Quake survivors live on the edge despite tall claims

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu
According to the authority, only 2,000 vulnerable beneficiaries—people above 70 years and single women above 65—have received Rs50,000 grant

Dec 26, 2018-

The National Reconstruction Authority has failed on its commitment to building houses for some 18,505 vulnerable beneficiaries as it marks its third anniversary this week while survivors brave the fourth winter in makeshift shelters.

In February, the NRA had come up with a new working guideline for vulnerable beneficiaries—people above 70 years and single women above 65 years, people with disabilities and minors.

According to the NRA data released on Tuesday, only 2,000 vulnerable beneficiaries have received Rs50,000—the second tranche of the grant—while 16,000 survivors wait for additional funds.

“We are on track to complete the reconstruction of private housing within this fiscal year,” said NRA Chief Executive Sushil Gyewali. “As many structures are currently under construction, we are working towards achieving the goal of completing the rebuilding task within the next two years.”

NRA officials also said that during the last three years of the office’s operations, the government’s private housing grant agreement benefited 742,135 beneficiaries out of which 337,319 have completed rebuilding their houses while 233,343 houses are currently under construction. However, there is no data available for vulnerable beneficiaries.

Former reconstruction officials have questioned the authenticity of the new data released by the NRA, as many of these houses were constructed before March this year, the inspection of which was recently completed.

Following the demands of the local bodies to distribute funds for construction of the houses of vulnerable beneficiaries, there has been zero progress as major donors and welfare organisations did not agree to the demands, fearing embezzlements which, according to officials, is the main reason for the delay.

Two former CEOs Govinda Pokhrel and Yubraj Bhusal said they had prioritised reconstruction of the houses under this category.

“The vulnerable beneficiaries cannot afford to build the house themselves even if we provide the grant. I think the NRA should focus on them accordingly,” said Bhusal.

Published: 26-12-2018 06:53

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