Draft work procedure has been prepared to allow beneficiaries of the post-earthquake reconstruction work to add rooms or floors to their load-bearing houses.

The Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU-Building) of the National Reconstruction Authority organised an interaction yesterday to discuss provisions of the work procedure with technical support from the National Society for Earthquake Technology Nepal.

Various representatives from government agencies, national and international experts, local government representatives and technicians deputed for reconstruction works and representatives from development partners took part in the interaction.

Chief Executive Officer of the NRA Sushil Gyewali stressed the need to put the local government at the forefront while implementing the work procedure, adding, "The federal bodies should work as its backbone." As extension of the newly-reconstructed houses is imminent in rural areas, the work procedure has been formulated to ensure that the extended part too is built in earthquake-resilient manner.

Deputy Director of the CLPIU (Building) Jhappar Singh Bishwakarma and Program Manager of NSET Ranjan Dhungel presented the draft work procedure and demonstrated the content of the 10-point booklet.

Executive Committee member of the NRA Hariram Parajuli, New Zealand-based expert Jitendra Bothra and Indian expert Bibek Rawal expressed their opinions during the presentation.

The draft has been prepared with detailed engineering drawing and designs that are useful for engineers and construction technicians.

Similarly, a 10-point booklet has also been prepared in simple Nepali language to facilitate understanding for house owners and construction workers.

The work procedure has provided detailed explanation how the mud-stone and concrete houses could extend from all sides of their reconstructed houses. However, the 'hybrid structure manual' prepared earlier can be useful for adding floors. NRA Executive Committee member Chandra Bahadur Shrestha said the work procedure would be implemented after finalising and approving it from the executive committee.

After the NRA, the local levels and the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction will take over the role of implementing agencies.

Director General of the DUD- BC Nabaraj Pyakurel said the department was ready to implement the work procedure as it would be useful for extending houses in future. The work procedure will be finalised taking into account the suggestions given at the interaction and suggestions received from other agencies in future, according to Shyam Kishor Singh, project director of the CLPIU (Building).

Joint Secretary and Spokesperson of the NRA Gopal Prasad Aryal said the work procedure would be more impactful if one house was extended in each of the local level. Santosh Gyawali of the United States Agency for International Development said the work procedure would be useful not only for reconstructed houses but also for any house to be built in the coming days. The NRA has been providing Rs 300,000 as financial assistance to each earthquake beneficiary to reconstruct their houses.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 25, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.