The Himalayan Times, 21 Nov 2017
After facing much criticism from the earthquake-affected people that they are facing hassles in receiving housing grant distributed by the government, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) is gearing up to simplify the grant distribution system by amending the present laws.
The NRA is planning to transfer the right of authentication of under construction houses and beneficiaries to local units and engineers who are in the field.
“We are trying to localise the entire procedure to facilitate the earthquake-affected people in receiving housing grant. The steering committee meeting has decided to amend the current procedures and we are in the final stage of amending the rules,” Bhisma Kumar Bhusal, deputy spokesperson for NRA, said.
As per the current provision, following the authentication by the field engineer, the file of grant receiver is to be sent to the office of district coordination committee. After the coordination committee endorses the file, the details of the affected people are sent to the NRA. Only after receiving approval from the NRA does the district coordination committee release the next tranche.
“The earthquake-affected people are having to wait for many days to receive grants, so the NRA is changing the procedure,” Bhusal informed, adding, “After the amended procedures are enforced, the administrative officer of local units and field engineer will authenticate the files and victims can easily get next tranche.”
As per the amended provisions, administrative officer of metropolitan city, sub-metropolitan cities, municipalities and rural municipalities and engineers who are in the field will be responsible for giving approval for the second and third tranche of grant amount. The earthquake-affected people will get the first tranche deposited in their bank accounts, but for the second and the third tranche, authentication is mandatory from the engineer that the construction is being carried out abiding by the building codes.
NRA hopes that after amending the existing law, the grant distribution process will be simplified and the earthquake-affected people will get the government assistance easily. As per Bhusal, the amendment process will be concluded within the next few days and NRA will circulate it to all local units belonging to quake-affected areas and field engineers.
According to the data maintained by the authority, 767,705 households are listed as eligible for the housing grant. A total of 69,123 houses have been rebuilt and 163,300 houses are under construction till the date.
NRA has signed the agreement with 659,509 beneficiary households. Similarly, 25,928 households have received the third tranche and 33,079 are waiting for final decision. Likewise, 111,653 beneficiaries have received the second tranche and 122,379 households are waiting for final approval.
The government provides Rs 300,000 as housing grant for the earthquake-affected people in three phases. Of the total amount, Rs 50,000 is provides as first tranche, Rs 150,000 as second and Rs 100,000 as third instalments.