KATHMANDU, Oct 1: Reports that quake victims in the 11 districts most affected by last year's earthquakes have been spending money meant for home reconstruction on Dashain shopping instead has alarmed the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA).
The NRA has threatened to take legal action against earthquake victims found using the Rs 50,000 first tranche of the reconstruction grant for any purpose other than the reconstruction of their damaged houses.
“Our district offices are reporting to us that as Dashain approaches a large number of earthquake victims have been lining up at the banks to withdraw the first installment and we fear the money may be misused. This has caused us serious concern,” NRA spokesperson Ram Prasad Thapaliya said.
He said that the NRA will recover the Rs 50,000 from the victims found misusing the money. “The grant agreement signed by the victims clearly states that the government will recover the amount from them if it is found being misused," he said adding, "Likewise, victims found misusing the grant will also be disqualified from receiving the remaining two installments." He also admonished the victims to refrain from misusing the money.
Thapaliya said that the NRA has asked all local authorites to try and ensure that the quake victims do not misuse the money.
As of now, the NRA has transferred the first tranche of the reconstruction grant to 406,399 out of the total of 533,058 quake victims identified as eligible for grants in the 11 districts.
Issuing a press statement on Friday, the NRA has requested the earthquake victims to withdraw the amount only when they are ready for the reconstruction work.
The NRA also said that the banks will provide interest on the first tranche. “We decided to provide interest on the money as this will encourage the victims not to misuse it,” Thapaliya said.
Likewise, fearing that the money may be misused during the festival. the NRA has gone slow on transferring the first trance to the remaining victims who have signed the grant agreement but are yet to receive the amount.