Reconstruction Consultative Council gets complete shape

KATHMANDU: The Reconstruction Consultative Council, the apex body to oversee the action plans for the reconstruction of the quake-ravaged infrastructure and streamline budget for the same, has got complete shape. There would be 97 members in the Council.

The first meeting of the Council held Wednesday approved a proposal floated by Council Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

The meeting has also given responsibility to the Council Chairman and Prime Minister to appoint one each lawmaker from the most-affected 14 districts after holding talks with the main opposition Nepali Congress.

The organisational structure of the National Reconstruction Authority would be three-layered including National Reconstruction Council, Directorate Committee and Executive Committee.

At the meeting, CEO of the Authority, Sushil Gyawali, tabled a three-month-long immediate action plan to carry out the works in four different phases from 16 January to last week of April and sought suggestions from the members.

Mobilisation of the minimum human resource, management of office and budget, commencement of the national reconstruction mega campaign on 16 January and formation of the district coordination committees and establishment of the secretariat include the works to be carried out in the first phase.

Likewise, implementation of policies, regulations and procedures, publicisation of concept, establishment of seven regional offices, establishment of reconstruction units by government offices in all districts and set up of the media centre include the jobs to be done in the second phase.

The works to be done in the third phase are beginning the building and demographic survey in all districts and commencing the construction works of sample residential buildings in at least five districts. Completing the building and demographic survey in all districts, beginning the individual residences in five VDCs and municipalities in each district and establishing the resource centres in two sites are the things to be done in the final stage as per the proposal.

Likewise, the Authority is preparing to mobilise 500 engineers within 10 days and 1,500 engineers within a month to the villages for survey of damaged buildings.

The Council is given the right to determine the priorities by confirming the necessity, approve the policy, budget and programmes, acquire necessary land for reconstruction and establish link between the reconstruction works and economic revitalisation.

Similarly, the Authority shall have a separate fund for carrying out the reconstruction-related works.

Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Oli said that the first priority was to provide services to the quake-survivors and make the reconstruction works effective. “Dispatch and distribution of relief supplies would be carried out through the Home Ministry and reconstruction works from the Authority,” the PM said.

Commenting on the plan of action prepared by the Authority, former Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai suggested making minimum provision for housing before the forthcoming rainy season in severely affected districts.

He said, “The entire reconstruction works would be slow if the sample housing construction task was limited till mid-May.”

On the occasion, former chairman of Council of Ministers Khilraj Regmi, Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Prem Bahadur Singh, committee members Hari Charan Sah, Prem Suwal, Sharmila Karki, Bhawani Rana, Lokmani Dhakal, Ram Kumar Rai and others offered suggestions to simplify the processes for doling out grants and loans to those rendered homeless by the April 25 deadly earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks.