NRA to announce programmes in mid-JanuaryThe National Reconstruction Authority has said that it would make public its programmes on January 16 to coincide with the National Earthquake Safety Day.
The National Reconstruction Authority has said that it would make public its programmes on January 16 to coincide with the National Earthquake Safety Day.
The government has failed to deliver necessary services, including proper housing to the people affected by the deadly April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks due to the delay in the formation of authority. As a result, people displaced by the quakes have started dying in the chilling winter in the quake-hit districts.
Sushil Gyawali, newly-appointed chief executive of the authority, said that reconstruction programmes would be made public on the National Earthquake Safety Day by organising a weeklong event. “Preparations are underway but we have yet to take a decision,” said Gyawali, speaking at the handover ceremony of the activities initiated by the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the absence of authority.
The government had authorised the NPC to carry out the rebuilding works until the formation of the reconstruction body. NPC Vice-chairman Yubaraj Khatiwada handed over authority CEO Gyawali the documents detailing progresses that have been made on reconstruction programmes approval, working procedure on grants to be provided to victims, agreements signed with donor agencies, details about social organisations working in the field of reconstruction.
Speaking on the occasion, Khatiwada said the NPC had already approved two-thirds of the funds allocated to various reconstruction programmes designed by the ministries. The government has allocated Rs74 billion to the authority and the NPC initiated approvals process for programmes worth Rs50 billion. “I expect to see spending the remaining resources as soon as possible,” he said, adding that it had eased the process to ensure each household affected by the quake gets Rs200,000 grant as promised by the government.
According to Khatiwada, the NPC has also begun a household survey to collect exact details about people affected by the quake. “We have also facilitated the opening of bank accounts for the quake victims to receive the grant,” he said. The government has planned to distribute the grant to the victims through a banking system.
After receiving details from the NPC, Gyawali said that it could take some time for the authority to speed up its works as it is awaiting more staff. “Currently, we have just 2-3 staffers,” he said.
With the government already starting to distribute Rs10,000 to each household affected by the quake to purchase warm clothes this winter, Gyawali expects to complete the task within a week. “There will be daily reporting about distribution of money,” he said.