NRA talking big, but doing nothing, claims House panel

KATHMANDU: As the monsoon is setting in, the Development Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today expressed concerns over dillydallying on the part of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) in extending grant assistance to quake survivors to build houses.

The Committee slammed the NRA for restricting itself to paperwork in the name of reconstruction. The Committee members accused the Authority officials of being busy with making big talks rather than working.

Committee Chairman Rabindra Adhikari questioned, "The Authority seems to be occupied with "paper horse race", its time is consumed by laying foundation stones. When will the money be provided to the people living under tents to build homes?"

NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali, who was present during the meeting, kept on smiling when the comment was made.

"The people are raising questions over the Authority's working procedure. How will the lawmakers face the people who are living under tents since a year?" the questions went continued.

Among the 717,400 house owners from 14 worst-hit districts eligible to receive the grant assistance, grant agreements have been reached with only 45,714 owners till date while the survivors receiving first instalment money has not exceeded 1,000.

In the current pace, the NRA will take more than a year to just complete signing grant agreements.

The Committee issued instructions to facilitate the process of grant distribution to quake-hit households and relist the quake-stricken people as the lists collected earlier had left out many.

The Committee has also instructed for coordination between the NRA and the line ministries, and not to allow shortage of construction materials to mar reconstruction of houses.

Lawmakers Dilman Pakhrin, Mahendra Yadav, Kamala Ghimire, Bahadur Singh Lama and Jeeven Bahadur Shahi among others had made suggestions to the NRA during the meeting today.

In response, the NRA CEO Gyewali said the collection of names of quake-stricken who were previously left out in the first phase had already started.