Reconstruction work snail-paced

Kavre, November 25

Only 2,500 houses destroyed by the deadly earthquake of the 2015 have been reconstructed till date in Kavre. Reconstruction of just 2500 houses in a year after the government signed the housing grant agreement with quake victims suggests that government’s plan to reconstruct houses within the current fiscal is bound to fail.

The government had fixed the deadline of November 16 for quake victims to receive second instalment. But, the deadline has been extended after the reconstruction work failed to pick up pace.

Chief engineer of district project unit Loknath Regmi said that 65, 688 quake victims had received Rs 50,000 of the first instalment for house reconstruction. According to Regmi, only 8, 497 victims have received the second instalment of housing grant and 1,530 have received the third instalment.

According to the project unit, 2,492 quake victims got first instalment, 580 got second instalment and 347 individuals got third instalment from international and national non-governmental organisations.

Engineer Regmi said that though many quake victims had started reconstructing their houses the number of households to get the third instalment was low as many of them did not meet government’s criteria for house construction. “House reconstruction was delayed. But, some victims are unable to get the third instalment as they have failed to meet the set criteria,” Regmi added.

Of the 73,552 quake victim families who received the first instalment of the housing grant, only 3,472 families have reconstructed their houses as per the government standard in Sindhupalchowk. The Office of Urban and Building Divisions said that 95 per cent houses were damaged in the deadly quake in Sindhupalchowk.

Engineer Tanka Prasad Gautam in the district said that as many as 79,989 victim families have been included in the list of beneficiaries. Of them, 74, 989 families have signed the contract with government for housing grant.

Sitamaya Shrestha of Chautara Municipality-5 has not been able to start house reconstruction despite receiving the first instalment. “I do not know when a contractor will start house construction,” Shrestha said.

After they started constructing their houses, 17, 569 families got the second instalment as well. 165 families are waiting for third tranche of housing grant and 308 families are waiting for the second instalment.