Quake victims deprived of grant

  • 2,890 houses were built under the Red Cross directives before NRA was formed

Dolakha, February 19

As many as 2,890 earthquake victim families have been deprived of housing grant provided by the government in Dolakha.

They had constructed their houses with the help of masons trained by Nepal Red Cross Society before formation of the National Reconstruction Authority. Nepal Red Cross Society had started their reconstruction work after it became responsible for providing relief and rescue to the victims of 10 Village Development Committees through the District Disaster Rescue Committee just after the devastating earthquake. The Red Cross had offered necessary training to local masons and had constructed as many as 2,890 houses. But the households have been deprived of government grant distributed to owners of private residences through the authority.

Earlier, the Red Cross had conducted masonry training in 90 wards of the 10 VDCs in the northern part of the district before formation of the National Reconstruction Authority and before the work procedure was formulated. As many as 270 had taken the masonry training and are deployed for reconstruction. The technicians deployed in the villages did not recommend the households for the grants as the houses constructed did not meet the basic criteria of the NRA.

“We did not get the third instalment amount,” said Chitra Bahadur Kathet of Kalingchowk Rural Municipality. He said that he did not get the amount even though he had constructed the house as per the Red Cross directives.

Quake victims have demanded action against the Red Cross since the training they had given turned out to be useless. Nepal Red Cross Society District Branch Dolakha President Gokarna Prasad Pokhrel said that problems occurred because the authority’s work procedure did not reach on time. He claimed that the masons had adopted some of their own techniques in the construction rather than the procedures given during the training sessions. Red Cross has launched public awareness campaigns in coordination with Building Division Office to resolve the problems.