Timely release of funds crucial to implement projects: NRAThe National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has said that adequate and timely allocation of budget from the government is crucial to implement the reconstruction works within the set timeframe.
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has said that adequate and timely allocation of budget from the government is crucial to implement the reconstruction works within the set timeframe.
Presenting a time-bound action plan at an NRA’s Steering Committee meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dahal held on Sunday, NRA Chief Executive Sushil Gyewali urged the Finance Ministry to release adequate budget on time to carry out the reconstruction works, including mobilisation of officials for survey and distribution of the first instalment of the private housing rebuilding aid, to the targeted beneficiaries.
The NRA estimates Rs 98.63 billion will be required to carry out immediate reconstruction projects, along with distribution of the second instalment of the private housing aid in fiscal year 2016-2017. Out of the total estimated budget, Rs 75 billion is needed for the distribution of second tranche of rebuilding aid amounting to Rs 150,000.
The NRA has estimated a budget totalling Rs 120.75 billion alone for the housing aid—for the first and second phase of rebuilding aid distribution to around 7.5 million households. Out of that, Rs 45.45 billion has been spent in the distribution of the first instalment to 496,329 households so far.
“We have already
forwarded the proposal of Rs75 billion needed to distribute the second instalment of the private housing rebuilding aid to the households that have completed the plinth level construction work of their houses,” said NRA Spokesperson Ram Thapaliya.
One of the key challenges facing the NRA is its lack of access to the Reconstruction Fund that has Rs 28 billion for the fiscal year 2016-2017. But NRA cannot tap Reconstruction Fund to implement programmes that have not been incorporated in the budget.
“It is very likely that the government need to mobilise resources internally to provide the housing aid. There is very little or no interest from donors and development partners to provide funding in housing sector,” said an NRA official requesting anonymity.
While presenting a time-bound work plan during Sunday’s meeting of the NRA Steering Committee, Gyewali assured that the distribution of the first instalment of the private housing rebuilding aid to around 7.5 million households in 33 districts would be completed by January 28 next year.
Similarly, the NRA in coordination with the Department of Mines and Geology and the Department of Water Induced Disaster Management and the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation will complete a detailed study of 358 vulnerable settlements after the Gorkha earthquake and identify those that need immediate relocation between November 30 and mid-February next year.
In an effort to facilitate the reconstruction works at the local level, around 60,000 people will be provided training on reconstruction by mid-March next year.
The five-year Post Disaster Recovery Framework prepared by the NRA had earlier estimated the total reconstruction cost at Rs 838 billion, almost half of which was earmarked for the private housing sector.
According to NRA authorities, there is no additional funding for housing sector pledged by the donor agencies and development partners besides Rs 272 billion it has acquired from them—excluding Rs75 billion in concessional loan from the Indian government. The donor agencies and development partners have pledged Rs343 billion for the reconstruction projects.
40 quake-displaced families get new homes
The earthquake survivors who were struggling with their life in temporary shelters at Dadagaun of Those VDC-8 in Ramechhap have been resettled to newly constructed wooden houses.
Lok Janani, a Kathmandu-based NGO, with help from Nepal Ireland Society and Marwari Sewa Samaj, had distributed construction materials for the construction of wooden houses for 40 families.
At a time when the quake survivors are perplexed as to what kind of home to build with the government provided grant, the initiative of Lok Janani has changed the fate of these Dadagaun families displaced by last year’s earthquake.
A local Lokdhoj Karki said that the organisation played a role of mother by distributing them construction materials at a time when they had no proper shelters.
Lok Janani Chairperson Punam Mishra said that they chose to assist the people in Dadagaun because many government and non-government organisations were only reaching out to quake-hit people in the districts that were hit hard by the 2015 April earthquake.
As no helping hands were present at this remote Dadagaun village, Lok Janani decided to reach out here where construction materials worth Rs 50,000-60,000 were distributed for each house, Mishra added.
850 temporary homes distributed
Sindhupalchok: Actor Rajesh Hamal handed over 850 temporary homes to the earthquake victims of Sipapokhare VDC in Sindhupalchok district on Monday.
The homes, jointly built by Punarnirman Nepal and Sindhu Utthan Kendra, were distributed at a handover ceremony organised on the premises of Rajeshwori Secondary School in Sipapokhare-8.
Kamal Bhatta, director of Punarnirman Nepal, said it took around Rs 30 million to construct the four-room homes and that they were building 148 more homes for the earthquake-affected families.