Post-earthquake reconstruction fails to meet deadline: Report

Published On: August 20, 2018 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 20: A study conducted by Transparency International, Nepal has concluded that the government and the National Reconstruction Authority failed to complete post-earthquake reconstruction works as expected.

The report 'Post-earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation' states that the government lagged behind in meeting its self-declared deadline for reconstructing physical infrastructures destroyed by the devastating earthquakes of 2015 and rehabilitating people displaced by the devastation. It has stressed on the need of close coordination among key bodies mainly the government, the NRA, the Central Project Implementation Unit and the local authorities in rural municipalities and municipalities.

The government had set the deadline of mid-April for providing the last tranche of housing reconstruction grant. As of now, according to the report, only 27 percent of the total 712,704 earthquake victims whose houses were destroyed in the earthquake have received the third tranche of grant within the government announced deadline.

The report has blamed the difficulties in obtaining land certificates, lack of construction materials in quake-ravaged villages and shortage of skilled masons as the major reasons behind the sluggish reconstruction.

The reconstruction authority and government agencies have failed to achieve the set target in reconstructing essential public infrastructures including schools and health posts, according to the report.

The report further states that only 35 percent of schools of the total schools destroyed by the quakes have been repaired whereas the pace of rebuilding health offices is not so encouraging, said the researchers.

“By going through the progress achieved so far, it seems that the government should rescheduled its target of completing the post-earthquake reconstruction within five years,” said Radhab Bista, a researcher.

The report was prepared by interviewing quake victims from severely affected districts.

Arjun Kumar Karki, secretary at the NRA, said that the post-reconstruction works are in track despite criticism from the general public. He claimed that the post-earthquake reconstruction works will be completed within five years as stated by the government.

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