SINDHUPALCHOWK, July 27: The distribution of the housing grant for earthquake victims has been halted in Sindhupalchowk district since the beginning of new fiscal year as the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) fails to operate as per the new federal system.
Earlier, the District Coordination Committee (DCC) was responsible for the distribution of quake grants to the victims. Changing its previous structure, NRA has formed District Project Implementation Unit (DPIU) which will be responsible for distributing the grant, and managing as well as observing physical infrastructures from now onward. NRA had announced to bring this office into operation from April 13, 2018. But no homework has been done to start its service in the district yet.
District Project Management Chief of the unit, Madhav Jung Karki, informed Republica that the grant distribution has been halted until the DPIU comes into operation. Karki who is the chief engineer at the District Technical Office was appointed as the chief of the unit immediately after its formation. "We are yet to manage the office for the unit," said Karki, adding, "NRA has not even given us the authority of budget yet."
He said that a meeting will be called with the authority concerned to bring the office into operation as soon as possible. However, it is speculated that the process will take some more time. But it's the quake victims who will be on the receiving end.
In the past, the DCC used to provide relief to the victims following the recommendation of the Urban Development and Building Division (UDBDO) and DPIU. Likewise, there was a separate DPIU under the District Technical Office which looked after the work related to quake-damaged infrastructures. But UDBDO will still be entrusted with the responsibility of checking the technical details of the houses and then recommending the grant.
Despite the changed working style, UDBDO has been continuously recommending the victims for the grant. "We have been doing our job as we have received no information to stop the recommendation," says chief of UDBDO Tanka Gautam. According to him, around 1,000 victims have been recommended since the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Service seekers have started flocking to DCC after being deprived of the grant. "The victims have been coming to us asking why they are not provided with their relief," said Yug Bahadur Khadka, information officer for the DCC.