Quake victims struggling to repay loans they borrowed to build damaged houses

- RASTRIYA SAMACHAR SAMITI, BAGLUNG

Mar 14, 2019-

Earthquake survivors in Jaimini Municipality, in Baglung, are finding it tough to repay the loans they had borrowed to rebuild their damaged houses.

Owing to the government’s failure to provide survivors housing grants, people in Jaimini were compelled to take loans as the government denied them housing grants under various pretexts.

Sumitra Srish, of Jaimini Municipality-10, whose house was destroyed by the quake, borrowed more than Rs400,000 to build a two-room house. She had to borrow money because she only received the first tranche—Rs50,000—under the government housing grant. “I did not have a roof over my head,” she said. “I had to build a house by borrowing money. This was before the government set the housing standards, and now I am finding it difficult to repay the debt because of the new standards.”  

Likewise, another quake survivor Kala Bhandari has also only received the first instalment. She said she was denied the remaining tranches, as the authorities said her new house did not follow the housing standards. She only knew about the set standards when she visited Citizen’s Bank branch in the district to withdraw her remaining tranches.

Quake survivors who built houses before the rebuilding code was introduced are stuck in a dilemma, as the NRA District Project Implementation Unit discontinued the reconstruction grant for those rebuilding their houses in a design that did not abide by the code. The unit has urged beneficiaries receiving the second instalment of grant to reconstruct their house in compliance with housing standards. A total of 235 houses have already been built in the Jaimini area abiding the government-set design, said Engineer Pankaj Kumar Das.

Of the total 2,375 beneficiaries registered in Baglung, only 519 have received a third instalment of the grant, while 2,105 have received the first instalment and 993 the second instalment, according to Sah.

Published: 14-03-2019 10:35

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