BAGLUNG: Victims of the earthquake of April 2015 of Jaimini Municipality in Baglung district are struggling to repay personal debts that they took to rebuild their damaged houses after the government denied them of housing grants under different pretexts, stakeholders said.
Sumitra Srish of Jaimini Municipality-10, a quake victim, spent more than Rs 400,000 of the borrowed money, to build a two-room house. But she was only provided with Rs 50,000 as the first tranche of housing grant.
"I did not have a roof over my head. I built a house by borrowing the money before the government set the housing standards. I am now finding it difficult to repay the debt," Srish said.
Likewise, another quake survivor Kala Bhandari has yet to receive the second and third tranches after authorities denied her of grants citing that her house does not follow government-mandated standards.
The quake survivors who built the house before a procedure for constructing house was introduced are now reeling under debt burden after the NRA District Project Implementation Unit deemed them ineligible for full grants citing that they did not abide by building codes.
Krishna Bahadur Rana of Jaimini Municipality-1 said, ”We built the house after soliciting suggestions from the technical experts but the grant was discontinued. Some people even received the second instalment of grant but ours was stopped citing our design did not comply with the standards.”
Ramashish Sah, officiating Chief at NRA, District Project Implementation Unit Baglung, said, “Distribution of reconstruction grant is facing issues for lack of work procedure, directives to provide the grant to those beneficiaries who reconstructed their houses before the standards were enforced."
Of the total 2,375 beneficiaries registered in Baglung, only 519 received the third instalment of grant while 993 of them received the second instalment and 2,105 have received the first, according to Sah.