KATHMANDU, July 19: The Nepal Reconstruction Authority (NRA) is to provide the first installment of house rebuilding grants announced by the government for the earthquake survivors before the upcoming Dashain festival.
NRA Executive Officer Sushil Gyawali has pledged to ensure the deposit of the first installment of the grant in bank accounts of all eligible for getting the monetary aid by October.
Preparations are on to construct some 30,000 houses in the quake- hit districts simultaneously, he said, adding that NRA, the government body formed to carry out the post-earthquake rebuilding efforts, has planned to produce skilled human resources to build the quake-resistant shelter.
The NRA has pledged to expedite its task when it is receiving widespread criticisms for its 'sluggish' performance.
Among 31 districts affected by the 2015 'Gorkha' earthquake, 14 districts including Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Gorkha, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk are in a list of the worst-hit districts.
A detailed household survey was already conducted in Gorkha, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap, Dhading, Kavrepalanchowk, Dolakha, Rasuwa, Okhaldhunga, Sindhuli and Makwanpur.
The NRA has so far signed the grant agreement with 252,352 house owners (who lost their houses in the disaster) for building personal houses. The amount of first installment has already been deposited in bank accounts of 35,292 people eligible for the quake grants.
Some 9,000 people were killed and over 22,000 left injured when the 7.6 magnitude earthquake with its epicenter in Gorkha rattled the country on April 25, 2015.
The NRA has signed agreements with 59 banks and financial institutions to provide the house rebuilding grants to the survivors. It has approved designs of 17 models of the houses. A total of 533,454 house owners are in the name list of eligible for receiving the grants.
Locally available raw construction materials, rocks and timber are highly recommended to construct shelter which at least should have an iron roof, the NRA said.
The government has announced Rs 200,000 per household (who lost houses in the quake) to construct shelter. The NRA has recommended the government to also provide Rs 50,000 to repair the damaged houses.
It may be noted that earlier the international community pledged monetary aid of Rs 400 billion to Nepal for carrying out the post-quake reconstruction efforts and Rs 183 billion has already been obtained. It is preliminary estimated the reconstruction drive will cost Rs 800 billion. RSS