NRA: Private houses to be built within next fiscalAs the government faces widespread criticisms over the slow pace of reconstruction, the National Reconstruction Authority on Tuesday said reconstruction of private homes impacted by the April 2015 earthquake would be completed within the next fiscal year.
As the government faces widespread criticisms over the slow pace of reconstruction, the National Reconstruction Authority on Tuesday said reconstruction of private homes impacted by the April 2015 earthquake would be completed within the next fiscal year.
A day before the third anniversary of Gorkha Earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people, the authority on Tuesday said reconstruction of schools, health institutions, government buildings, security agencies and heritage sites would be expedited to ensure that the reconstruction drive is completed within the stipulated time.
“We’ll reach project agreements in sectors like schools, and health and government buildings within the current fiscal,” NRA CEO Yubaraj Bhusal said, adding that the projects would be over within 15 months of agreement.
The number of private homes under construction stands at 438,334 while 141,744 houses have been rebuilt. Soon after the disaster, the government had decided to provide Rs200,000 for each household in rebuilding aid, which was later increased to Rs300,000 to be released in three tranches of Rs50,000, Rs150,000 and Rs100,000.
NRA Secretary Arjun Karki, citing the delays in grant distribution, said they would simplify the process and channelise funds through the local governments.
The authority has said it will take a proposal to the Cabinet through the Prime Minister’s Office to empower the NRA to take decisions on expediting the reconstruction drive.
Of the $3.43 billion pledged by the international community to aid the rebuilding process, the NRA would get $2.62 billion in its basket while the remaining sum is to be spent by donors through several other channels. The total pledge was said to be $4.1 billion but the amount also includes the money spent by donors on rescue and relief efforts in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.
The NRA was established in August 2015 with a mandate to complete the reconstruction drive within five years. The term of the authority can be extended by one more year if necessary. Even as the NRA says the remaining works will be over on time, it is likely to be a herculean task. Of the 750 heritage sites affected by earthquakes, 133 were destroyed and 617 partially damaged. Reconstruction of only 100 heritage sites has been over while work is yet to begin at 324 sites.
CEO Bhusal said that the NRA itself would rebuild the historic Dharahara. Foundation-laying for the Bhimsen-era monument would be completed within the current fiscal.
In the health sector, 255 prefabricated structures have been set up against the need to reconstruct 1,197 buildings. Repair and retrofitting works have been over at 331 buildings. In case of government offices, only six out of 379 buildings have been restored. As many as 2,371 school buildings remain to be rebuilt.