Authority rebuilds 296,514 houses damaged by quake

Sunday, September 30th, 2018 | | National

National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has said of the 555,612 houses damaged by the earthquake on April 25, 2015 reconstruction of 296,514 is complete.

The remaining 205,998 houses are in the process of rebuilding. The authority estimates the number of reconstructed houses could be around 350,000 because data of 18 districts, less impacted by the earthquake, awaits compilation.

The authority expects to complete houses under construction after Dashain and Tihar festivals. Reconstruction of remaining houses, too, would start after the festivals.

NRA Spokesperson Pitambar Ghimire said, “Support of the beneficiaries, local level authorities and political parties is vital to take ahead reconstruction works,” he said.

An estimated 723,728 beneficiaries are eligible for housing grant. From these, 717,964 have received the first

installment while 503,036 and 266,904 have received the second and third installments respectively.

The authority disburses Rs. 300,000 as grant in three installments of Rs 50,000, 150,000 and 100,000 to the victims of the earthquake.

The government recently announced concessional loans up to Rs300,000 to earthquake victims who have signed grant agreements with the authority, but failed to start reconstruction due to unavailability of fund.

Conforming to a procedure endorsed by the Cabinet recently, quake victims could avail such loans to rebuild their home for a period of five years.

Banks and financial institutions (BFIs) granting such loans to the quake victims should limit interest rate to two percent maximum over its base rate. BFIs cannot apply additional cost including service charge, according to the authority.

“Financial institutions will issue such loans on collective collateral or land. Such a fund will be beneficial for those unable to rebuild home due to unavailability of adequate fund,” said Ghimire.

“This fund will facilitate people to start rebuilding houses after Dashain and Tihar festival. We are sure that the process of obtaining funds would be easy. Financial institutions have reported availability of funds for this purpose.”

The beneficiary of the newly announced government scheme is a quake victim who could not rebuild his home due to lack of adequate resources. The beneficiary or his family members should not possess a habitable home.