SINDHUPALCHOWK, July 31: The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has finally released funds for the reconstruction of quake-destroyed Gumbas (Buddhist monasteries) in Sindhupalchowk, four years after the devastating earthquakes of 2015.
The NRA has identified that a total of 190 Gumbas need reconstruction in the district. Reconstruction of private houses, community schools, health centers and government offices are nearing completion in the district, which is among the most-affected by the 2015 earthquakes.
Laxman Kumar Sheth, local infrastructure manager of the district project implementation unit, said that reconstruction of the quake-hit Gumbas will begin shortly. “Reconstruction process will begin immediately after we receive the permission to spend,” he added.
The NRA has released Rs 425 million for Gumba reconstruction in the district. According to the NRA's project implementation office, depending upon the scale of damage, each Gumba will receive between Rs 300,000 and Rs 11 million.
The maximum amount allocated is Rs 10.9 million for the reconstruction of historical Tashi Chholing Monastery in Panchpokhari-Thangpaldhap Rural Municipality. The district project implementation office is reportedly preparing to write to the Gumba management committees and the consumer committees concerned to start the process to award the contracts for the reconstruction work.
However, the NRA headquarters in Kathmandu itself will handle the reconstruction of historical monasteries older than 500 years and spread over 2,000 square feet.
Sindhupalchowk is known as district of Buddhist monasteries as majority of the district's population comprises Sherpa, Tamang and Hyolmo among others.
Although the NRA in 2016 had decided to provide Rs 60 million for the reconstruction of about 150 monasteries, the reconstruction work couldn't gather momentum after stakeholders complained of insufficient funds saying that the NRA's damage assessment was unscientific. After this, the NRA conducted a new assessment last year. According to the NRA about 1,000 monasteries were damaged in the 14 districts most affected by the 2015 earthquakes.