GYAN P NEUPANE
KATHMANDU, Feb 27: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) Govinda Raj Pokharel has suggested to the prime minister different plans for relocating earthquake-hit settlements to safer locations.
Pokharel has proposed providing Rs 100,000 to each household to shift to a safer spot. He is, however, for relocating small settlements of not more than 10 households.
For those in settlements of more than 10 households, the NRA won’t provide any cash incentive for relocation. “For settlements with more than 10 households, the NRA will carry out the reconstruction and rehabilitation tasks on its own,” NRA Spokesman Yam Lal Bhusal told Republica.
During the meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday, CEO Pokharel floated the idea of relocating earthquake victims away from places that are found to be too risky for continued habitation.
According to the new proposal, the victims should leave areas that are prone to landslide or other disasters and shift to a safe area within the same local body area. “Such small settlements (with up to 10 households) will be shifted to safe places within the same or a bordering local body,” reads a statement issued by the NRA.
Bhusal said that the NRA also planned to provide a lump sum of Rs 100,000 for landless people to buy a piece of land inside the same local body area as they are not eligible for the Rs 300,000 housing grant since they don’t possess land registration certificates. “This is the government’s support to those who are not being given the housing grant,” he explained.
“The prime minister is positive about the proposal on relocation and rehabilitation of settlements,” said CEO Pokharel. According to him, the prime minister has suggested to him to work out the policy and legal issues for realising the plans.
Bhusal said that the NRA has been planning to shift settlements of over 10 households located at landslide-prone areas to safe locations and develop roads and other infrastructure in the new locations.
After the earthquakes, the Ministry of Home Affairs had stated that as many as 475 settlements in 18 districts may be at risk of landslides during the monsoons. The Department of Mines and Geology carried out a survey in the 11 worst-hit districts and identified up to 117 settlements as vulnerable.
First appeared in Republica national daily