NRA assures project will start before Dashain

  • integrated settlements
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 26, 2017-

Construction of integrated settlements to shift vulnerable households of the five most earthquake-affected districts will likely start by September, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has said. 

The body, formed after the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake to carry out post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation works, has stated that “preparations are going on in full swing for resettling households situated in risky places”.

A government team, comprising NRA officials, had identified 112 settlements as the vulnerable zones after the quake, including Keraunja of Gorkha, Selang of Sindhupalchok, Khalde of Rasuwa, Urleni of Nuwakot and Besimpa of Dolakha.

In May, the government had formed committees in five earthquake affected districts under the respective chief district officers to study overall aspects of the resettlement. The decision of relocating settlements in five places was based on the report submitted by the committees that also had participation of experts.

“We are currently doing homework. Our aim is to initiate construction before Dashain festival,” NRA Spokesperson Yamlal Bhusal said. The authority, however, could not confirm if the construction in all the locations will begin by September. “We cannot say that with certainty at the moment. What we can confirm is the construction will begin in a couple of places by then,” Bhusal said. 

Apart from identification of location, the NRA has also taken stock of the actual number of households that need to be relocated to safer places. The NRA has floated a couple of options for quake survivors having land in vulnerable zones. If the families who own land in a safe location wish to relocate themselves on their own, they will be provided with Rs300,000 for building a new home. Those without land will be given an additional Rs200,000 for purchasing land. 

Those without option will be resettled in the integrated settlement. Households’ relocated to integrated settlement as well as those receiving financial support from the government will have to transfer ownership of their land in the vulnerable zone to the government. “It is to ensure that human settlement is not built there in the future,” the authority said.

The integrated settlements being developed by the government will not only have a cluster of homes but will also have facilities like road, electricity, health posts, drinking water, schools and community building, among others. 

During a programme organised by the Transparency International Nepal (TIN), earlier this week, TIN field representatives from the districts worst affected by earthquake had explained that the people living in vulnerable areas were confused about their future, with the government taking too long to initiate the process of the developing integrated settlements.

Published: 26-07-2017 07:25

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