Kathmandu, August 30
The National Reconstruction Authority is mulling over providing a grant of Rs 50,000 to those whose houses require repairs and who have filed complaints that they have been left out of the beneficiary list in the 11 quake-hit districts outside Kathmandu Valley.
For this, the NRA is preparing to amend its Guidelines on Grant Distribution to Private Houses to settle the complaints lodged by the quake survivors of the 11 earthquake-hit districts outside the Valley.
A total of 150,000 households have filed complaints at NRA citing they have been excluded from the list of beneficiaries for the government’s aid.
By simple calculation, even if each of these households is to receive Rs 50,000 that NRA is planning to distribute to repair their homes, the authority will have to dish out an additional Rs 7.5 billion.
According to Sushil Gyewali, CEO of NRA, the executive committee of the authority has already approved the amendment of the guideline and is preparing to submit it to the steering committee led by the prime minister.
The draft amendment has proposed to provide Rs 50,000 for maintenance and retrofitting for the houses that have not suffered much damage.
NRA will start settling all the complaints filed by the quake survivors after the amended guideline is approved, according to NRA CEO Gyewali.
The NRA has been distributing Rs 50,000 as the first instalment of the government’s grant of Rs 200,000 per household for the quake survivors to rebuild their houses that had either collapsed or had to be demolished for the purpose of rebuilding.
A total of 200,852 households have received the first tranche of the government’s grant as of today, according to NRA. NRA has listed 531,937 households as eligible to obtain the government’s aid from the beneficiary survey carried out in 11 districts and signed grant agreement with 395,988 households till today.
The NRA has pledged to distribute the first tranche of the grant to all the households that have signed grant agreement with local bodies under supervision of NRA by September 18.
Meanwhile, the NRA has instructed the local bodies to settle the issues of land ownership within this month. Land ownership certificate is mandatory to sign the grant agreement.
To facilitate those who had not registered their land, the NRA has issued Guideline for Land Registration, which has authorised the land revenue officer to register the land of the earthquake survivors with the consent of chief district officer or local development officer.
The quake survivor can then submit an application to the Land Revenue Office for the registration process of land, where the survivor has been living since long.
Many households, despite being listed as beneficiaries, have not been able to obtain the grant due to lack of land registration certificate.
Additional grant to purchase land
KATHMANDU: The National Reconstruction Authority has also floated an idea to offer additional grant to purchase land on top of the house reconstruction grant of Rs 200,000 instead of developing an integrated settlement for displaced people.
Talking to The Himalayan Times, Sushil Gyewali, CEO of NRA, said it would cost at least around Rs 1.5 million to Rs 2 million to develop one residential house in integrated settlement, which is why NRA has been seeking cost-effective options.
“If a displaced household gets Rs 400,000 to purchase land on top of the house reconstruction grant, he will purchase land in the village in which the displaced family feels comfortable to live,” said Gyewali.
Earlier, NRA was planning to develop integrated settlement for displaced people due to landslides, rockfalls, sinkholes and other risks in their settlements due to the devastating earthquake of last year.
A version of this article appears in print on August 31, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.