Kathmandu, August 3: Additional 107,352 earthquake beneficiaries have reconstructed their houses in the fiscal year 2077/78. This was disclosed at the annual review meeting of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) held today.
As per the latest data presented at the meeting, 31,359 more beneficiaries have been added to the list eligible for the government grant while 41,738 beneficiaries have signed an agreement for the government grant. Similarly, 47,384 beneficiaries have received the first installment, 69,010 have received the second and 92,578 beneficiaries have received the third and final installment in the year 2077/78 that ended on July 15.
During the year, 589 schools, 53 health institutions, 133 cultural heritages and 9 government buildings were reconstructed. Nine other buildings of the security agencies were also completed during this period. Along with this, all the 216 buildings of the security agencies that were under the NRA jurisdiction have now been completed.
The review report shows that there has been significant financial progress in the reconstruction during the year despite the challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Out of Rs. 23.848 billion allocated in the fiscal year for the reconstruction of private housing, Rs. 21.568 billion has been spent, which is 90.41 percent. In the total budget of Rs. 70.358 billion allocated for the reconstruction, Rs. 52.977 billion was spent in the year which is 75.3 percent.
In the last fiscal year, there also has been significant progress in the reconstruction of public and historic structures. The reconstruction of historic Ranipokhari was completed and was inaugurated by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on October 21. Similarly, all three facades of Singh Durbar were completed and the Prime Minister’s Office was relocated in the newly-reconstructed building while the reconstruction of Dharahara was also completed during the year. Similarly, the historic Durbar High School, Nepal’s first public educational institution, was also reconstructed and the classes resumed in the new building premises.
During the period, 46,300 applicants appealed to the NRA Appellate Court requesting for their inclusion in the beneficiaries’ list.
The NRA Steering Committee conducted three meetings during this period while its Executive Committee met 14 times.
NRA organized a national seminar on reconstruction through virtual medium and another seminar to share its experiences on reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Addressing the review meeting, Chief Executive Officer of the NRA Sushil Gyewali said that the NRA would facilitate the reconstruction of remaining houses and complete the major reconstruction works in the private housing sector and will keep track of the reasons behind those who did not reconstruct their houses that were damaged in the April 2015 earthquake.
CEO Gyewali informed that the NRA would carry out financial audit, documentation and handing over works in a parallel manner during the rest of the NRA tenure which ends on December 25 this year.
As per the reports presented at the review meeting, some anticipated reconstruction works could not be completed due to the lockdown of two and a half months before the fiscal year ended. This led to a freezing of some budget, reconstruction in the urban areas could not gain momentum and problems came up in the reconstruction of few schools due to the unavailability of appropriate land.
In the virtual meeting, representatives of concerned ministries, departments and other agencies involved in the post-earthquake reconstruction had participated. Those showing their presentations were representatives from the NRA, Central Level Project Implementation Units of the NRA, Earthquake Housing Reconstruction Program and the chiefs of Department of Archaeology and Pashupati Area Development Fund.
Representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, Finance Ministry and National Planning Commission were present in the meeting. Similarly, Secretary of the NRA Sushil Chandra Tiwari, Executive Committee members, joint secretaries, under secretaries and chiefs of all the District Level Project Implementation Units were also present in the review meeting.