NRA to quiz ministry over lack of design approval

Published On: January 27, 2017 07:37 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 27: The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has decided to seek clarification from the Ministry of Health about negligence on the part of various international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and local NGOs in the reconstruction of health posts and other health institutions in the earthquake-affected districts. 

A report obtained by the Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU) of the Ministry of Health had shown that as many as 10 I/NGOS involved in the reconstruction of health posts and other health institutions in the affected districts were found constructing such structures without having their building designs approved from the government authorities even though the reconstruction guideline makes it mandatory to secure approval of the building designs prior to starting any kind of construction. 

Of the total 67 health posts and other health institutions either constructed or being constructed by various 10 I/NGOs in seven most-affected earthquake-hit districts, designs of only two health posts were found to have been approved before carrying out the construction work, according to the report. 

“The issue has drawn serious attention of the authority. So, we have decided to discuss the issue with the ministry officials concerned and seek clarification on why the I/NGOs were not made to approve building designs prior to construction though it is mandatory,” NRA spokesman Yam Lal Bhusal said. He said that the NRA will hold talks with the ministry officials within a few days.  

On Thursday, officials of NRA held a meeting at its office and decided to ask the ministry to provide details on the issue to the authority.  

Deputy Spokesperson of the NRA Bhishma Kumar Bhusal said that the authority will study the details, hold talks with the ministry officials and initiate necessary legal process against officials if needed. 

The report shows that Save the Children has constructed 18 semi-permanent structures for health posts in various villages of Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk but the organization has not secured approval for the designs of the health posts. 

Similarly, American Nepal Medical Foundation has constructed as many as 11 health posts in various villages of Sindhupalchowk district and reconstructed one hospital but the organization also has not secured approvals for the designs of the structures, according to the report. Likewise, USAID is also constructing a Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) in Ramche of Sindhupalchok but it has not secured approval for the structure’s design.  

The report stated that Karuna Foundation, another NGO, is currently constructing 12 health posts and has completed construction of two health posts in villages of Raswua district but remarked that ‘detailed working drawing’ of the structures have yet be to be approved. Terre Des Hommes, another INGO, has also completed construction of four health posts and is currently constructing another seven health posts in Kavrepalanchowk but it has secured approvals for the building design of only one health post so far. 

The CLPIU also found that Sipradiyan Sahayata Sanstha, Netherlands Leprosy Relief, One Heart World-Wide, Rainbow Pokhara and NWED have also constructed or are constructing 20 health posts in Dhading, Sindhupalchowk and Gorkha but building designs of none of the health posts have been approved by the ministry. However, Rural Reconstruction Nepal has started constructing a health post in Mirge of Dolakha only after having the building design approved from the authorities.

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