Engineers ‘harassed’ by earthquake victims

  • Quake survivors who breached building code clamour for housing aid

Apr 7, 2017-

The earthquake victims in Ramechhap, who began constructing homes without following the building codes set by the government, are now pressuring the engineers to issue them recommendations for second instalment of the housing aid.

According to the regulations set by the National Reconstruction Authority, the second tranche of the aid will be provided to only those earthquake victims who, after receiving the first batch of the aid (Rs 50,000), have adhered to its building codes. 

Engineers mobilised by the NRA in Ramechhap say many earthquake-affected people in the district have failed to follow the building codes while rebuilding their houses, thus making them ineligible for the second instalment of the aid. 

For instance, only 120 of the 165 under-construction houses of the earthquake victims in Deurali have followed the building codes. 

Engineer Akalesh Kumar Chaurasiya said the remaining 45 houses in Deurali are not qualified to get the second instalment of the housing aid, but their owners have been pressuring him to issue them clearance letters.

A similar story is playing out in Gelu village. The engineer deployed there is facing a hard time explaining the locals why he cannot issue them recommendations. 

Engineer Ashok Mahato said it was getting hard for him to work in the village these days. 

According to the District Level Project Implementation Unit (DLPIU) of the Earthquake Housing Reconstruction Project, engineers mobilised in all villages of Ramechhap have complained of coercion and harassment from the earthquake victims who do not qualify for the second tranche of the aid. 

Rabbu Kumar Mandal, the sub-engineer deployed in Rakathum, claimed he even received death threats from some of the earthquake victims.

The engineers and technicians are worried about their safety, he added.

Around 41,000 quake-affected families in Ramechhap have signed the housing aid agreement with the NRA. Of them, only 3,800 families have constructed their houses after receiving the first tranche of the aid. 

So far, the DLPIU has recommended the District Coordination Committee to provide second instalment of the aid to only 1,065 families after inspecting their under-construction houses.

Published: 07-04-2017 09:04

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