NRA officials pledge to expedite reconstruction

Kathmandu, December 27

Officials of National Reconstruction Authority have vowed to further speed up the reconstruction process.

Addressing a programme held to mark two years of its establishment, NRA officials informed that the authority has managed to make about 46 per cent progress in private housing reconstruction and vowed to meet the target of providing safe housing for 60 per cent of the earthquake victims within this fiscal.

NRA was established to help hundreds of thousands of people reconstruct their houses that were damaged beyond repair in the devastating 2015 earthquakes and to rebuild schools, health buildings, cultural heritage and government buildings.

Formal work of NRA began on December 27, 2015, two days after the appointment of its chief executive officer by the Council of Ministers following the passing of the bill on December 16.

Almost 9,000 people lost their lives and over 22,000 were injured in the earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, one of the biggest in Nepal’s history. Thousands of private houses, educational institutions, health institutions, public buildings, cultural heritage and drinking water systems were damaged.

NRA CEO Yubaraj Bhusal thanked the previous two predecessors for leading the authority’s formative and normative years and said that NRA is now on the take-off stage. “Now, we need to speed up to meet our goal of constructing 60 per cent of private housing by the end of this fiscal year.”

“Our main goal now is the reconstruction of private housing,” CEO Bhusal said, adding, “There has been an increase in the number of people who have started rebuilding their houses, but there still are many people who are yet to come forward.”

For this, he said, NRA would train about 54,000 masons by mid-January.

Secretary of NRA Madhu Sudan Adhikari recalled the difficult period of establishing NRA and said that the authority was now on the right track to speed up reconstruction. Stating that the authority alone cannot achieve the targeted goal, Secretary Adhikari called upon all the concerned stakeholders to provide support to NRA and assist it in achieving the desired result.

Executive Member of NRA Dhruba Sharma said the work gained momentum after a deadline was set for the private housing reconstruction and informed that the process has already begun to resettle those who have been living in vulnerable areas to safe locations.

Joint Secretary and Spokesperson of NRA Yam Lal Bhoosal presented a detailed progress report in all the sectors.

According to NRA, out of the 767,705 households eligible for housing grants, 98 per cent or 664,644 have received the first instalment of the housing grant, 115,192 have received the second instalment and 26,454 have received the third tranche.

Construction of 79,514 private houses had been completed and 194,196 houses were under construction as of December 26. In terms of public building, construction of 257 health centres, 2,741 educational institutions, 177 government buildings, 79 archaeological sites and 44 security buildings have been completed. Moreover, construction of 119 health centres, 1,004 educational institutions, 203 government buildings, 314 archaeological sites and 140 security buildings is ongoing.

Also, of the targeted 3,203 drinking water infrastructure, reconstruction of 904 has been completed and  that of 965 is ongoing.

Similarly, the NRA informed today that construction of 816 model houses have been completed and 1,514 are ongoing.

The authority has provided short-term mason training to 33,943 individuals and on-the-job training to 16,649 individuals.

Of the 205,634 grievances registered, the NRA has redressed 205,584 so far.