Kathmandu, November 20
The Steering Committee meeting of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, has approved the action plan to expedite the post-earthquake reconstruction works. As per the plan, NRA will settle all complaints related to individual housing grant distribution by January 14 next year.
A total of 190,128 complaints have been filed by earthquake survivors citing they were excluded during the beneficiary survey commissioned by NRA in 14 severely hit districts.
As per action plan, NRA aims to conclude the signing of grant agreements with households of the less affected additional 17 districts by the end of January next year. The beneficiary survey in the less affected districts has not started yet.
There has been some progress in reconstruction of individual households as NRA has distributed first tranche of housing grant to around 81 per cent of the beneficiary households in the 11 quake-affected districts and NRA is close to concluding beneficiary survey in Kathmandu Valley, which is expected to be over by end of this month. “As the presence of financial institutions is high in the Valley as compared to other parts of the country, grant
distribution process in the Valley will not take as much time as outside Kathmandu,” said Ram Prasad Thapaliya, spokesperson of NRA.
The action plan endorsed by the Steering Committee meeting says that along with housing grant distribution and settlement of complaints, NRA will finalise places to relocate 358 settlements in the risky zone within mid-February. Land registration of earthquake survivors eligible for the government’s aid will also be expedited and concluded within mid-March.
To expedite the post-earthquake works, NRA has given top priority to establishing a construction materials bank by collecting data base of demand of construction materials from each affected village development committee and municipality, and developing 60,000 skilled masons by mid-March next year.
As per action plan, reconstruction of individual houses should be completed within next fiscal year and the Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development will prepare and execute the individual house reconstruction plan very shortly.
It has focused on early completion of earthquake ravaged infrastructure, schools, health centres, roads and bridges, and drinking water facilities, among others.
All the 7,923 quake-ravaged schools will be reconstructed within mid-April, 2018. Likewise, among the 468 health centres damaged in the earthquake, 200 health centres have been developed with prefab structures and a target has been set to restore the remaining 268 with prefab structures by end of this fiscal.
Similarly, the plan aims to complete reconstruction works of cultural heritage sites, roads, drinking water facilities and other infrastructure by end of next fiscal 2017-18. Some of the old government buildings with cultural significance like the buildings of Nepal Rastra Bank in Baluwatar and Thapathali, and Harihar Bhawan, among others, will be reconstructed within four years, as per plan.
A version of this article appears in print on November 21, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.