Ramechhap, January 23
Quake victims of Ramechhap will be getting some relief as District Forest Office has decided to distribute timber to the victims for reconstruction of houses 32 months after the devastating earthquake.
Quake victims of the district were reeling under acute shortage of timber due to which many of them had missed the government’s deadline for reconstructing their houses.
Ramechhap District Forest Office brought timber from Udaypur district. It took around ten months to complete the procedure of bringing the timber to the district. District Forest Officer Ram Bichari Thakur said Ramechhap district was the first quake-hit district to provide timber to earthquake victims.
National Reconstruction Authority had directed the District Forest Office to provide timber to the victims but there was acute shortage of timber in the district. “We bought timber by borrowing money from Manthali Municipality as the government did not release the budget to buy wood for quake victims,” Thakur said.
Manthali Municipality Mayor Ramesh Basnet said the municipality had provided Rs 22 lakh to the District Forest Office to buy timber from Udaypur district in the presence of the representatives of District Administration Office and Treasury and Controller’s Office.
It was estimated that around 0.45 million cubic feet wood was necessary for reconstruction of houses but District Forest Office had only 0.5 million cubic feet wood available. Thakur said around 500 cubic feet wood was bought with the money borrowed from the municipality.
Victims who received the second instalment of the housing grant will get wood after producing legal documents along with the ward office’s recommendation.
As many as 300 quake victims have registered their application at Area Forest Office, Manthali, for wood. The office said that wood would be distributed after identifying real quake victims.
The office also informed that each victim would get 30 cubic feet saal wood. As many as 15,000 people are constructing earthquake resilient houses in the district.
A version of this article appears in print on January 24, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.