Nepal | September 28, 2020

EDITORIAL: Inconsistent policy

The Himalayan Times
Share Now:

Providing Rs. 50,000 to those whose houses were not damaged so badly and an additional Rs. 400,000 for purchasing land at safer places on top of Rs. 200,000 is good

Sixteen months after the devastating earthquakes rocked the nation in April and May last year the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) is now mulling over providing Rs. 50,000 to those people whose houses were damaged but fit for living in after repairs and to others who have lodged complaints that they had been left out from the beneficiary list.

For this purpose, the NRA is preparing to amend the guideline to be approved by the Steering Committee headed by the Prime Minister.

It is learnt that over 150,000 households from 11 worst hit hilly districts except the Kathmandu Valley have lodged complaints saying that they had been left out from the survey carried out by the NRA.

If the left out households and others whose houses were slightly damaged but could be lived in after repairs or retrofitting were to be provided Rs. 50,000 each, the NRA will have to cough up an additional Rs. 7.5 billion.

NRA executive chief Sushil Gyewali has said the amount would be provided for repairs and retrofitting of those houses which had not suffered much damage.

NRA has listed as many as 531,937 households as quake victims and it has already signed a first installment of a grant agreement of Rs. 50,000 with 395,988 households each so far.

The NRA which is the sole body to provide grant assistance for the reconstruction works has also instructed the local authorities, including the Land Reforms Offices, to facilitate the land ownership registration process to those people who had not acquired the official document till date.

The NRA will reach a grant assistance agreement once those families acquire the land ownership certificates from the concerned offices.

The NRA had to make changes in its guidelines after many quake survivors complained that they had been denied the government largesse due to the absence of proper land ownership papers.

The authority has also made some changes in its original guideline.

Instead of developing an integrated settlement for displaced families the NRA is mulling over providing additional amount – approximately Rs. 400,000 – to each of the quake survivors for purchasing land near the villages where they had been living for long.

NRA found that providing cash for the purchase of land is much cheaper than developing an integrated settlement not liked by the quake victims.

The idea of providing Rs. 50,000 to the owners whose houses were not damaged so badly and an additional Rs. 400,000 for purchasing land at safer locations on top of Rs. 200,000 is appreciable.

But the question arises why the NRA took so long to review its guideline prepared after much consultation with experts and stakeholders.

Another question is, how the authority officials can determine that a person’s house had suffered the damage as s/he has already repaired or retrofitted their houses immediately after the quake.

It would have been great relief to them had this decision been taken in the initial stage. Most of the people whose houses had suffered minor damage did not get any official papers marking the houses being damaged.

Such inconsistency on the policy guideline will not augur well for those who need the government assistance.


Not for parking

Pavements have been made for pedestrians, especially where vehicular traffic is heavy.

However, hardly anybody seems to be concerned when vehicle owners use them to park their vehicles. A case in point is the Maitighar area where there are auto workshops that repair motorbikes on the pavements.

There are about six such workshops, and the motorcycles are parked on the pavements without qualms.

As a result, the pedestrians have no other option than to walk on the streets and risk being run over by vehicles, particularly those running at high speed.

The irony is that there is a traffic police post in this area, yet it has done nothing to remove such workshops.

Moreover, the pedestrians also face obstruction when construction materials are illegally piled on the pavements.

Roadside shops display their wares on the pavements as well as the street vendors. It is not clear who is responsible for this situation.

The Kathmandu Metropolitan says the Traffic Police are responsible for overseeing that pavements are not used by vehicles for private purposes.

The concerned should be aware of the necessity of the pavements to be used by pedestrians only.


A version of this article appears in print on September 01, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Students demand justice for Bajhang rape victim in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Students take to the streets on Saturday demanding justice for a 12-year-old girl whose dead body was found in a temple in Bajhang district on Thursday night. The minor was raped before being killed by the culprit/s. As per local police, investigation into the case in unde Read More...

United earn dramatic win at Brighton with late Fernandes penalty

BRIGHTON: Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 away in the Premier League on Saturday after an incredible finale in which Bruno Fernandes struck the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 100th minute of the game. Fernandes's winner, which came after referee Chris Ka Read More...

Chelsea recover from three goals down to draw at West Brom

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham struck a 93rd-minute equaliser as they battled back from three goals down to draw 3-3 at West Bromwich Albion in their Premier League clash on Saturday. An error by Marcos Alonso led to Callum Robinson opening the scoring for West Brom in the fourth minute and t Read More...

A team of women of Police march past in a programme organised to mark the Constitution day at Nepal Army pavilion in Tundikhel, Kathmandu, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Province 2 threatens to knock Supreme Court door

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Months after the two bills related to adjustment of Nepal Police and Provincial Police were authenticated, provincial governments have not been able to take control of police. As a result, Province 2 government has sent an angry letter to the federal home ministry asking i Read More...

Local levels to resume schools from today in Siraha district

SIRAHA, SEPTEMBER 26 Community schools in Laxmipur Patari Rural Municipality and Mirchaiya Municipality of Siraha, that have remained closed for the past six months are likely to open from tomorrow. Education sections of both the local bodies, by issuing separate notices, decided to open s Read More...

Three persons including campus chief absconding

DHULIKHEL, SEPTEMBER 26 Three persons, including campus chief, have been absconding ever since police issued an arrest warrant against them in Kavre’s Banepa. A fraud charge was filed against three people including Kavre Multiple Campus Chief KJ Baidar in Kavre’s Banepa Municipality, with Read More...

Traffic police expedite monitoring of public vehicles

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Traffic police have expedited inspection and monitoring of public vehicles in Kathmandu valley to ensure that they follow health guidelines and other requirements specified by the government to prevent and control COVID-19. Senior Superintendent of Police Bhim Prasad Dh Read More...

Food, medicines provided to returnees from India

DHANGADI, SEPTEMBER 26 Dhangadi sub-metropolis has been providing free food and health facilities for Nepalis returning from India at border entry point, in Dhangadi. Deputy Mayor Sushila Mishra Bhatta of the sub-metropolis said food and water were being offered to the returnees ever since the Read More...