GORKHA, Dec 17: Thirty-two months after the catastrophic earthquake of 2015, only 5,565 of the 60, 815 houses damaged by the quake in the district have been completely reconstructed while around 10,000 are under construction. Reconstruction of more than half the quake-damaged houses is yet to start.
It has been more than two years but only nine percent of the damaged houses have been rebuilt. A total of 55,000 households have received the reconstruction grant so far in the district. As many as 15,829 households have received the second tranche of the grant while only 5,000 of them have accepted their third and final tranche. However, there are around 40,000 household in the district which have not even laid the foundation or base of their houses. "We received these details from the technicians deployed in rural parts of Gorkha," said Roshan Shrestha, chief of the Urban Development and Building Division Office (UDBDO), Gorkha.
As informed by Shreedhar Gyawali, chief fund controller, a total of Rs 3 billion was sanctioned for the quake victims this year. "Rs 1. 26 billion has already been distributed to the victims and we are yet to distribute the remaining 1.73 billion," Gyawali said.
Though reconstruction was stalled time and again due to elections, festivals and various other reasons, it has suddenly picked up pace in recent days. Quake victims had to struggle a lot for getting the grant. Even after receiving the reconstruction grant, the victims could not begin the reconstruction of their houses due to the lack of technical manpower and unavailability of construction materials. "Earlier, the lack of technical manpower halted the reconstruction for long but now we have deployed enough manpower," claimed UDBDO Chief Shrestha.
He further said that the office has received more recommendations for the second and third tranche of grant in recent days. "We are receiving around 400 to 500 files on a regular basis now," said Shrestha, adding, "On Sunday alone, we forwarded 2,000 files to the District Coordination Committee (DCC) for the further process."
According to Man Prasad Dhital, member of DCC, a lot of quake victims didn't start the reconstruction earlier as they thought they could take the grant anytime. However, in recent days, the fear of losing the grant has compelled the quake victims to reconstruct their houses as soon as possible. "If all the victims had started rebuilding their houses on time, more than 50% houses would have been completed by now," Dhital said, adding, "Many of them wouldn't have to spend this winter in makeshift tents."