Post-quake reconstruction fails to pick up pace

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Jul 7, 2017-Of the 617,675 houses destroyed by the 2015 earthquake, construction of only 32,195 houses has been completed so far, according to the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA). 

The number shows reconstruction works have been tardy and that thousands of quake survivors are bracing for monsoon rains for a third year in a row.

The government agency estimates that around 60 percent houses in the Barpak of Gorkha, the epicentre of the quake, and 35 percent houses in Dhading have been constructed. But majority of them are not in compliance with the government standard. “We haven’t certified all of these houses. Our system  recognises only those houses that have been built in compliance with the directives set by the government. And this is one of the reasons for slow progress,” NRA Chief Executive Officer Govind Raj Pokharel said. “The number of under-construction houses currently stands at 102,986. They are nearing completion and we expect people to move in before the Dashain festival.” 

For bringing those houses which haven’t complied with the government standard, the NRA, according to Pokharel is extending an additional grant ranging from Rs 20, 000 to Rs 50,000. 

The facility will only be applicable for the houses situated in remote areas. In addition to this, the government is also training engineers to renovate structures for making the houses earthquake-resilient.

According to the NRA, housing aid agreements have been signed with 617,675 households so far. Of them, 583,621 households have received the first instalment while 40,849 have obtained the second instalment. Likewise, 67,199 have applied for the second tranche and of them 54,077 have been cleared for payment. 

Published: 07-07-2017 07:54

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