Government bodies lack details on reconstruction

Published On: June 20, 2018 03:00 AM NPT By: Dhruba Dangal

A large number of quake victims to spend their fourth monsoon in makeshift tents

SINDHUPALCHOWK, June 20: Even the government authorities lack the exact details of the reconstruction of quake-damaged houses in Sindhupalchowk, the worst-hit district by the catastrophic earthquake of 2015. As per the rough details collected by the government bodies, a large number of quake victims might have to spend their fourth monsoon under makeshift tents.

The District Project Implementation Unit of the Urban Development and Building Division Office is responsible for updating the details of Private Residential Construction (PRC). Tanka Prasad Gautam, chief of the unit, admits that they have not been able to update the details of PRC. "It's not possible to collect the exact details until the third tranche of the housing grant is distributed to all," said Gautam.

The unit has prioritized the distribution of the third tranche of the grant on the basis of technical inspection. The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has made it mandatory for the quake victims to receive the second tranche of relief by mid-July. The victims cannot claim the second tranche of the grant as long as they don't complete laying Damp Proof Course (DPC) of their houses.

According to the details provided by the unit, more than 27,000 victims have received the third tranche of the grant but only 24,000 of them have completed the construction of their houses. This shows that only 28% reconstruction has been done so far. The victims will receive the third tranche of the grant after they build the walls of their houses.

A total of 83,663 service seekers have signed the agreement for quake grant in Sindhupalchowk. Looking at the intensified pace of reconstruction in the district, these details may be hard to digest. Even the government officials don't seem confident about the details. After the recommendation of the unit, 70,361 victims have been provided with the second tranche. It takes one to two months for the victims to get the second tranche of relief due to the hassling process of the government.

As per the technicians and engineers, around 60,000 victims must have completed the construction of their houses so far. "We cannot provide the exact details until all victims receive the third tranche but as per our speculations, at least 60,000 people must have built their houses by now," said Gautam. But that on the other hand makes it clear that still more than 20,000 victims will have to spend the fourth consecutive monsoon under tents.It will be difficult for the victims to move into their new houses before monsoon, even if they get the third tranche now. Engineers fear that reconstruction will be hugely affected by monsoon especially in the rural parts.Despite signing the agreement, as many as 1,500 victims have not yet started constructing their houses due to various reasons. Especially the people of underprivileged and marginalized communities are lagging behind in reconstruction.

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