Lack of budget to demolish old buildings affects reconstruction
December 10, 2019 10:35 AM NPT
RASUWA, Dec 10: The inability of the authorities to demolish the building of Navavijayai Mahendra Secondary School, which was hit by the earthquake of 2015, has deprived the school of a new school building. As a result, classes are being run in a building with dilapidated and vulnerable rooms where the authorities have pasted red stickers.
The Chinese government had taken the responsibility of erecting the new building of the school situated at Bhalayadanda village of Uttargaya Rural Municipality. For this, the Chinese side has been demanding that the old building be demolished first. They have also been demanding access to water, power and roads. Even though the rural municipality has already addressed the other conditions, the old building remains as it is.
According to Principal Ramesh Lamichhane, the school does not have enough budget to dismantle the building. About Rs 2.5 million has already been spent in several other works related to the school infrastructures and facilities and the school is not in a position to bear any more financial burden. "We tried to do it on our own, but we are helpless now. We cannot afford to spend for the demolition of the building. But without that, they [the Chinese side] are not going to start the reconstruction work, they say," said Lamichhane. "For the demolition of the building, we need at least Rs 1.2 million," he added.
The Chinese authorities on the other hand have been pressing the school to do away with the old building without delay. It has stated that the reconstruction work will take around two years. "They have told us that they will finish the reconstruction work in two years and hand over the new building to us. But it is not decided who is going to spend for the demolition of the old building," Lamichhane said.
Due to the lack of reconstruction, classes are being run in classrooms that look quite vulnerable. The red sticker pasted on the building is sure to affect the children psychologically. There are a total of 176 students at the school.
Another school – Nepal Rastriya Basic School at Timure village of Gosaikunda Rural Municipality–2 is also waiting for the Chinese authorities to reconstruct a new building for it. During the earthquake, its building was also hit badly. But the reconstruction work has not started as the old building has not been pulled down.
The project implementation education unit of Rasuwa stated that the Chinese government has taken the responsibility of reconstruction of three schools affected by the earthquake. However, none of them have been rebuilt even in over four years after the disaster.