NPC hands over post-quake reconstruction tasks to Gyawali-led authority

Kathmandu, December 28

The National Planning Commission, the apex body that formulates country’s development plans, has informally handed over all tasks related to post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation to the National Authority for Reconstruction.

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With this, the NAR has become the central authority to execute all projects and programmes related to reconstruction of structures damaged by devastating earthquakes of April and May, and restoration of lives of around two million quake victims, many of whom are spending cold winter nights in temporary shelters.

Although the NAR was supposed to oversee these works from the beginning, it had not been able to do so due to delay in appointment of the CEO. So, as a stop-gap measure, the government, in November, had instructed the NPC to supervise reconstruction and rehabilitation works.

But with Friday’s appointment of Sushil Gyawali, a civil engineer and town planner, as the CEO of the NAR, the NPC has relieved itself from duties related to post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation.

“I met the new CEO of the NAR yesterday and informally handed over the responsibilities that had come to our shoulders,” NPC Vice Chairman Yubaraj Khatiwada told The Himalayan Times. “I will formally transfer the job as early as tomorrow.”

So far, the NPC has approved a number of programmes related to reconstruction submitted by different ministries.

A budget of around Rs 50 billion is required to implement these programmes.

A big chunk of this money will go towards reconstruction of around 490,000 private houses destroyed by the quakes.

In this regard, the government has announced its plan to extend up to Rs 200,000 to owners of every private house that was fully damaged by the quakes. This amount will be disbursed in three instalments of 25 per cent, 50 per cent and 25 per cent.

“In addition, we have also framed a policy and regulation on recovery and reconstruction,” said Khatiwada. “Now it is up to the new CEO to refine these documents and implement projects and programmes endorsed by the NPC.”

NAR CEO Gyawali could not be reached.