KATHMANDU, April 26: Prime Minister KP Oli has come down heavily on government officials for their failure to expedite the post-earthquake reconstruction even as individual initiatives have yielded impressive results.
Questioning the efficiency of government officials, the prime minister said that efforts made by individuals like Dinesh Tamang, Sitaram Kattel and Kunjana Ghimire of Dhurmus-Suntali Foundation on an individual level for settlement construction to the homeless victims within a short span of time have significantly contributed to the overall reconstruction efforts but the government bodies failed to make satisfactory progress even as the country marks the third anniversary of the April 25, 2015 earthquake on Wednesday.
Both Dinesh Tamang and the comedian duo Sitaram Kattel and Kunjana Ghimire have been awarded by Nepal Republic Media as Nagarik Hero for their contribution to building settlements to the quake victims rendered homeless.
Tamang, who was little known to the locals of Dhading before the devastating earthquake of April 2015, became a celebrity after he successfully reconstructed on his own 55 houses destroyed by the quake. Similarly, the Dhurmus-Suntali Foundation has already constructed integrated settlements for quake victims in Kavrepalanchowk, Sindhupalchowk and a Mushahar settlement in Mahottari district.
“So, I would like to draw the attention of the government bodies, non-governmental organizations and the general public toward the reconstruction work we need to complete. We are capable of carrying out the reconstruction, but it is necessary for the stakeholders to work in a coordinated manner,” he said, speaking at a function organized next to the site of the Dharahara tower to mark the third anniversary of the disaster that killed nearly 9,000 individuals and injured over 22,000 others.
He said that it was really unfortunate that the Dharahara tower restoration work has not been started even three years after the earthquake. “I had initiated a crowd-funding campaign 'I will build my Dharahara' right from here (nearby Dharahara) right after the disaster to rebuild the historical tower. But even today, the ruins of the toppled tower still remain abandoned. So, it is high time that we revitalize our determination to complete the post-quake reconstruction,” he added.
He, however, said that his government will expedite the delayed reconstruction work and give a sense of relief to the victims.
He also asked the concerned authorities to immediately start work to restore historically and archeologically significant sites and monuments like Dharahara, Rani Pokhari, Kastamandap and Kathmandu Durbar Square, among other heritage sites.