Survivors likely to get grant for rebuilding only after AprilEarthquake survivors have to wait until the country marks the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake on April 25 before they can receive the grant announced by the government to rebuild their damaged houses.
Earthquake survivors have to wait until the country marks the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake on April 25 before they can receive the grant announced by the government to rebuild their damaged houses.
While presenting his reconstruction plan at a House panel meeting, National Reconstruction Authority Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyawali said on Sunday that reconstruction work in all villages and municipalities will begin by April 24.
Gyawali was appointed the head of the reconstruction body in the last week of December, almost after eight months since the earthquake.
The reconstruction body got full shape last week only.
“A national campaign for reconstruction will begin on January 12,” Gyawali told the Parliamentary Development Committee.
As per NRA plan, quake survivors will start receiving the government-announced grant of Rs200,000 to rebuild their houses only after April.
Immediately after the quake, the government had announced formation of the NRA, but political bickering delayed the process. Though donors had pledged over $4.1 billion for reconstruction, the fund could not be spent due to lack of a central authority to oversee the projects.
As months elapsed, discrepancies in numbers of quake-affected people and damaged houses and infrastructure surfaced, which further complicated the grant distribution.
The reconstruction plan, according to CEO Gyawali, was delayed in the absence of ‘exact details’ about the damaged houses and
infrastructure. The number of quake-affected households, which was estimated to be 600,000, now has crossed the 700,000 mark. The number of quake-affected people is also expected to rise to 1,000,000 if all applications registered at the local bodies are to be incorporated in the victims’ list, according to PDC Chairman Rabindra Adhikari.
The government has asked the Central Bureau of Statistics to conduct fresh census in the earthquake-affected districts.
Hundreds of engineers have reached all 14 quake-affected districts to collect Detail Damaged Report.
Urban Development Secretary Dipendra Nath Sharma said it will take at least two and a half months to complete the assessment.
Immediately after the earthquake, the government had announced various schemes for people affected by the disaster.
As part of immediate relief, the government had distributed Rs 15,000 each to families who were rendered homeless.
Currently, the government is distributing Rs 10,000 as winter relief package. But the winter relief programme too has hit a snag, with many quake survivors yet to get the aid and officials involved saying that the number of
claimants has risen.
During Sunday’s PDC meeting, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who was called to brief the House panel on the progress made in distribution of winter relief package and efforts made to reconstruct damaged houses, informed that the government had already disbursed Rs 5.99 billion as winter relief for quake survivors.
PM Oli said that “critical political situation” that emerged after the promulgation of the new constitution, fuel crisis in the wake of an Indian blockade and government compulsion to focus on relief and rescue operations delayed the reconstruction work.
“Since the National Reconstruction Authority is now in place, the government now will fully focus on reconstruction,” said PM Oli.
Govt tells Army to get into action in Gorkha
The government on Sunday directed the Nepal Army to immediately respond to the needs of earthquake survivors of Gorkha district which is blanketed with snow.
Earthquake survivors in various Gorkha VDCs, including Barpak, Laprak, Gumda and Sirdibas, are facing a hard time after snow covered their temporary shelters they have been living in for the last nine months.
The upper belt of Gorkha has been receiving snowfall since Friday evening.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Sunday summoned defence minister, home minister, the Army, the Armed Police Force and Nepal Police and directed them to promptly respond to the situation.
With temperatures plummeting below zero and snow covering the entire area, more than 5,000 families from a dozen VDCs from northern part of Gorkha district, who are living in makeshift tents for the last nine months, have been hit hard. Vehicular movement to these VDCs has been halted due to snowfall, and essential supplies can be taken to the affected areas only via choppers.
Following the prime minister’s directives, an Army squad visited various places in Laprak and Barpak to carry out need assessment and relief operations.
After conducting a situation analysis, the Army squad led by Colonel Sunil Shrestha has submitted a report to the Army headquarters, suggesting that the situation “is not that serious” and that there was no need to send Army personnel from Kathmandu.
The District Disaster Relief Committee with the support from the Bhirav Dal Battalion will carry out relief operations, mainly distribution of warm clothes and blankets, besides rebuilding makeshift tents that have been damaged.
Brigadier General Tara Bahadur Karki, Spokesperson for the NA, said the Bhairav Dal Battalion has already started its work in the field.
The DDRC has dispatched 852 units of tents in the affected region, which are expected to reach the area on Monday.
Similarly, different non-government organisations have also started distributing quilts, blankets and warm clothes, said Chief District Officer Uddhab Timilsina, adding that a team of health workers, along with medicines, has been placed standby to respond to the situation.
Lieutenant Colonel Shiva Raj Pant, Chief of the Bhairav Dal Battalion, said a six-member medical team has been mobilised in the Aaruarbang area, which will start providing services from Monday. “A helicopter carrying warm clothes, however, could not fly on Sunday due to inclement weather,” he said.
Gorkha: Earthquake survivors of 12 VDCs and two municipalities in Gorkha are yet to receive winter relief. Quake-hit in Sirdibas and Swara said they have been deprived of winter relief.