15pc quake victims yet to receive first tranche of govt aid

Kathmandu, March 7

Though it has been almost a year since the grant distribution process started, 15 per cent of the quake-affected households are yet to receive the first tranche of the government grant to rebuild their houses.

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) started grant distribution process from March 13 last year, but it has taken a pretty long time for the authority to reach out to all the quake victims who were listed as beneficiaries to receive the housing grant.

As per data obtained from the Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU) under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, 539,190 households have received the first instalment of the grant worth Rs 50,000 from the government out of a total of 626,695 beneficiary households in the 14 severely affected districts, including Kathmandu Valley.

However, NRA has claimed that 96 per cent of those who have signed the grant agreement with local bodies have received first instalment to start rebuilding houses. Till date, 553,111 beneficiary households have signed the grant agreement with local bodies.

According to Yam Lal Bhoosal, spokesperson for NRA, those who do not have land ownership certificate, landless people and those who need to be rehabilitated to safer places from vulnerable areas have been deprived from the government grant.

“As NRA has recently decided to provide Rs 100,000 to landless quake beneficiaries to purchase land, all the beneficiaries will be able to obtain the government grant once the NRA’s decision is approved from the Cabinet,” he stated.

Due to lack of land ownership certificate, those living in public land have been unable to sign grant agreement with local bodies because land ownership certificate is mandatory for the grant agreement purpose.

Though NRA has already started distributing the second tranche of the reconstruction aid to those who have laid the foundation abiding by all the required criteria to build earthquake-resilient houses, only 798 houses of five districts — Nuwakot, Dolakha, Gorkha, Makawanpur, Sindhuli — have been able to avail the second tranche worth Rs 150,000 based on the recommendation of the engineers deployed to affected districts by NRA.

Quake-affected households have been urged to follow the technology of model houses unveiled by NRA while rebuilding their houses so that they can easily avail the second and third tranche worth Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000, respectively.