KATHMANDU, Nov 19: The distribution of the housing grant to quake victims has been halted since September after the amount which was previously sanctioned for the purpose was used up.
A total of Rs 800 million was previously sanctioned by the government for the housing grant for earthquake victims. But the sanctioned amount fell short of the amount required and the distribution of the grant was stopped nearly three months ago. As a result, a large number of beneficiaries are yet to get the second and third tranches of the housing grant.
Officials said National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has already written to the finance ministry to sanction the additional amount. But as the ministry is taking its time, NRA has not been able to distribute the housing grant for the past three months.
According to Chief District Engineer Samar Bahadur Khanal, NRA has requested the ministry for Rs 1 billion for providing the second and third tranches of the housing grant to the remaining quake victims. “We received only Rs 600 million two days ago. Distribution of the grant will resume in the next two-three days,” he said.
Chief of Reconstruction Branch of Kageshwari Manahara Municipality Deepa Karki said they were forced to stop the distribution of the housing grant due to the lack of fund. “Many files are pending since September although the work is in process. After the amount will be deposited in the NRA account, housing grant distribution work will start soon after that,” she further said.
Republica’s inquiry with the beneficiaries in various districts revealed that the distribution of the grant amount had been stopped not only in the Kathmandu Valley but also in all quake-affected districts.
A total of 812,161 households were found eligible for the housing grant across the country. Of them, 726,133 have already received the first tranche. The number of those who have received the second tranche is 517,855. Only 319,666 households have received the third and the full amount of the housing grant provided by the government.