Construction of quake victims' houses limited to foundations

Published On: April 21, 2018 05:00 AM NPT By: Sarita Shrestha

DHADING, April 21: It has been months since Bir Bahadur Tamang of Benighat Rorang-1 laid the foundations of his house after receiving the first tranche of earthquake grant.

Unfortunately, he has not been able to do anything more than that due to financial crisis. Despite his will and efforts to move from his makeshift tent to a new home, Tamang has not been able to do so. "Receiving money from the bank is a hassle. And the money provided by the government is not enough to lay the foundation," Tamang said.

Tamang had submitted the application for the second tranche of the grant in January. By now, he should have been sent the second tranche in the bank. But he can't receive that as the foundation of his house is still incomplete thanks to the hike in the price of construction materials. "First, the bank is too far and even if I reached there, they will send me back saying there is problem in my documents," he laments. According to him, it costs them a lot of money to reach the bank and receive their grant.
However, he is not the only quake victim unable to build his home despite receiving the first tranche. There are many victims who have laid incomplete foundations to their houses that have become playgrounds for their children, store house of grains and sheds for their cattle. The quake victims had laid the foundations in a hurry after the government fixed the deadline of receiving the second tranche. 

The deadline for receiving the second tranche is inching nearer but the quake victims are nowhere close to completing the foundation. As everyone started laying the foundation at the same time, they had to deal will manpower crunch and had to pay a large amount of money for labor's wage and construction materials. 
 "Uunable to pay the high wage to laborers and buy expensive construction materials, many quake victims were compelled to stop the foundation construction halfway," said Gopal Adhikari of Tripura Sundari Rural Municipality, Mulpani. This has prevented them from receiving the second tranche. Those who had moved out of the district had also built the foundation of their homes. But they seem less concerned about building it further.  

Though the main objective of offering the grant was to provide shelters to the victims, in reality it has been just about receiving grants for some people. Among the total of 73,276 service seekers 69,658 have signed the grant agreement. But only 27,373 have received the second tranche and 6,092 of them have received the third tranche so far. As per the details provided by National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), 18,940 quake-damaged houses have been rebuilt in the district while 45,123 are under construction.

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