GYAN P NEUPANE
CHAUTARA, April 21: Kamala Giri, a local of Gothapani Village of Chautara Sangachowkgadhi Municipality in Sindhupalchowk district, has re-built her one-storey house spending around Rs 500,000.
However, the government has not provided her further reconstruction grant though she has built her house using concrete and pillars.
He house was damaged during the April 2015 earthquake.
“I have spent over Rs 500,000 to build my house though I have just got Rs 50,000 in reconstruction grant of the total Rs 300, 000,” she expressed her grievances. “But I had gone many times at district based government offices to ask about my further grant but they said they do not have enough application and recommendation forms.”
She said that the masons trained by different international agencies have built an earthquake-resilient house for her. Only the people who have constructed the foundations of their new houses as per the government criteria are qualified for the second tranche of Rs 150,000.
“Government technicians also have said that my house has been built measuring government criteria. However, I am yet to get the second tranhce of the reconstruction grant just due to lack of recommendation and application form,” Giri said.
Likewise, Lal Bahadur Giri from the same locality has a similar story to tell.
He had received the first tranche of Rs 50,000 in October last year. However, he has not entered the process of getting the second tranche.
“I have already taken Rs 300,000 as loan at 20 percent interest rate. The government has also announced to provide us soft loan in addition if the reconstruction grant of Rs 300,000 is not sufficient for the reconstruction of our houses but we are totally deprived of the soft loan also,” he said.
Like them, many quake victims in the district have been deprived of the second tranche of the reconstruction grant.
Yubraj Paudel, chief of the District Level Project Implementation Unit (DLPIU) under the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), also said that many villagers in the district are waiting for the second tranche who have completed the construction of the foundation of their houses.
“We could not provide enough application and recommendation forms for the victims to expedite the distribution of the second tranche,” said he. “Our line ministry has not provided enough forms for each village.”
He also said that the situation has changed as recently the MoUD provided few forms in each village. “But the situation would be normal, if the MoUD allowed us to print the forms in the district,” he said.
According to him, the World Bank has so far provided the forms to the government and currently the government has been printing the forms and also requested some organizations for the printing service.
Only 4,297 quake victims in the districts have applied for the second tranche though 60,063 victims received the first tranche from total 67,731victims who have been identified as eligible for the reconstruction grant.
The government started distributing the second tranche since January across the most-quake affected 11 districts including Sindhupalchowk.
First published in Republica daily