In Parbat, sluggish pace of reconstruction work leaves victims and officials blaming each otherOnly 30 percent of the post-quake reconstruction is complete in the district, where the 2015 quakes saw over 5,000 houses demolished.
Like elsewhere in the country, the pace of post-quake reconstruction work hasn’t been satisfactory in Parbat.
The quakes saw a total of 5,269 houses destroyed, leaving thousands of people homeless. But nearly five years since the quakes, only 1,763 houses have been rebuilt in their entirety, making for just about 33 percent of total work completed, according to data by Reconstruction Authority’s District Project Office.
The technical examination process of the houses that have been built have also not gone as expected, representatives from the office told the Post.
In the district, the government is providing a total of Rs300,000 to the victims in three tranches, according to Balakrishna Sharma, an official with the District Project Office. A total of 4,919 have received the first tranche of the total compensation, but only 3,044 have received the second tranche. According to the rule, the third tranche is handed over only after the building is complete.
“Despite receiving two tranches, many people have been reluctant to build their houses, which is the reason behind the sluggish overall progress,” said the DPO’s acting chief, Poshnath Sharma. “It’s not because of our shortcomings.”
According to the DPO, Kushma Municipality has built the highest number of houses, completing construction of a total of 431 houses out of the 944 destroyed. Jaljala Rural Municipality has completed construction of the lowest number of houses; only 70 houses have been built out of the 187 destroyed.
Meanwhile, according to the DPO, 417 completed houses are in need of a modification, owing to technical flaws in the building process. Of them, only 150 have been modified.
Recently, however, the Office met another screw to unbolt when a total of 4,318 people filed reports saying that their damaged houses were overlooked during the initial survey by the technical team.
“We’ve forwarded the grievances to high-ranking officials,” Sharma said. “We are waiting for their decision and will act accordingly.”
But not everyone who has seen their buildings complete is happy. Tika Ram Tiwari, for instance, recently re-built his home with a total cost of Rs1.1 million. But the office asked him to modify the house citing technical flaws. “The modification costs Rs300,000 more, which we can’t afford now,” said Tiwari, who lives in Falewas Ward No. 3. “We have spent so much already.” The government provides only Rs100,000 for modification.
There are others who complain of not getting the promised final tranche even after their houses have been completely rebuilt. “We completed the house as instructed by the technical team, and have already moved to the new house,” said Jhalak Nepali, a local of Falewas Ward No. 4. “But now they say the pillar is faulty, and they are refusing to give us the promised final tranche. We have taken loans to build our homes, and now we don’t know how to pay back the loans incurred.”