Govt to deploy more engineers450 professionals to assess damage in 11 districts
More than 400 engineers will be mobilised to 11 quake-affected districts within this week for detailed damage assessment, said the government officials. The government move was in response to a condition set by the donors before providing government-pledged funds to quake survivors for reconstructing houses.
The engineers, according to the Central Bureau of Statics (CBS), will be deployed in all quake-affected districts except three districts of Kathmandu Valley this time considering the difficulties of quake survivors in high Himalayas.
Around 450 trained engineers are being deployed in the 11 worst-hit districts within a couple days, according to a senior official at the CBS. “The engineers have already undergone training and they will be mobilised to the districts by Tuesday,” said Rudra Suwal, deputy director general at the CBS.
The government has already deployed 130 trained engineers in Dolakha district as surveyors after development partners, which have pledged more than $4 billion for the rebuilding of quake-destroyed houses, questioned the authenticity of details on damages to houses and other infrastructure collected in the immediate aftermath of the April 25 earthquake for the purpose of distributing cash relief to victims.
The CBS has set the target of mobilising some 1,700 trained engineers in all 14 quake-affected districts in association with the local bodies in all villages by mid-February. “The teams will complete their task in 45 days and the whole assessment will be completed by mid-April,” said Suwal.
The surveyors deployed with tablets are updating data directly to CBS technicians working at the National Information Centre under the Home Ministry. So far, the surveyors have updated details of 10,000 households from Dolakha.
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has said it would start providing the government announced relief schemes for quake victims in districts after getting a detailed report on damages.
The authority has, however, set the target of starting reconstruction of houses by April 25 coinciding with the first anniversary of the Great Quake. NRA Acting Secretary Madhusudan Adhikari said the authority is holding discussion with Nepal Rastra Bank officials on ways to channel funds for reconstruction in specific villages.
Immediately after the quake, the government had collected details on extent of damages to houses and infrastructure before providing cash relief to quake-displaced households. The government had assumed 570,000 households were rendered homeless, but the number has shot up to 770,000 when the government announced various relief schemes for the quake-affected people.
Having distributed Rs15,000 to each household rendered homeless as immediate cash relief and Rs10,000 as winter relief package, the government has announced another Rs200,000 in aid to each quake affected household. The quake victims will be entitled to a subsidised bank loan to complete rebuild their damaged houses.
Under CBS’ guidance, the UN-OPS has mobilised the Health Research and Social Development Forum (HERD) and Kathmandu Living Lab to conduct detailed damage assessments in 14 districts worst hit by the quake. Locals have complained of duplications while collecting details of damaged households and properties, and some cases of genuine victims were left out on the survivors’ list.
The reconstruction of quake damaged houses has been delayed due to lack
of “exact information’
on damages of houses and infrastructure.