November 24, 2016 12:00 AM NPT
1,114 victims apply for second tranche
KATHMANDU, Nov 24: Since the government had announced Rs 100,000 in addition to the previously announced Rs 200,000 housing grant for earthquake victims but has not amended the directives accordingly, earthquake victims remain deprived of the second tranche of the grant.
As many as 1,114 quake victims of around 12,000 victims who have started rebuilding their houses in the 11 quake-hit districts have submitted applications seeking the second tranche at the local authorities, according to the Ministry of Urban Development. The quake victims in Sindhupalchowk, Kavrepalanchowk, Gorkha, Ramechhap, Makawanpur, Okhaldhunga and Rasuwa have filed applications seeking the second tranche of Rs 150,000.
But the government's delay in amending the grant distribution directives in line with Prime Minister Pusha Kamal Dahal's announcement of providing additional Rs 100,000 with the existing housing grant of Rs 200,000 has prevented the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and other concerned bodies from taking initiatives for distributing the second tranche to the victims.
After the prime minister announced to provide Rs 300,000 as housing grant, the NRA decided to provide Rs 50,000 in first tranche, Rs 150,000 in second and Rs 100,000 in the third tranche and drafted an amendment to the grant distribution directive accordingly. On October 26, the NRA had forwarded the draft of the amendment to the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) for endorsement.
But more than a month has elapsed and the cabinet has yet to endorse the amendment.
The OPMCM has yet to endorse the amendment of the directives showing various technical problems," Ram Prasad Thapaliya, spokesperson of NRA, told Republica.
said that delay in amending the directive will only slow down the overall task of reconstruction.
He said that the NRA is internally making preparations for distributing the second tranche to the quake victims who have applied for the tranche but the NRA cannot go into action unless the directive is amended. "It will be easier for the NRA to take initiatives in a full-fledged manner only when the directive is amended," he added.
He said that the NRA has sought Rs 75 billion from the Ministry of Finance for distributing the second tranche.
"But we hope that the directive will be amended soon," he said.