NRA endorses complaint redressal guideline

Kathmandu, July 2

The Executive Committee of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has endorsed the Complaint Redressal Guideline on Friday. The guideline will help address the complaints of quake survivors, collected from 11 earthquake-hit districts excluding the Valley, where the beneficiary survey has been concluded.

Over 90,000 households have registered complaints at NRA, citing they are also eligible to receive the government’s aid to reconstruct their houses that were damaged in the earthquake. The guideline prepared by NRA has envisaged four layers to address the complaints registered by the quake survivors.

“A majority of the complaints will be addressed through the district level mechanism,” said Ram Prasad Thapaliya, spokesperson of NRA.

The guideline, which came into effect from Friday, has envisaged village development committee (VDC)-level mechanism that will be led by VDC secretary and comprise representatives from wards citizen forum. This will be the first layer to address the complaints.

Complaints that cannot be settled at the VDC level will be transferred to the district level, where the guideline has envisioned a committee led by the chief district officer and comprising local development officer and district chief of police, among others, according to Thapaliya. “We expect a majority of the complaints to be settled through the district level mechanism.”

The complaints that cannot be settled through the district level mechanism will be transferred to the NRA’s sub-regional offices that will receive the grievances and address them. The final authority to address the complaints is the NRA’s head office. To address the complaints that have been transferred to the NRA head office, the authority has so far trained 22 engineers for the purpose. “The complaints that arrive at the NRA head office will be addressed after a proper examination of the images of the concerned houses,” said Thapaliya.

NRA had assigned the non-governmental organisation (NGO) named Health Research and Social Development Forum (HERD) to conduct the beneficiary survey in the 11 worst-affected districts. Altogether, 533,058 households have been listed as beneficiaries and the NRA has already started distribution of the first tranche or 25 per cent worth Rs 50,000 of the total grant of Rs 200,000 announced by the government for quake victims for reconstruction of individual houses. NRA had paid Rs 780 million to HERD to conduct the beneficiary survey.

NRA has selected the same NGO for the beneficiary survey in Kathmandu Valley. “It is strange that NRA has selected the same NGO again, which was not able to properly do the assigned job earlier,” stated Govinda Raj Pokharel, former vice chairman of National Planning Commission. “This is why NRA has been flooded with mounting grievances from the local level.”