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After the 2015 Nepal earthquake, 80% progress in housing reconstruction post quake

KATHMANDU: After the April 2015 Nepal earthquake, the post-quake housing reconstruction has witnessed about 80 per cent progress.
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) on Tuesday said that it had achieved 80 per cent progress by mid-April 2019 that coincided with the end of the Nepali year 2075.
April 25 marks the four-year of the devastating Gorkha Earthquake 2015 that killed about 9,000 people and damaged properties worth Rs. 938 billion in 32 districts across the country.
Of the 726,307 families that signed the grant agreement with the government, 612,935 have either completed the construction of their house or are in the position to complete it soon.
About 50 per cent of them have completed the reconstruction of their houses while 30 per cent are in the process of completing reconstruction.
“We have given topmost priority to the private house reconstruction although rebuilding activities expanded to educational institutions, health facilities, archaeological heritage, building of security agencies and government building, and infrastructure like roads and drinking water,” said Chief Executive Officer of the reconstruction body Sushil Gyawali.
He said that the NRA had also given equal importance to the house-building for the vulnerable people like senior citizens, disabled and orphans. The government will build house for them.
At the same time, the reconstruction body is also conducting yet another survey to address the grievances of the quake-victim families who said that they should also get the housing or retrofitting grant.
The houses that were completely damaged are eligible for Rs. 300,000 grant and partially damaged houses that can be retrofitted get Rs. 100,000 while families that are in the vulnerable areas and in the need of relocation will get additional Rs. 200,000 to buy a piece of land to build a house.
Similarly, 85 per cent progress has been made in the reconstruction of school buildings, including both completed and under-construction. Health sector reconstruction has achieved 66 per cent progress, archaeological heritage 59 per cent, security sector building 56 per cent and government building 98 per cent.
Gyawali said that the reconstruction of archeological heritage sites was the most complex and time consuming as issues like architecture, use of traditional construction material, their sentimental attachment with the daily lives of the local communities and ensuring their ownership needed to be considered.
Meanwhile, the NRA has estimated that there will be a short of about Rs. 429 billion for the reconstruction campaign. It has termed the financial management as the biggest challenge.
“The biggest challenge in reconstruction and rehabilitation is the financial management. A total of Rs. 938 billion was estimated for the five-year reconstruction and rehabilitation plan. Of which, Rs. 186 billion has been spent by FY 2017/18, and the revised projected expenditure for this fiscal year is Rs. 123 billion,” said Gyawali.
He said that the reconstruction body had expected that about Rs. 200 billion would be mobilised through the government’s regular budget programme, private and NGO sectors.
“This shows that we will need an additional Rs. 429 billion to complete the overall reconstruction work. So, the status of reconstruction will depend on our proper financial management,” he said.

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