Irate quake victims threaten social mobilisers
Sindhulimadi, May 16
Victims of the earthquake in Sindhuli district are unhappy about the list of quake victims who will receive state-provided grants for housing reconstruction.
They say the list does not include many ‘genuine’ victims of the area.
Data for this project was collected by National Reconstruction Authority for the government’s housing reconstruction programme, and the list was made public a few days ago.
Social mobilisers, who were responsible for ushering engineers deployed to study the damage details in houses in the area, have been blamed for ‘compromising’ the data collection method and now fear for their security following the locals’ ire against them.
As per the NRA records, there are a total of 21,114 households in the 38 VDCs of the district. After the data collection phase was completed, the authority began preparations to start reconstruction programmes in all 38 VDCs.
The authority, however, has only signed agreements with 1,021 households of Jhara VDC so far. Locals of various VDCs who claim to have been left out of the list have submitted a memorandum to the District Administration Office and the District Development Committee and halted the process of signing reconstruction agreements.
Meanwhile, social mobilisers came to district headquarters Sindhulimadi demanding security yesterday.
The Social Mobilisers’ Welfare Protection Committee submitted a four-point memorandum explaining their problems to the Chief District Officer, the Local Development Officer, and leaders of different political parties.
Chairperson to the Social Mobiliser’s Welfare Protection Committee Raju Upreti rued the threat to their safety and said, “We were trying to do good for society; we played the role of facilitator at the local level.
We don’t really have a say on how data is collected, or what data is collected.” Upreti also demanded that the government create a conducive environment for them to work by taking initiatives to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.
Chief District Officer Tara Bahadur Karki, on his part, clarified that social mobilisers don’t have any role in the final preparation of data and vowed to provide security to them.