Only 43 of the 130 schools damaged by the earthquake reconstructed so far
PALPA, Dec 30: The reconstruction of the school buildings damaged by the 2015 earthquake so as to shift the students studying in the open to classrooms is ongoing in the district. The District Level Project Implementation Unit (Education), with a five-year deadline to complete the reconstruction work, is speeding up the work.
Due to the earthquake, 650 classrooms at 130 schools of Palpa were destroyed. Then the five-year reconstruction project that kicked off in fiscal year 2016/17 was able to rebuild 108 classrooms at 43 schools in the duration of four years. According to Laxman Devkota, the head of the reconstruction project, 34 classrooms at 12 schools underwent complete reconstruction in fiscal year 2016/17 while 28 classrooms at 10 schools were renovated in fiscal year 2017/18. Devkota further said that in the first phase of the last fiscal year, 46 classrooms at 21 schools were reconstructed. He added, “In the second phase of the current fiscal year, out of 48 schools recommended for reconstruction, 63 schools are under reconstruction. Some 45 toilets are also under construction. However, the required budget for the reconstruction of 32 buildings with two rooms, five buildings with 3 rooms and 61 buildings with 4 rooms has not been received yet.”
The chairman of Dibyajyoti Secondary School at Sarai, Mathagadi Rural Municipality-3, Rekhiram Rana said that it was necessary to construct buildings with extra classrooms at schools with a large number of students. He said, “Now we don't get budget for the construction of school buildings from other fields. In our school, we have completed the construction of a four-room building. We got Rs 5.6 million for starting the work. This money was heavily used for the foundation work.” Rajesh Kumar Aryal, the chairman of the Palpa chapter of the Federation of Nepali Journalists, said, “The reconstruction of private houses has been slower than that of schools damaged by the earthquake. Both the quality and the monitoring of the work have been effective since the work was not carried out through contractors. The schools themselves monitored the work directly.”
“It is easy to work as an independent office which was earlier the grant management office,” said sub-engineer Rakesh Bahadur Saud. Furthermore, he said, “We, the team of 10 officers, are giving our best for school reconstructions in the district.” The reconstruction project which aims to work in the educational field has allocated a budget of Rs 7.4 million for a four-room building, Rs 3.58 million for a three-room building, Rs 2.39 million for a two-room building and Rs 1.5 million for toilets. Engineer Gun Bahadhur Malla said, “There were more than 130 schools in the district that were damaged by the earthquake and this data is being updated.” There are 437 schools operational in Palpa.