Kathmandu, March 8
Central Level Project Implementation Unit, the body entrusted with reconstructing schools damaged in the 2015 earthquakes has only four months left to hand over more than 2,100 schools to meet its second-phase target.
The CLPIU started working on reconstruction of all 7,923 schools in April 2016. It is supposed to complete reconstruction of these schools by July 15, 2019. The CLPIU thus set the target to undertake the task of reconstruction in three phases, building at least 2,500 schools each year.
The CLPIU under the Ministry of Education is tasked with reconstructing all schools destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes in 31 districts, as per directives from the National Reconstruction Authority.
CLPIU Project Director Ima Narayan Shrestha said, “We are confident that additional 2,000 schools will be handed over within four months, but around 1,500 to 2,000 schools, which will be handed over to the respective school management committees will not be complete.”
Twenty months after the reconstruction project was begun the CLPIU has handed over only 2,891 schools, which means it has to hand over the remaining 2,100 schools by July 15 to meet it’s goal to reconstruct 5,000 schools within two fiscals. Of the 2,891 schools which have been handed over, 936 were built with support from various donor agencies. Around 60 per cent of the schools, which have been handed over, have two to three rooms with corrugated zinc sheet roofing. The remaining 40 per cent have less than eight classrooms, according to CLPIU officials.
CLPIU has so far handed over only two secondary schools with the capacity of 18 to 25 rooms, which were built with support from Japanese International Cooperation Agency and Asian Development Bank. JICA had offered financial support to reconstruct 240 schools and ADB 162 schools.
According to Shrestha, of all the schools destroyed in the earthquakes, 402 will be build with the support of JICA and ADB. They will be multi-storey buildings. JICA and ADB have pledged to provide Rs 20 billion for the reconstruction of earthquake-damaged schools.
The National Reconstruction Authority had demanded Rs 130 billion for the reconstruction of all earthquake-damaged schools. Of the demanded amount, Rs 65 billion from government and various donor agencies will be spent on reconstruction of 5,000 schools, which needs to be completed within this fiscal, according to CLPIU.
Of the total 7,923 schools destroyed in the earthquakes, CLPIU is planning to rebuild only 7,553 as 370 schools were either merged with others or shut down.
A version of this article appears in print on March 09, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.