Taplejung-Sikkim quake victims never got state announced aid

- ANANDA GAUTAM, TAPLEJUNG

Jan 22, 2017-The survivors of 2011 earthquake in Taplejung have said that they were yet to get the aid announced by the government of then, led by Baburam Bhattarai.

The 6.8 Magnitude earthquake, which was centred between Taplejung and the bordering Indian state of Sikkim, on 18 September 2011 had killed nine people and destroyed or damaged an estimated 30,000 homes in eastern and central regions of the country; Taplejung being hit the hardest.

Dambar Dhwaj Tumbahamphe, who was then a lawmaker of the district, said a few months after the disaster, the government of the time had announced to give Rs 100,000 each as house rebuilding loan for the families whose homes were destroyed, Rs 50,000 each for those whose homes sustained partial damage, and an additional Rs 10,000 each cash relief to impoverished families. 

Tumbahamphe said the decision of the then Cabinet was never implemented. 

Many families who lost their homes in the earthquake are still living in temporary shelters more than five years later.

Waiba Tamang of Taplejung Municipality-8 said his house suffered damage for the second time in the 2015 April earthquake but still has not received any assistance from the government. 

Tamang and his family live in a small bamboo hut these days. He said he did not have the money to construct a proper home, just like many other families in Taplejung. 

The government has just started distributing the second instalment of the housing reconstruction aid to the survivors of the 2015 earthquake in some parts of the country. In Taplejung, however, the families who suffered heavily in the 2011 earthquake say they have still not received the assistance pledged by the government.

Local Development Officer Rajesh Gautam said the local administration submitted the detailed report of the damage after the 2011 earthquake for aid and recovery works but the government never released the money.

Published: 22-01-2017 09:01

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