Over 20,000 quake victims might have to spend fourth monsoon under tents

Published On: June 22, 2018 08:03 AM NPT By: DHRUBA DANGAL

SINDHUPALCHOWK, June 22: Even the government authorities do not have the exact details of the reconstruction of quake-damaged houses in Sindhupalchowk, the district worst-hit by the 2015 earthquakes. 

Government bodies in the district are saying that over 20,000 quake victims might have to spend their fourth monsoon under makeshift tents.

The District Project Implementation Unit of the Urban Development and Building Division Office is responsible for updating the details of Private Residential Constructions (PRC). Tanka Prasad Gautam, chief of the unit, admits that they have not been able to update the PRC details. “It’s not possible to collect the exact details until the third tranche of the housing grant is distributed to all,” said Gautam. 

The unit has prioritized the distribution of the third tranche of the grant on the basis of technical inspections. The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has made it mandatory for the quake victims to claim the second tranche of the housing grant by mid-July. The victims cannot claim the second tranche until they complete the damp proof course (DPC) work of their houses.  

According to the details provided by the unit, more than 27,000 victims have received the third tranche of the grant but only 24,000 of them have completed the construction of their houses. This shows that only 28% reconstruction has been completed so far. The victims will receive the third tranche of the grant after they build the walls of their houses. 

A total of 83,663 victims have signed the agreement for quake grant in Sindhupalchowk. Looking at the intensified pace of reconstruction going on in the district, these details may be hard to digest. Even the government officials don’t seem confident about the details. 

On the recommendations of the unit, 70,361 victims have been provided the second tranche. It takes one to two months for the victims to get the second tranche due to the lengthy bureaucratic process.

As per the technicians and engineers, around 60,000 victims must have completed the construction of their houses so far. “We cannot provide the exact details until all victims receive the third tranche but we have estimated that at least 60,000 people must have built their houses by now,” said Gautam. But that on the other hand makes it clear that still more than 20,000 victims will have to spend the fourth consecutive monsoon under tents.

Even if the 20,000 victims are provided the third tranche now, it will be difficult for them to move to their new houses before the monsoon. And engineers fear that the monsoon rains will further delay the reconstruction work.

Despite signing the agreements, as many as 1,500 victims have not yet started rebuilding their houses due to various reasons. Especially the victims from people of underprivileged and marginalized communities are lagging behind in reconstruction.

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