The Kathmandu Post, 23 Nov 2017
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has collected data of additional 126,326 households after holding re-survey in 14 districts worst affected by the Gorkha Earthquake in 2015.
Following overwhelming complaints from the quake survivors over segregation of beneficiaries, the authority had started the re-survey of 130,000 households in the third week of August.
A total of 332 engineers, who were trained over three phases in Kathmandu, were deployed in the affected districts to carry out the task. As only 250 engineers have so far returned from the field, the number could rise.
The newly collected data will be integrated into the central server, According to Manohar Ghimire, head of the NRA’s Information Management Department. “Once we get over that, these households will be eligible to acquire private house reconstruction grant provided by the government. The households will have to comply with the Grant Distribution Guidelines, though,” he said.
The NRA has stated that each eligible household will receive a total of Rs300,000, while those whose house can be retrofitted will get Rs100,000.
The NRA had placed re-survey of hundreds of houses in Sindhuli, Makwanpur, Kavrepalanchok and Dolkha on top of its priority list, while pushing those in Rasuwa, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur down the pecking order.
Though the authority had assured it would come out with the actual number of beneficiaries by mid-October, unavailability of adequate human resource and difficult terrain delayed the process. Besides, NRA’s complicated set of building codes contributed to the cause. While the NRA has made it mandatory for all private homes to follow a set of building safety guidelines to ensure the structures are quake-resilient, a large number of households failed to follow those directives. Consequently, the engineers deputed to survey the under construction homes could not approve for the government grant, Ghimire said.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2015 disaster, the government had announced that it would provide a grant amounting to Rs200,000 to each household for reconstruction of damaged homes. The amount was later increased to Rs300,000 to be paid in three instalments—Rs 50,000, Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000.