Recovery is still a far cry in Barpak

- SUDIP KAINI, GORKHA

Nov 18, 2016-The reconstruction works in Gorkha’s Barpak, the epicentre of the April 25 earthquake, has made little progress even 18 months after the disaster. 

The families, rendered homeless by the earthquake, do not have sufficient money to rebuild their homes.  

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has already distributed the first portion of housing reconstruction aid (Rs 50,000 each to 1,294 families) in Barpak, most of them continue living in makeshift shelters. The amount is barely sufficient to even lay the foundation for a home.

“I spent a large portion of the aid just to buy gravel. How do you expect us to rebuild with just Rs 50,000,” said Gopal BK. When President Bidhya Devi Bhandari visited Barpak on the first anniversary of the deadly earthquake, she had participated in a foundation laying ceremony for BK’s new home. But the foundation was damaged by rain a few months later.

BK said the only way he could complete his home is if the government distributed the aid in a lump sum instead of doling it out in portions.

“Me and my family will be living in a new home by April next year, provided the housing aid is issued in a lump sump,” he said.  

Around 300 families at Kot, Mandre, Koje and Snan Gaun of Barpak are still living in temporary shelters. Many of them have no place to build a new home, even with the aid money. The earthquake rendered their settlements uninhabitable. 

“Many of us have not even withdrawn the aid money from our bank accounts because we have no land to build new homes. Slope failures, landslides and cracks destroyed our settlements beyond recovery,” said Hitmaya BK.

President Bhandari had also laid the foundation stone for the construction of a quake memorial park during her Barpak visit. 

The site for the proposed park is in a neglected state these days. 

VDC Officer Chet Prasad Amgai said there has been no effort to construct the park after the President laid the foundation.

 “The government has yet to allocate budget for the park,” he said. 

Published: 18-11-2016 08:02

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