Data collection of quake victims in limbo

Khotang, January 2

Data collection of the victims of the 2015 April earthquake has not yet started in Khotang as the National Reconstruction Authority didn’t send engineers for the task that was supposed to begin from Friday.

Collection of name list and verification of victims, among others, could not begin due to lack of engineers in the district.

“As the National Reconstruction Authority didn’t send the engineers on the stipulated date, we have not been able to begin data collection for the preliminary stage of the reconstruction move,” said Department of District Statistics and Data Collection Management Office Interlocutor Officer Shiva Narayan Mahato.

“Though the social mobilisers were kept on standby after providing them necessary training on December 28 and 29, the survey has not yet started for want of engineers, who were supposed to arrive in the district on December 29,” clarified Mahato.

Earthquake Settlement Reconstruction Project of Central Project Implementation Unit under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development had issued a notice that it would initiate the collection of name list of the victims, verification of data and grant agreement among others from December 30.

“May be because of the engineers’ agitation and their training, they have not been deployed from the authority’s central office though it is late by almost a week. Soon after they are mobilised, the list of beneficiaries will be prepared,” said Mahato.

Data Collection and Management Office was set up in the district to conduct survey and sign an agreement of the grant distribution on December 20.

As per the authority, they will complete grant distribution agreement soon after the data collection survey within a month-and-a-half.

According to Dhruba Prasad Sharma, a member of National Reconstruction Authority’s Executive Committee, a total of 33 engineers and an equal number of social mobilisers will be deployed for the verification of 13,333 victims of the district.

The engineers visit the houses of each victim and categorise them into five groups from group one to five. “Only victims who fall in group three, four and five will be provided with the government grant,” informed the authority.

The reconstruction authority has estimated that the survey will be completed by the last week of February.

“The grant distribution will begin soon after the name list of the victims is finalised with the survey,” said the office.

The victims can withdraw Rs 300,000 money from the bank after they sign an agreement with the VDC secretaries and send the record to Fund and Account Control Office of the concerned district through District Development Committee.

According to Sharma, the victims will be provided Rs 50,000, Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000 in the first, second and third instalments respectively.

As per the authority’s office in the district, only 6,735 persons possessed earthquake victim’s identity cards and they were provided with different reliefs in the district.

The number of victims had reached 13,333 after the office asked for the registration of victims that missed out on the list later.