Reconstruction authority to start reconstruction works from Saturday

Fild photo

File photo

Kathmandu / January 15: Around nine months after the April 25 earthquake that hit Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and injuring hundreds others, National Reconstruction Authority is set to start post quake reconstruction works from the Nepali month of Magh 2 (January 16).

The day to start the reconstruction works coincides National Earthquake Safety Day being celebrated to mark the massive destruction caused by a devastating 1990 BS earthquake in Nepal.

There was a delay in the passage of the reconstruction bill by parliament due to disagreement over the issue among major political parties, prolonging the post-quake reconstruction works.

The authority said that the Central Bureau of Statistics has started surveying the damages caused by the quake in Dolakha and Rasuwa as part of channelling donations provided by various donors to reconstruct damaged restructures.

Authority Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyawali said that preparations were underway to begin the reconstruction works after completing the survey within one month.

Likewise, the authority has started providing formal and informal training on the reconstruction works at local level.

Similarly, secretariats would be established after forming district coordination committee in each quake-hit district to help in the reconstruction works, authority officials said.

The authority will also form national reconstruction counselling council led by a member of parliament in each electoral constituency in quake-affected district, they said.

Reconstruction campaign in every village within a month

The Authority is to mobilise 500 engineers within the coming 10 days and 1,500 more within a month in every village of the earthquake-affected districts for conducting the house damage survey.

Chief Executive Officer Gyawali, who holds the view that the earthquake-resistance houses and buildings cannot be built only by providing money to the people in the affected areas, has pointed out the need of public mobilisation as the reconstruction works cannot move ahead without the cooperation of the people.

“Only giving money would not suffice. The people have to be taken into confidence to carry out the works. Ownership in the reconstruction should be established through public mobilisation. Only then, can we build earthquake-resistant structures,” he added.

The international community has pledged an assistance of Rs 410 billion including financial assistance and loan for the reconstruction of the structures damaged by the April 25 earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks as well as for the new constructions. The Authority has stated that the programme equivalent to Rs 300 billion is still awaited. Eight thousand 891 people were killed in the earthquake while 22,200 were affected.

Likewise, 608 thousand 155 houses were completely damaged and 298 thousand 998 houses and sheds were partially damaged by the temblor. Similarly, 2,687 government buildings including schools, hospitals and health posts were completely damaged while 3,776 had suffered partial damage.

The Authority has a separate fund for reconstruction. It is stated that out of the amount the government has earmarked for reconstruction in the budget, programmes worth Rs 49 billion have already been started at the ministry level.

President to initiate rebuilding campaign from Rani Pokhari, PM from Bungmati

Acting secretary of the Authority, Madhusudan Adhikari said that as per the reconstruction action plan President Bidya Devi Bhandari will initiate the reconstruction campaign from Rani Pokhari while Prime Minister KP Oli from the ancient settlement of Bungmati.

Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Arjun Bahadur Karki said the earthquake damaged structures worth Rs 4.55 billion under the ministry. He said Rs 4.52 billion would be required for the reconstruction of these structures.

The repair works of the quake-damaged Dolakha-Singati and Dhadingbesi-Arughat road sections and the Araniko Highway would be started from the current fiscal year itself. RSS

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