Nepal Federal Parliament directs NRA to complete private house reconstruction soon
KATHMANDU: The Development and Technology Committee (DTC) of the federal parliament on Tuesday directed the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to complete the rebuilding of the private houses damaged in the devastating Gorkha Earthquake 2015 within the current Fiscal Year 2018/19.
The committee drew the attention of the NRA and the government to its own policy to complete the reconstruction of the private houses within the current FY and asked the NRA to conclude it at the earliest.
“We have learnt that the NRA is planning to conclude the reconstruction of the damaged private houses in the next fiscal 2019/20 which is against the government’s own policy and programmes,” said Kalyani Khadka, Chairman of the committee.
The Committee asked the reconstruction body to complete the rebuilding of the damaged rural roads, strategic roads and water supply projects, and hand over them to the concerned agencies including the local bodies.
“The archeological and cultural heritages and traditional settlements should be reconstructed with the traditional as well as their original looks. If they can be retrofitted, do so, and if they need to be rebuilt, expedite the process to begin the reconstruction works within two months from now,” read the decision of the committee.
Speaking at the DTC meeting, NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyawali said that the western part of the main building of the historic Singha Durbar would be retrofitted to preserve its original look.
“A recent study on the reconstruction of the Singha Durbar has suggested that the western part of the building can be strengthened with retrofitting. Therefore, we have decided to go ahead with the decision,” he said.
The study has concluded that there was no serious damage in the walls of the building and bricks were still strong, however some wooden items needed to be replaced.
Retrofitting is underway at the northern, eastern and southern part of the building which has been the headquarters of the government since Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher.
Gyawali said that the Singha Durbar would be retrofitted according to the archaeological heritage conservation concept. The NRA has already received the design of retrofitting as well.
He informed the lawmakers that the old building of the House of Representatives was suggested to be demolished.
However, he solicited suggestions from them whether to demolish it and rebuild or retrofit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recommended developing the old parliament building as the State Hall. Lawmaker Ganesh Pahadi said that it would be better to demolish and build an international level building than to retrofit.
Chairman of the Committee Kalyani Khadka directed the reconstruction body to give priority to the rebuilding of heritages like monasteries and address the compliant of the quake-affected families at the earliest.