2,004 beneficiaries get housing grant

Kathmandu, June 12

The village development committees and municipalities of quake-affected districts have signed housing grant agreements with 72,145 beneficiaries as of yesterday.

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development said, “Following the execution of the agreements, the first tranche of Rs 50,000 has been deposited in the bank accounts of 2,004 beneficiaries for housing construction in eleven quake-affected districts, except the Kathmandu Valley.

The ministry has directed the concerned local development officers, municipalities, and VDCs to expedite the process of grant agreements.”

The government has so far identified 473,145 beneficiaries of the grant amount of Rs 200,000 for housing construction on behalf of National Reconstruction Authority. The amount will be released in three instalments of Rs 50,000, Rs 80,000, and Rs 70,000 thorough banking channels.

Details of beneficiaries from 56 VDCs have yet to be ascertained. The NRA is extending the grant to every family whose house was destroyed by quakes last year.

Although the NRA had started the process of distributing the first instalment of the grant on March 13, it failed to make timely arrangements to distribute the funds through banks.

Earlier, the government had said it was set to expedite the distribution of the grant before the onset of monsoon, which generally starts from the second week of June. The earthquakes of April 25 and May 12 last year had completely destroyed over 500,000 houses in various parts of the country.

A minimum of Rs 286.06 billion will be required to rebuild rural houses, and another Rs 90.06 billion to rebuild urban houses, according to the Post Disaster Recovery Framework launched by the NRA on May 12 this year.

Thousands of earthquake survivors are still living in tents or sheds made of corrugated zinc sheets.