Lack of work procedure to repair houses puts quake victims in a fix

Okhaldhunga, July 18

Hundreds of earthquake victims, whose houses were partially damaged, have been left in a lurch due to lack of necessary work procedure to repair houses in Okhaldhunga.

The victims could not retrofit or repair their houses due to the National Reconstruction Authority’s reluctance to prepare the work procedure for repairing partially damaged houses even three years after  the devastating earthquake.

“It is sheer carelessness on the part of the government that work procedure for retrofitting or repairing partially damaged houses has not been drafted even after three years,” complained Ashok Dahal, a victim of Lamidanda, Molung Rural Municipality. He said those victims who had received the first instalment of the relief amount were confused as to how to repair their houses for want of the work procedure.

“Though they received the relief amount of the first instalment, they are yet to begin retrofitting due to lack of necessary work procedure,” said Dahal.

Only a few victims, who received the first instalment, got their houses retrofitted on their own, but the engineers didn’t pass such houses due to lack of work procedure. “Some of the partially affected victims still don’t know how to obtain the relief amount,” regretted locals.

“Though we requested the centre for the necessary procedure several times, there was no response,” regretted National Reconstruction Authority Grant Management and Local Infrastructure Unit Okhaldhunga Section Officer Bed Prasad Acharya. He said hundreds of victims were in dilemma due to lack of work procedure.

According to Acharya, as many as 2,862 houses were listed as partially damaged in the district. Of them, a total of 1,174 have already signed agreement to begin repair and retrofitting and 1,144 households have even received the first instalment for the same.