Construction of house that flagged off govt's reconstruction program stalls

Published On: September 3, 2016 02:00 AM NPT By: Dhurba Dangal

SINDHUPALCHOWK, Sept 3: Sarbay Tamang of Chautara-3 in Sindhupalchowk, an earthquake victim, was quite elated when the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli laid the foundation stone of her house and handed her the letter of agreement, formally declaring the commencement of reconstruction of houses damaged by the earthquakes last year.

It didn't take long for workers to erect the pillars and for a while the reconstruction seemed to be going well.

But when a team from Republica went to meet her, there was no excitement on her face. The reconstruction of her house stalled soon after 12 pillars were erected as she didn't have the money to purchase the bricks.

She felt even more distraught as she spoke about the loans she had taken to build her house and the interest piling up on the loans.

She was furious about the cavalier manner the government has been handling the entire reconstruction process.

“I have already spent over Rs 1.2 million so far. But I am unable to build my house even after taking heavy loans,” said Sarbay.

According to her, the money she has spent so far includes Rs 50,000, the first tranche of house reconstruction grant, Rs 30,000 from her own savings, and the loan amount of Rs 900,000 at an interest rate of 20 percent.

“I think it takes about Rs 1 million just to set up the ground floor of a house. As I'm already in heavy debt, I am not in a position to get more money to finish the construction of my house? It's hopeless,” she said.

“The then PM Oli laid the foundation of my house. But now there's nothing I can do. Even the banks refuse to grant me additional loan,” she said.

At present, she is pinning all her hopes on the Chautara-based Agriculture Development Bank. “The bank has given a positive response to my request for a loan. Without their support, I may have no other means to construct my house,” she added.

Sarbay has not been able to leave for work ever since the construction of her house began. “At least I would have been able to earn some money had I not been stuck with the construction works. I have been losing my regular income because of the delay,” she said.

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