NRA needs Rs 429 bn more to finish reconstruction works

Kathmandu, April 23

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has said that it needs an additional Rs 429 billion to complete reconstruction of structures devastated by the earthquakes of April and May in 2015.

It had been estimated that a total of Rs 938 billion would be required for the five-year reconstruction and rehabilitation plan. Of this amount, Rs 186 billion was spent by fiscal year 2017-18, and the revised projected expenditure for this fiscal year is Rs 123 billion.

Likewise, NRA expects around Rs 200 billion to be mobilised through the government’s regular budget programme, along with private and non-government organisations. Hence, there will be a shortfall of Rs 429 billion to complete the overall reconstruction works.

Speaking at a press briefing here today, Sushil Gyewali, chief executive officer of NRA, said that the status of reconstruction will depend on proper financial management. “We have started holding discussions about this with the Ministry of Finance and donor agencies.”

He further said that the authority is currently negotiating with the World Bank for a soft loan of $500 million and that an agreement will be reached soon.

Gyewali further said that the authority is facing some challenges due to the recent reshuffling of government employees, which resulted in transfer of many experienced NRA staff to provincial and local governments.

“This has affected the reconstruction works, and management of staff is another big challenge for us.”

Stating that the funding gap was expected based on the findings of Post Disaster Reconstruction Framework, he informed that the yearly budget allocated by the government and the loans and grants from donors could help bridge the gap.

As per NRA, 80 per cent progress has been made so far in reconstruction of private houses.

Out of 762,307 households that had signed the grant agreements, 612,935 have either completed construction or are under reconstruction.

Among those who have signed the housing grant, 382,277 or 50 per cent households have already completed reconstruction, while 230,658 or 30 per cent households are in the process of rebuilding.

Moreover, out of 7,553 schools that needed to be rebuilt, 85 per cent progress has been achieved.

Out of them, 4,476 or 59 per cent has already been reconstructed, while 1,772 are currently being built.

Likewise, it has said that 66 per cent progress has been achieved so far in the reconstruction of health facilities. Out of 1,197 health institutions that needed to be rebuilt, 643 or 54 per cent have been reconstructed, while 145 or 12 per cent are currently under construction.

In the reconstruction of heritages of archaeological importance in 11 most affected districts, 59 per cent progress has been made. Of the total 753 monuments needed to be rebuilt, 224 or 30 per cent have already been reconstructed, while 221 or 29 per cent are currently under construction.

Similarly, NRA has informed that reconstruction of 56 per cent of security sector buildings has been completed. Out of 383 buildings that needed reconstruction, 145 or 38 per cent have been reconstructed while 71 or 18 per cent are currently under construction.

The most progress has been made in reconstruction of government buildings — 98 per cent. Out of 415 government buildings that suffered damages, reconstruction of 262 or 63 per cent have been completed while 145 or 35 per cent are being rebuilt.