Barpak survivors fear they may not get further aid

- SUDIP KAINI, BARPAK (GORKHA)

Mar 27, 2017-Next month, Barpak Village in Gorkha will mark the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25, 2015. Although rescue works and relief distribution have long completed in Barpak, the epicentre of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake, the rebuilding work is yet to gather momentum.

Of the 1,301 households who received Rs 50,000 each as the first instalment of the housing aid, only 400 have started constructing new homes. And technicians deployed in the area say most of the under-construction homes do not meet the safety standards. 

Engineer Suresh Chandra Pokharel said only 30 of the 400 under-construction houses in Barpak have followed the safety standards and meet the criteria for receiving the second instalment of the housing aid. 

Most of the houses being built in Barpak were started before the technicians were deployed, he added.

The earthquake victims said it was difficult to meet the standards set by the government. 

“Sometimes they (technicians) say that pillars have not been erected properly and sometime they complain of wrongly placing doors and windows,” said Jagat Bahadur Ghale. “It has become difficult for us to receive the second and third instalments of the housing aid.” 

After receiving the first tranche of the housing aid, the five brothers of Mana Bahadur Ghale started constructing separate houses  abutting one another. 

Engineer Pokharel said the technicians cannot issue aid recommendation for the houses that abut one another.

“We started rebuilding house before we were provided the building guidelines. What can we do now?” questioned another quake survivor Khemlal Gurung. 

He demanded that the authorities concerned should understand the problems faced by the villagers and issue the housing aid. 

More than half of the quake-displaced people in Barpak have not started building their houses yet. They have been staying under flimsy huts made of zinc sheets and tarpaulins. 

“The government’s housing aid will not be enough even to bring the construction materials to the village,” said Dhanmaya Gurung. 

She plans to build  a house only after her sons have returned from foreign employment. 

Published: 27-03-2017 08:45

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