KATHMANDU, Oct 3: Following criticism from various quarters for inability to check the activities of I/NGOs in the earthquake affected districts, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) is making preparations to set up district coordination committees comprising lawmakers of the respective districts to oversee the I/NGO activities.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NRA Sushil Gyewali said that the district-level committees comprising the lawmakers will not only oversee the activities of various I/NGOs involved in the reconstruction and rehabilitation but can recommend to the NRA to take legal action if an I/NGO is found carrying out activities that do not comply with the reconstruction directives.
“Some I/NGOs have reportedly been found misusing funds meant for relief distribution, reconstruction and rehabilitation. The misuse was mainly due to lack of effective monitoring. So, we are planning to mobilize the lawmakers of the respective districts to keep tabs on all the activities of the I/NGOs as well as others involved in reconstruction and rehabilitation,” Gyewali said last week while talking to journalists in the capital.
He said that the committees will be legally empowered and entrusted with responsibility for the coordination of all the authorities concerned and for monitoring and reviewing the overall reconstruction and rehabilitation work, apart from recommending legal action in case of irregularities.
The directives issued by the NRA for NGOs and INGOs include an annex according to which the NGOs and INGOs have to declare all particulars of their projects and programs, including project costs and timeframe for project execution. They also have to start work within a week of signing the agreement with the government agencies concerned. Any breach of the agreement will automatically terminate the agreement. All projects should be handed over to the government within a set period.
Gyewali said that the NRA has been holding talks at various levels of the government to make monitoring the activities of NGOs and INGOs as well as other authorities concerned more effective.
"NGOs and INGOs authorized to carry out reconstruction and rehabilitation work will have to submit detailed progress and expenditure reports on a regular basis to the NRA as well as the coordination committees. We are working on making the monitoring mechanism effective," he said.
Ram Prasad Thapaliya, spokesperson at the NRA, said that a secretariat of the district coordination committee will be formed soon in each of the earthquake affected districts.
“We are making legal and other logistical arrangements. Once these are completed, we will set up the committee secretariats,” he added.
As of now, the NRA has given authorization to over 140 I/NGOs to carry out various reconstruction works in the earthquake affected districts.