10% quake victims yet to sign housing grant agreement: NRA

Published On: December 26, 2018 08:25 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 26: In the three years since the formation of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), around 10 percent of the identified beneficiaries of the private housing reconstruction grant have yet to sign the grant agreement, the earthquake construction body said.

NRA  has so far identified a total of 884,800 earthquake victims as beneficiaries of the private housing grant. Of them, 142,665 have yet to sign the grant agreement. Organizing a press conference in Kathmandu on the third  anniversary of the NRA on Tuesday, the reconstruction body claimed that of the 742,135  beneficiaries who have signed the grant agreement about 99 percent  (733,905) have collected the first installment of the grant, 71 percent  (523,373) have collected the second installment and 45 percent (335,485) have claimed the third installment.

According to the chief executive officer of the NRA, Sushil Gyewali, the remaining  10 percent have yet to sign agreements due to legal lapses, fake claims, and lack of land ownership certificates among other problems.

“Many  of the identified beneficiaries were found to have faked their claims since they  had houses in other places,” Gyewali told Republica, adding, “There were also  some legal problems that hindered the distribution of the agreement.”  

Those who already own a house are ineligible for the grant.

Gyewali, however, said that genuine earthquake victims including those living on Guthi land who do not have land ownership certificates will be provided grants on the recommendation of the local units concerned.

In the press meet, the NRA made public a progress report on reconstruction. NRA informed that 337,319 beneficiaries, which is about 45 percent of the total beneficiaries of the private housing grant, have already completed reconstruction. And about 32 percent  (233,343) are currently rebuilding their houses.

“In total, about 77 percent of the beneficiaries have either  completed reconstruction or are rebuilding their houses,”  he told 

Republica. Gyewali claimed that the progress of reconstruction in Nepal is far better than the progress of post-quake reconstruction in Gujarat and of Pakistan.

“Only 60 percent of the houses affected by Gujarat  earthquake was completely rebuilt and the condition of reconstruction  in Pakistan was also similar five years after the earthquakes,” he said, adding, “Our progress is comparatively better.”

NRA data shows that about 55 percent of the total damaged schools have been completely rebuilt. Of the 7,553 school buildings affected by the earthquakes,  4,172 have been completely rebuilt while 1,921 are currently undergoing reconstruction. Similarly, 54 percent of the buildings of health institutions have been completely reconstructed while 12 percent are undergoing reconstruction. Likewise, 60 percent of the government buildings destroyed by the earthquakes have been rebuilt.

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