Kathmandu, August 13
Reconstruction of 427,168 houses damaged by the 2015 earthquakes has so far been completed, while 645,131 are under-construction, according to National Reconstruction Authority.
In the wake of the devastating earthquakes, the NRA had identified 821,847 households eligible for housing grant, of which 775,680 beneficiaries had signed agreement with the NRA. Of the total, 769,105 households have received the first tranche of the grant amount of Rs 50,000. The first tranche is paid right after the agreement. Once the beneficiaries complete construction of foundation of their houses, the second tranche of Rs 150,000 is handed over to them.
So far, 605,231 beneficiaries have received the second tranche, while 487,929 households have received the third tranche. To be eligible for the third tranche, the construction should have reached the phase of roof installation.
NRA Information Officer Manohar Ghimire said the authority was now taking measures to encourage those beneficiaries who had yet to sign agreement, and those who had not completed reconstruction despite receiving government housing grant. “We have been verifying it in coordination with the local bodies,” he said.
He further said that the NRA was also focused on the vulnerable section of earthquake survivors. The NRA has identified 18,505 individuals as vulnerable. The authorities have categorised the vulnerable into four categories — senior citizens aged above 70, single women aged above 65, children aged below 16 and differently-abled people who have acquired red and blue identity cards from the government.
As far as reconstruction of heritage buildings are concerned, the NRA’s main focus has been on retrofitting them. Retrofitting of some of the heritage building such as Singha Durbar, Babar Mahal, Rastrapati Bhavan, Bal Mandir and Kesar Mahal, among others, have started. “We agree there’s been some delay in retrofitting works, but we are committed to expediting the work,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on August 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.