KHOTANG, June 3: After a long wait, the victims of the catastrophic 2015 earthquake in Daman of Khotang district are finally starting to receive second tranche of housing reconstruction grant. The victims, who had lost their homes to the quake and its aftershocks, had received Rs 50,000 as their first tranche of the grant in June 2017.
After completing damp-proof course (DPC), 79 households of the district have become eligible to receive the second tranche. According to Rabin Kiran Acharya, housing grant focal person of District Coordination Committee (DCC), the grant has been released for 74 households of Diprung Chuichumma Rural Municipality and five beneficiaries from Diktel, Rupakot Majuwagadhi Municipality.
While 8,173 households received the first tranche of the grant, those 79 households are the only beneficiaries of the second tranche grant amounting to Rs 150,000 each. Although the victims had long completed the requirement to be eligible for the second tranche, releasing the fund was significantly delayed.
Focal person Acharya informed that most of the victims have already withdrawn the second tranche of the grant. Locals of Diprung Chuichumma Rural Municipality withdrew their grant from Jyoti Development Bank while locals of Rupakot Majuwaghadi Municipality withdrew it from Diktel chapter of the Bank of Kathmandu.
The second tranche of the grant has brought excitements among the quake victims as their dreams of rebuilding their own home has inched closer with it. Nonetheless, the delay has also disappointed them, as they have to wait for some months to resume the construction as monsoon season is just around the corner. Likewise, National Reconstruction Authority's inability to send engineers, abandonment by deployed engineers, problems of data entry during technical evaluation and failure to establish district project implementation unit among others had affected the reconstruction works in the district, locals claimed.
According to the government data, the quake had caused damages to 13,799 households of the district. Khotang has 8,443 beneficiaries of the quake grant, out of which 270 of them are yet to get even the first tranche.