household rendered homeless. Subsidised loans were introduced when the displaced people complained that the grant would be inadequate to fund the reconstruction.

Trained engineers will also be deployed from the government side to ensure construction of earthquake proof houses. The grant amount is said to be distributed through the banking channel in three phases. However, this has been delayed in absence of “exact details” on houses and infrastructures.

Trained engineers deployed as surveyors have assessed 144,000 households. According to the government’s Post Disaster Needs Assessment, 498,852 private houses were destroyed in the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks.

The NRA is planning to inaugurate housing reconstruction from Singati of Dolakha where a detailed damage assessment of houses and infrastructure has been completed from March 4. It wants to have a detailed damage assessment in all 14 districts by April 25, when the country marks its first anniversary since devastating earthquake.

International donors have pledged to provide $4.4billion for rebuilding the nation while the government has allocated Rs74 billion in this fiscal year for reconstruction activities. Out of the donor-pledged money, the authority has already made bilateral contracts worth $85 million with the donors.

 

Published: 28-02-2016 08:40

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