Kathmandu, January 15
A total of 385,657 quake survivors, who received the first tranche of the government’s reconstruction grant last year, have missed the deadline to start rebuilding their houses to be eligible for the second tranche.
For those who got the first tranche last year, the deadline for applying for the second tranche after starting reconstruction expired yesterday, according to the schedule endorsed by the NRA’s Directive Committee in July.
So far, 87,898 quake survivors who got the first tranche last year have rebuilt their houses, according to the National Reconstruction Authority. A total of 473,555 quake survivors had taken the first tranche last year.
According to the NRA, 197,906 applications have been filed for the second tranche, of which 182,290 have been approved and 138,359 quake survivors have got the second tranche of the grant.
As far as the third tranche of the grant is concerned, NRA has received 56,808 applications, of which it has approved 47,801. As per the NRA statistics, 244,757 houses are under reconstruction.
The 385,657 beneficiaries getting the first tranche last year missed the deadline to start rebuilding their houses for several reasons, such as manpower shortage, insufficient grant amount, expensive construction materials, dilemma regarding the design of house, uninhabitable land plots, difficulties related to relocation, and inefficient government monitoring and migration of quake survivors to urban areas, according to field observers. Another major reason for the delay was the local, provincial and parliamentary elections, they added.
A total of 668,499 quake survivors have so far received the first tranche, 138,359 second tranche and 36,775 third tranche in 31 districts as of yesterday, according to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development.
The beneficiaries get Rs 50,000 in the first tranche, Rs 150,000 in the second and Rs 100,000 in the third. However, to be eligible for the second tranche they need to start building houses, while they get the third tranche after the completion of the construction. Government-appointed engineers monitor the progress of construction.
NRA plans to extend the deadline to encourage reconstruction. However, the proposal needs to be endorsed by the NRA’s Directive Committee headed by the prime minister.
NRA CEO Yubaraj Bhusal, however, said the deadline would be extended only for ‘genuine’ beneficiaries. “We’ll ascertain who genuinely needs housing facilities and who does not,” Bhusal told THT. “We feel some beneficiaries have built houses in urban areas with the government grant.”
He said beneficiaries who missed the deadline for genuine reasons should not worry, as they would get the grant even after the deadline.
He added that the NRA was studying how to build houses for orphans aged 16 and less, senior citizens aged above 60, differently-abled individuals and single women.
“We are collecting data from the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development to ascertain the actual number of aforementioned beneficiaries. We might get the data in two weeks,” Bhusal said. “We are also collecting other data to ascertain why the beneficiaries have not been able to start rebuilding their houses even after receiving the first tranche of the grant.”
In the past two years after formation of the NRA, it has managed to make around 46 per cent progress in private housing reconstruction, claimed NRA officials. They added that they would make 60 per cent progress within this fiscal. NRA’s tenure will end after three years.
NRA report card
A version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.