NRA to mobilise fresh engineers in quake-hit districts

Kathmandu, January 30

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) today wrote to the dean of School of Engineering under Pokhara University to mobilise fresh engineers, who have recently completed their course, to the earthquake-affected districts to provide proper guidance in building of earthquake-resilient houses.

“They will be provided a week-long crash course before being sent to the affected districts,” said NRA CEO Govinda Raj Pokharel, adding, “NRA is mobilising engineers massively from other universities as well to ensure the individual houses being rebuilt are earthquake-resilient.”

Reportedly, due to lack of proper guidance, many houses being built in the rural areas might not be eligible to receive the second tranche of the government aid. As the first tranche of the grant worth Rs 50,000 has been distributed, many have laid foundation and are seeking the second tranche.

“To be eligible to receive the second tranche, the rebuilt structure should have followed the set standards. In this regard, engineers will support households to construct foundation as per the set standard,” Pokharel explained.

The engineers, who have recently completed their course from universities, will be deployed to the earthquake-hit districts for at least three weeks and they will get allowance between Rs 15,000 and Rs 18,000 plus transport allowance and NRA will also provide insurance to them, according to the NRA officials.

VDC secretaries threaten to halt works

KATHMANDU: Secretaries of the village development committees (VDCs) have warned the government of protests and that all the works would be suspended if their rational demand for increment in their allowances is not fulfilled.

Submitting a memorandum to National Reconstruction Authority CEO Govinda Raj Pokharel, the VDC Secretaries’ Rights Protection Centre has said they will halt all works from Wednesday if their demands are not met. In response, Pokharel urged them not to halt the works as the government has been preparing to distribute the second tranche of the housing grant to reconstruct individual houses. “I will forward this message to the government leadership and demands will be addressed shortly,” the NRA statement has quoted Pokharel as saying to the officials of the centre. “If works are halted, it will adversely affect reconstruction pace of individual houses in quake-hit districts.”