Kathmandu, Dec. 2: Amidst criticism that the government was indifferent towards rebuilding structures damaged in the devastating earthquake last year and rehabilitating the people rendered homeless, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has said that the construction of approximately 8,333 private houses had been completed by the end of November.
Similarly, more than 15,000 houses are under construction in various districts severely hit by the quake.
According to the Central Programme Implementation Unit at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), 15,861 houses were being reconstructed.
“Approximately 1,623 houses are under construction in Sindhupalchowk, while 2,165 houses in Dhading, 1,004 in Kavre, 4,330 in Nuwakot, 1,271 in Gorkha and 2,890 in Dolakha are being built with grant money,” said the ministry.
Likewise, house construction has started in Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Makwanpur, Okhaldhunga and Rasuwa.
The NRA said that the government had signed house reconstruction grant agreements with 527,466 households by the end of November.
The reconstruction body has informed that the grant agreements were signed with about 53,425 households in the Kathmandu Valley, and the first installment of the grant money, Rs. 50,000, had been deposited into the bank accounts of 444,452 households from 11 districts.
However, the NRA is facing challenges in addressing the complaints registered with various government agencies, including Hello Sarkar.
“About 108,077 complaints have been registered at the NRA central office. We have studied half of them,” said NRA spokesman Ram Prasad Thapaliya.
However, he said that MoFALD had updated the local development officers and executive officers at the NRA field offices about the formulation of community committees to assist in reconstruction, inspection work procedure, grievance hearing method, process and their responsibilities.
The government has completed its survey in 14 districts, including the Kathmandu Valley, severely hit by the devastating earthquakes in April and May 2015.
It is to commence damage surveys in the remaining 17 districts moderately hit by the tremors.
The NRA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom a couple of months ago for financial assistance to conduct the survey, which will be implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Service (UNOPS).
UNOPS is an operational arm of the UN to support the successful implementation of peace building, humanitarian and development projects around the world, and had conducted post- quake surveys of damaged structures in 14 severely-hit districts in the country.
The survey will be conducted as per the verification model, where the surveyor doesn’t collect fresh data of damaged houses again but verifies the data collected by the government earlier.
Thapaliya said that an additional incentive, up to 70 per cent, would be given to the employees and engineers deployed at the quake hit areas.