Nepal | March 31, 2020

Each tornado-hit household to get Rs 5.82 lakh

Federal govt allocates Rs 846.9 million to rebuild disaster-hit houses in Bara, Parsa

Jagdishor Panday

Kathmandu, April 25

Each household in Bara and Parsa districts that lost a house to the tornado will get an average of Rs 582,846 from the federal government to rebuild houses destroyed by the natural disaster.

The federal government has allocated a budget of Rs 846.9 million for the reconstruction of 1,453 houses destroyed by the tornado, Gokul Baskota, minister of communications and information technology, told journalists during the weekly media briefing today.

The houses will be rebuilt by Nepali Army as per the decision taken by the government on April 4.

“We believe the army will complete the reconstruction work before mid-monsoon,” the minister said.

Nepal was hit by a violent tornado on March 31, which killed at least 28 and left hundreds injured and thousands homeless. It was the first recorded wind-induced disaster in Nepal, according to the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology.

Many of the survivors of the disaster are still living in tents.

Nepali Army is planning to hold meetings in Bara and Parsa tomorrow to discuss the reconstruction process, according to NA Spokesperson Brig Gen Bigyan Dev Pandey.

“We’ll then disclose how long it’ll take to complete the work,” Pandey said.

The houses, according to Minister Baskota, will be rebuilt in line with the government’s People’s Housing Programme. “There might be some changes as per requirements. But they will have toilets and kitchens inside,” he said, adding that all the houses would be identical.

The federal government had roped in the army to rebuild the houses citing the compulsion of the provincial government or local levels to adhere to the Public Procurement Act, which, it said, could delay the reconstruction process.

The federal government’s decision has been welcomed by Chief Minister of Province 2 Lalbabu Raut.

“I hope NA will be able to build the houses of people living in tents before the onset of monsoon,” Raut said, adding, “The NA should give priority to houses that have been completely damaged. Houses that suffered partial damage can be rebuilt later.” He also said the provincial government would provide all the support to expedite the housing reconstruction work.

The government has already formed a five-member committee led by Raut to facilitate the reconstruction process. Members of the committee include chief district officers of Bara and Parsa districts and representatives from the Ministry of Defence and the Federal Ministry of Urban Development. NA had previously built community houses in 14 districts after the 2015 earthquakes.

A version of this article appears in print on April 26, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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