KATHMANDU, Nov 28: With less than two weeks for the second phase of parliamentary and provincial assembly polls, the government has directed the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to distribute Rs 15,000 per flood-hit family as relief in various tarai districts.
Additionally, the NRA has been directed to provide Rs 10,000 to each flood-affected family for buying warm clothes as winter has already started gripping the region.
Officials at NRA said they have already started the process to distribute the relief amount to the flood victims. Altogether 41,626 households have been identified as flood-affected families. The NRA has simultaneously expedited the process to distribute Rs 10,000 grant to keep them warm during the winter season as per the government's directive.
Except for the immediate relief distribution, the government had not provided anything to the flood victims.
Although the relief amount is channeled through the NRA, the district-based disaster management committees will be entrusted the responsibility to manage the overall distribution process. Altogether 134 persons had lost their lives in various 18 districts highly affected by floods earlier this year.
Earlier on November 7, a cabinet meeting had announced a relief package of Rs 4 billion for the flood victims. Although the government defends its move, some said it is against the election code of conduct. The relief will be provided also to the victims of the 2014 floods.
A study conducted by the National Planning Commission (NPC) had estimated that it would cost at least Rs 73.22 billion for the rehabilitation of the flood-affected population. The NPC estimated that the flood had caused losses worth Rs 61.84 billion in health, education, agriculture, animal husbandry, irrigation, transport, water and sanitation and housing sectors.
The government decision has raised concerns in various quarters as the flood-affected families are mostly in the districts that are witnessing the second phase of the parliamentary and provincial elections on December 7. Although the distribution of the relief grant and other materials is against the election code of conduct, the government argues that it just implemented a long-pending decision to provide relief to the flood victims.