Building materials shortage add to woes of Sindhuli quake victims

- Rastriya Samachar Samiti, SINDHULI

Jan 4, 2018-

The earthquake victims of Sindhuli are facing problem in constructing their houses due to the shortage of construction materials in the district. 

They have complained of not getting the construction materials—cement, steel rods, among others—even after visiting every hardware store in Sindhuli. Worse still, they are facing the “artificial” shortage of locally available construction materials as stones, sand, gravel, among others. The quake victims are faced with the dual problem as the price of construction materials has shot up more than double the previous price. 

Khamba Bahadur Dhakal of Kamalamai Municipality-4 said he could not get the 16mm steel rod and cement even after scouring every hardware store in Sindhuli Bazaar. 

“I need to finish the DPC of my house by the second week of this month. But I cannot complete the DPC works by that time as there is shortage of construction materials,” he said. The National Reconstruction Authority had recently announced that the quake victims need to complete the DPC related works by the second week of January in order to qualify for the second instalment of the government grant for house construction. 

Dhakal added that the municipality eventually approved his house design after many months of struggle. “After getting over that cumbersome process, now I am facing shortage of construction materials,” he said.

Now earthquake survivors are compelled to pay between Rs 960 and Rs 1,000 for a sack of cement that was previously available for Rs700-800. Similarly, the price of steel rod has increased to Rs 87 a kilogram, up from Rs 67. 

The quake survivors have been compelled to reach Bardibas in search of construction materials. They have started to buy stones at Rs 12,000 per tipper, sand at Rs 11,000 per tipper and pebbles at Rs 18,000 per tipper from Bardibas after local businessmen hiked prices. They complain that the authorities concerned have not paid any attention to the situation. 

Proprietors of hardware shops, however, pass on the buck to others saying that they had to increase the price of construction materials after supplier companies hiked the prices. The proprietors said that the price of cement and steel rod could increase again. The construction materials have become dearer due to the insufficient import of raw materials from India, they lamented. 

Published: 04-01-2018 07:45

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