A temporary flood-victim camp in Panchpuri-9, Surkhet district in this recent picture.
SURKHET, July 3: Hundreds of Surkhet flood victim families displaced by massive floods in the district in 2014 have received the first installment of house grant from the government recently.
Many families in Birendranagar, Bheriganga, Gurbhakot, Lekbeshi, and Panchapuri areas, among others, were rendered homeless by floods on August 14 and 15. The floodings claimed 15 lives.
The local government has started distributing the funds to the victim families after the provincial government issued a budget for it recently. In the first installment, each of the victim families will receive Rs 150,000. Of the total 1,045 families that are registered as victims, 256 families received their first installment of the aid on Monday. In the first phase, the provincial government has released funds for 514 victim families.
“As soon as the provincial government released the budget, it was handed over to the victim families. Each victim family will be provided a total of Rs 300,000 in three installments. As part of this arrangement, 514 victim families are being provided their first installment,” said Minister for Internal Affairs and Law of Karnali Province, Naresh Bhandari. He is also the coordinator of a high-level provincial committee formed to solve the issue of flood victims in Karnali. “In the first phase, we are providing the relief amount to flood victim families who own land. We have released the amount to the local bodies for distribution,” he added.
According to Bhandari, the remaining installments will be provided to the victim families after reviewing the progress they make in constructing their home.
“If we provide the entire grant amount to the victim families in a go, it could be misused. So the remaining funds will be given only after reviewing the status of the construction of their home,” said Bhandari. “We will be inspecting the quality of the construction, including doors, windows, and the house’s foundation.”
In the second installment, the victim families will receive Rs 100,000, and the remaining Rs 50,000 will be handed over to the family in the third installment.
As per the committee, 514 out of the total of 1045 victims had applied for housing grant stating that they owned land to built their homes. And the first installment is being provided to the same.
Of the remaining victims, 290 families had requested the government to avail funds as well as land to build new homes for their families. And the remaining 339 victim families had urged for resettling them elsewhere. The provincial government is yet to decide on their application.
According to Khadka BK, an official at the Internal Affairs Ministry of the province, the government is mulling on building an integrated settlement for those who have requested for both land and grant for building their homes. “The ministry is considering building a model village for the victim families who don’t have land to build their homes. But the discussions are at a preliminary stage, and much more discussions remain to conclude,” he said. “In the coming fiscal year, the government might have some clarity over this issue,” he added.