The Safe Citizens Shelter Programme initiated from fiscal 2018-19 has been facing shortage of budget.

A total of 157,000 houses were to have their thatched roofs replaced with corrugated zinc sheets under this scheme. The programme provisions grant of Rs 50,000 per house for this purpose.

Senior Divisional Engineer Meera Gyawali, chief of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Housing Section, said the programme had been hamstrung due to shortage of budget.

This programme was started in 222 local bodies in fiscal 2018-19.

It was implemented at the same number of local bodies in fiscal 2019-20.

However, it was announced that the grant amount would be provided to 157,000 households from the fiscal 2020-21.

Gyawali said the programme was unable to provide the grant to 157,000 households due to shortage of budget. She said Rs 7.5 billion was required for the programme, but only Rs 5 billion was released. "Therefore, the department has not been able to provide the grant to all the selected households."

Although the programme steering committee chaired by the Minister of Urban Development on 23 March 2021 decided to increase the grant amount to Rs 75,000 citing that Rs 50,000 was not adequate for replacement of thatched roof with zinc sheets, the department has not been able to provide even the previous grant amount to the selected households.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 27 2021, of The Himalayan Times.