Kathmandu, October 16
The number of houses fully rebuilt or under construction after suffering irreparable damages in the 14-worst affected districts by the devastating earthquakes of 2015 has crossed 200,000.
As per the Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU) under the Ministry of Urban Development, a total of 58,656 houses have already been rebuilt, while 142,863 houses are under construction.
Reconstruction of individual houses has finally gathered pace as the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has set a deadline of this fiscal end for distribution of government’s housing aid to eligible quake victims.
According to the deadline set by the NRA, the eligible beneficiaries should have signed the grant agreement with the local bodies within November 16. Similarly, the first tranche must be received within January 13, second tranche by April 13, and third tranche within July 15.
NRA has expected that the number of houses that have been rebuilt or under construction will reach around 350,000 by the end the year.
As per the data received from NRA, a large number of houses — 18,872 — are under construction in Sindhupalchok district, while construction of 6,175 houses have already been completed.
The NRA has been collecting the data of houses in different phases of being rebuilt from the engineers deployed by the authority to the affected districts. The engineers have been deployed mainly to ensure that the housing grant beneficiaries are abiding by the safe building codes.
While the reconstruction of individual houses seems to have finally gathered pace, it has been revealed that the lack of coordination between the District Treasury Controller Offices (DTCOs) and banks and financial institutions (BFIs) is causing delay in grant distribution.
Though the NRA has already released Rs 53 billion for grant distribution through CLPIU and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), the grant distribution has slowed down due to lack of coordination between the district-level organisations. The NRA has urged the DTCOs and BFIs working in the field level to be result-oriented rather than being process-oriented.
Around 104,742 households have applied for the second tranche of the housing grant, of which 93,305 applications have already been authenticated.
A version of this article appears in print on October 17, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.