GYAN P NEUPANE
Officials said the announcement by the previous NRA team that altogether 41,311 houses were rebuilt by the earthquake victims on their own was incorrect.
The NRA Secretariat in December last year, when it was headed by Chief Executive Office (CEO) Sushil Gyewali, in its post-earthquake reconstruction progress report, had said that at least 41,311 households had rebuilt their houses.
However, the NRA has now said that only 19,739 houses were rebuilt after being destroyed by the earthquakes of 2015.
The NRA said of the total 19,739 houses, around 17,063 houses were rebuilt by the earthquake victims on their own while the remaining 2,676 houses were rebuilt after receiving housing grant from the government.
A group of officials at the secretariat was replaced after the present government sacked the then CEO Gyewali on January 11. Former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission, Govinda Raj Pokharel replaced Gyewali.
“I don’t know what the previous report stated about the number of houses rebuilt but the data prepared by the Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU) under the Ministry of Urban Development has now been updated and that is the official data for now,” Yam Lal Bhoosal, spokesman for NRA, told Republica.
As of now, of the total 626,695 victims eligible for the reconstruction grant, 42,058 have already started rebuilding their houses. Of the total identified victims, the government has distributed the first tranche of Rs 50,000 of the total Rs 300,000 reconstruction grant to 516,742 victims while the government has been too slow in providing the second and third tranche of Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000, respectively.
The NRA had published the progress report on December 29 last year stating that 41,311 houses had been rebuilt in the 14 most-affected districts.
“The data was prepared through a survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) during the household survey,” said the then NRA spokesperson Ram Thapalia, presently a joint secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports. “The data was not prepared by the CLPIU. We prepared the data ourselves with the support of CBS.”
Likewise, the then NRA media consultant Bhuwan KC claimed that the previous figure is accurate.
“The previous data (41,311 houses rebuilt) was based on the survey conducted by the CBS in the most-affected districts but the NRA deleted it from its website claiming it as inaccurate. This is how the reconstruction is going on in Nepal,” he expressed his dissatisfaction on Facebook.
First appeared in Republica national daily