SINDHULI, Jan 22: The long-delayed reconstruction process which had finally picked up pace has again been halted with the sudden hike in the prices of construction materials. Those who had just started constructing the base of their houses have been obliged to abandon the construction halfway.
Unregulated increase in the prices has taken the locals aback. Krishna Prasad Dahal of Kamalamai Municipality-5 is in confusion about what kind of house to build.
"I had planned to build my house as per the standards of the government but I don't think I can afford it because of the rise in prices of the construction materials," laments Dahal. As soon as the government published a notice warning the quake victims to take second tranche of grant within the second week of January, there had been a sharp increase in the prices of construction materials. In order to get the grant, victims somehow managed to build the foundation in a matter of days but they are not sure whether they will be able to build their house further.
As per the provision of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), those who had signed the agreement before July 2016 must complete their houses before June 2017. This was the reason why builders hiked the prices so high. Victims have expressed their disappointment toward the responsible authority for turning a blind eye to their problem.
"Despite being aware about the skyrocketing price of the construction materials, no political parties and organizations have raised their voice against this," said one the quake victims.
Santosh Bohora, a teacher of Kamalamai Municipality-4 laments that he has not been able to build his house as per the government set standards due to the expensive price of construction materials. "We have to pay double of what we used to in the past," said Bohora.
Earlier, locals had to pay Rs 1200 to 1500 per tractor for gravels which have now jumped to Rs 2200 to 2500. Government will provide a total grant of Rs 300,000 to the quake victims which won't cover even half of their construction cost.
Hike in the prices has also erupted protests in several parts of the country but still nothing has been done to control it.