The pace of reconstruction of private homes in urban centres like Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur is not up to the mark because the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has failed to address a wide range of issues.
While the rebuilding of homes in districts has picked momentum recently, the NRA mandated to rebuild private homes damaged by the earthquake on April 25, 2015 accepts that the progress has been tardy in Kathmandu Valley.
NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali said, “There are a number of interlinking issues involving homes in urban centres and those at places having historic importance. We are slowly and gradually resolving all issues.”
The NRA has completed grant agreements with 40,592 households in Kathmandu. Of these recipients, only 7,785 households have received the third tranche from the government showing the status of reconstruction.
In the immediate aftermath of earthquake, the government had introduced a house-rebuilding package of Rs 300,000 to be distributed in three tranche of Rs50,000, Rs150,000 and Rs100,000. The authority disburses the amount in installments based on the progress made on reconstruction of the individual households.
The situation in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur is similar. From the 24,429 households that have completed grant agreements, only 4,804 households have received the third tranche in Lalitpur. In Bhaktapur 5,573 households have received the third trance from the 23,971 households that have completed the grant agreement with the NRA.
Gyewali said problems like settlement in small plot of land, joint ownership of a single plot, and lack of
clarity over grant distribution mechanism in such cases were to be blamed for the slow progress.
“We have charted out modalities and will soon resolve the issues to ensure that reconstruction of private homes is completed on time.”The NRA CEO also accepted the fact that Rs300,000 distributed by the government has failed to satisfy people in urban centres.
“There are people who are waiting for additional funds. They want to rebuild bigger homes and hence do not seem to be interested in expediting the reconstruction to obtain the funds provided by the government,” said Gyewali.
In case of homes located in traditional settlements like Bungmati and Sankhu among others, the unavailability of skilled workers to redevelop the structures ensuring traditional aesthetics of these places as well as confusion over stakeholders are to be blamed for the slow progress.
“We have decided to provide additional Rs50, 000 to those households that retain the traditional aesthetics of the building,” said Gyewali.