Dhadingbesi, January 27:
Laxmi Shrestha from Nilkantha Municipality-12, Badhuwar has received all tranches of the private housing grant and completed the construction of her earthquake-resilient home. Now, she is not scared that earthquake will damage her house - painted blue with red lines. The reason is: she asked engineers deployed by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to supervise her house regularly during the reconstruction.
Bhoj Narayan Shrestha from the same area has also constructed a small house with the housing grant. Most of the beneficiaries from this village - inhabited mainly by the Newar community - have reconstructed their houses, informed a local resident Maiya Shrestha.
In Damgadhi village, a little below Bhaduwar, most of the houses have been reconstructed while some are in the final stages of reconstruction. Pampha Pande, a beneficiary who runs a local store at a square of Damgadhi, informed that the reconstruction of her house is in the final stage.
A visit to this village reveals that most of the villagers have returned to their daily routine after completing the reconstruction of their houses. The beneficiaries say, although they had to add some of their own investments in the reconstruction, the grant provided by the government was a big support in the reconstruction.
Chief District Officer Bhagirath Pande expects that the overall work of private house reconstruction would be completed this fiscal year. However, he says that there is a problem of a sense of ownership of the reconstructed houses among some beneficiaries in Dhading. He says, "Some people constructed their houses even if they do not need it and others constructed just to receive the government grant."
According to Rajendra KC, chief of District Level Project Implementation Unit (Grants Management and Local Infrastructure) Dhading, the total number of beneficiaries in Dhading is 81,938, out of which 73,760 have signed the grant agreements. The number of beneficiaries taking the first tranche is 70,845, out of which 61,282 beneficiaries have progressed their house reconstruction up to the construction of DPC (Damp Proof Course) level and have been recommended for the third tranche. The number of beneficiaries recommended for the third tranche is 45,899.
As per the latest data, 42,530 houses have been reconstructed while 60,498 houses currently under construction.
According to KC, problems such as apathy from some beneficiaries, lack of water required for construction, geographical remoteness and lack of skilled masons had impeded the speedy progress in reconstruction.
He is of the view that some beneficiaries in Dhading have the tendency of not starting the construction even after taking the first tranche. The overall reconstruction of private houses will conclude if those beneficiaries start to rebuild their houses.