Reconstruction of quake-hit roads, cultural heritage sluggish
December 27, 2018 09:25 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Dec 27: Three years since the formation of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) the reconstruction process of cultural heritages and roads affected by the 2015 earthquakes have not been able to pick up the pace.
Data maintained by the NRA show that only four percent of the roads affected by the earthquakes have been completely rebuilt. Only three of the total 83 earthquake-affected rural roads have been completely reconstructed so far. About 46 percent (38) of the roads are currently undergoing reconstruction while work on the remaining 50 percent (42) has yet to start.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NRA Sushil Gyewali claimed that the reconstruction of roads could not pick up pace due to the problems in fixing the compensation, protests against felling trees, and bureaucratic lapses.
“In the beginning, we faced problems in fixing compensation for the land to be acquired for rebuilding the roads. Then protests erupted against felling of trees and there were bureaucratic lapses also,” he told Republica.
CEO Gyewali claimed that the road reconstruction will now proceed smoothly since the environment for reconstruction has improved in the recent months. The NRA has claimed that 60 percent of the roads damaged by the 2015 earthquakes will be completely reconstructed by Fiscal Year 2018/19, and 80 percent by 2019/20, and all the affected roads will be reconstructed by the end of 2020/21.
Similarly, NRA’s data also show that only 27 percent of the cultural heritage in the 14 districts hardest hit by the earthquakes have been completely reconstructed. The reconstruction body had recognized 753 buildings of cultural heritages as affected by the earthquakes out of which 201 have been rebuilt. Likewise, 41 percent (309) of the earthquake-affected heritages are currently undergoing reconstruction and work on the remaining 32 percent (243) has yet to start.
Meanwhile, cultural heritage activist Ganapati Lal Shrestha claimed that the pace of reconstruction of cultural heritage has been slow because the NRA does not have a proper appreciation of cultural heritage.
The NRA has claimed that reconstruction of all cultural heritage sites damaged by the 2015 earthquakes will be completed by 2020/21.