No roof over their heads

- ANISH TIWARI, SINDHUPALCHOK

Jul 7, 2017-Earthquake survivors in Sindhupalchok, who have been living in makeshift shelters and huts for over two years now, are set to spend another monsoon without roofs over their heads, as majority of them are yet to get the second instalment of housing aid.

They say they have so far received only the first instalment of the aid. “The first instalment was spent on buying zinc sheets, as we needed a shelter immediately,” said Indra Bahadur Majhi, who lost his house in the 2015 earthquake, of Indrawati Rural Municipality. The victims here say they do not know when they are going to have proper houses which would protect them from winter cold and monsoon rains. 

Surendra Majhi of Majhigaun said quake survivors have not been able to build their houses due to government’s impractical policy. “Majority of people here have not received the second tranche of aid,” said Majhi.

Only five families have started rebuilding their houses in Indrawati Rural Municipality. “They are constructing their houses on their own design,” said Majhi. 

According to the secretariat of the district coordination committee of the National Reconstruction Authority, 78,537 families have received first instalment of housing aid in the district. Of them, only 2,282 families have received the second tranche. 

Rudra Malla, chief of the coordination secretariat committee, said that 69 families have received third instalment. “People stopped constructing houses after the local authority could not approve the house design. If the government could be flexible about designs, many families can construct their houses,” said Subodh Thapa of Makha Jalbari in Sunkoshi Rural Municipality. 

Engineers who have been deployed to help people in reconstruction works said that majority of quake survivors in rural parts of the district are still living in makeshift shelters and huts. These families do not have land for constructing houses. 

As per data of the Urban Development and Building Construction Division Office, only 2,128 families have constructed houses after the quake. The record of the office shows that 10,000 families have been constructing their houses now.

Published: 07-07-2017 07:50

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