Integrated settlements meant for earthquake victims left incomplete in RamechhapThe construction work of the integrated settlements is left in limbo as the National Reconstruction Authority has not issued the budget for it.
The construction of three integrated settlements for the earthquake victims of Ramechhap district has been left incomplete due to delay in the release of funds by the National Reconstruction Authority.
Around 80 percent work of Gunsal integrated settlement in Doramba Rural Municipality-5 has been completed so far. The remaining work has been left in a limbo, as the authority has not released the funds.
“We don’t have the budget to complete the remaining work. The NRA has not released the budget,” said Prajjwal Shrestha, a beneficiary of the integrated settlement.
According to him, Rs 20 million that the beneficiaries received under the housing reconstruction aid and the budget provided by the NRA have already been spent on the reconstruction project.
The integrated settlement is being constructed for 30 families affected by the Gorkha earthquake and its powerful aftershocks in 2015. Each beneficiary will receive a three-room house under the project. Other infrastructures, including roads, drinking water and toilets, are also under construction in the settlement.
According to Shrestha, the NRA had released Rs 8.3 million in the last fiscal year which was spent to construct the houses and other infrastructures in the settlement.
“The NRA has to release Rs 12 million amount for the Gunsal integrated settlement as per the estimated cost. But the authority is yet to release the remaining amount,” said Shrestha.
Because of the delay in budget release, a few houses are without roofs while other infrastructures have been left incomplete. The beneficiaries are unable to move to their new houses even after six years of the disaster.
The district project implementation unit in Ramechhap admits to the delay in the construction of the integrated settlement in Gunsal.
“We have been discussing with the higher authorities for the release of the budget required to complete the construction work. We have been informed that the budget will be issued soon,” said Suresh Thapa, an engineer at the unit. According to him, all works in the integrated settlement will be completed soon if the budget is released as per the cost estimation.
Another integrated settlement at Duragaun in Likhu Tamakoshi Rural Municipality-1 faces a similar ordeal. The proposed model settlement for 24 quake-displaced families has also been left incomplete.
“The buildings of all 24 houses have been erected but the doors and windows are yet to be fixed. We are yet to construct toilets due to the lack of budget,” said Nigmar Hyalmo, the ward chairman of Likhu Tamakoshi-1. According to him, the local municipality provided Rs 2.4 million while the NRA provided Rs 1.8 million for the settlement’s construction. “We need an additional amount to complete the construction work. The concerned authorities should manage additional funds to complete the project.”
Meanwhile, the construction of the third integrated settlement proposed at Gaikhura in Manthali Municipality is yet to begin. The project has been approved but the detailed project report is yet to be finalised.