Lamjung, December 24
Earthquake victims in Lamjung reconstructed their houses taking loan at high interest rate thinking they would pay the loan once they received the housing grant offered by the government.
With the construction of houses many quake victims got roofs over their heads, but that did not end their suffering. They fell in real trouble when government officials refused to approve their houses for the second and the third tranche of the housing grant saying that the houses they built did not meet the criteria set by the government.
Hari Krishna Tiwari at Besisahar Municipality had constructed a house at a cost of eight lakh rupees, but his house was not approved. Tiwari said he did not receive the second instalment of the grant.
Mithu Sarki of the same municipality also shares a similar plight.
Not only Tiwari and Sarki, but almost all quake victims in Lamjung have a similar story.
As per the work procedures, those victims whose names are enlisted on the beneficiaries’ list get Rs 50,000 as first instalment, 150,000 as second instalment and Rs 100,000 as third instalment of the housing grant.
Meanwhile, Besisahar Municipality Mayor Guman Singh Aryal clarified that the municipality could not provide housing grant to those whose houses did not meet the criteria set by the government. As many as 13,959 houses were damaged in the 2015 earthquakes. Of them, the reconstruction agreement was signed with 13,319 households.
National Reconstruction Authority District Project Implementation Unit Office focal person Shiva Regmi said as many as 13,319 victims had received the first instalment. According to Regmi, as many as 5,045 quake victims received the second tranche, and 851 have even received the third instalment.
A version of this article appears in print on December 25, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.