DIPESH KHATIWADA, KATHMANDU, JUNE : Fifty-four-year-old earthquake survivor Dubindra Raj Adhikari of Nilkhantha Municipality-7 in Dhading has been worried to spend this monsoon under a temporary makeshift even after two years of the devastating Gorkha Earthquake.
Dubindra has already spent two monsoons under this poorly built hut. He along with his elderly mother and brother has no other alternatives than bearing shivers in torrential rains this year as well. He is planning to save his family inside the hut covered by four to five galvanized zinc sheets.
Dubindra received first tranche of housing reconstruction aid (Rs 50,000) to build his new house. But, he is just able to construct foundation of the house with the government aid. “At first, the engineer told me to construct mud-stone house in according to government design. I have built the foundation in the way what he told. Now, I have no money to continue construction works and waiting for second trance for a long time,” he pleaded.
Impoverished families like Dubindra have been victimized by the policy of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA). “The engineer told me to use concrete bands in the house, but, in papers I have told them to construct mud stone house (using wooden bands). He (engineer) is forcing me to make concrete foundation, however, I have no that much money and my family is financially weak,” said Dubindra.
Living under the hut for two years, the family members have been falling sick frequently. Dubindra himself is a victim of cold related disease. Not only, Dubindra and his family, there are still large number of quake victims living in pitiful conditions.
According to recent data of NRA published in June, 717,251 quake affected families have been included on the housing reconstruction aid list. Of them, 581,719 families signed the housing aid agreement with the NRA in various districts. Only 562,213 families received first instalment of housing aid and 18,739 families received second batch of the aid whereas third instalment has been provided to 1,205 families.
Majority of the quake victims who received first instalment of the aid have started to construct their houses. As per the data of the NRA, 58,496 families have started to construct their houses and 27,444 families completed the construction of their houses.
The NRA officials themselves admitted that the reconstruction has been slow. They blame the lack of trained human resource to be the main reason among other reasons for the delay.