A hit bodily reconstruction, misplaced alternative for financial reconstruction

9 Dec, Kathmandu. Today (December 26) is the last day of the National Reconstruction Authority, which was formed with the responsibility of uplifting not only the physical infrastructure but also the economic and social structures that were destroyed by the great earthquake of 12 April 2072 BS. The success of this massive reconstruction campaign is evident from the facts / figures made public by the NEA, but what have the earthquake-affected people got to be financially strong?

We asked the same question to Sushil Gyawali, the Chief Executive Officer of the Reconstruction Authority, who returned to the office of the Reconstruction Authority at Singha Durbar after handing over Ranipokhari to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City on the cold evening of December 25. He replied, “Reconstruction has played a big role in creating employment by keeping the economic activity going. It is now up to the local government to link the skilled manpower involved in the reconstruction with the economic earning in the village.”

In other words, the NEA concludes that the reconstruction campaign has made great strides in construction, but another campaign and initiative is needed to show the people of the village the way to join hands in the village.

Success story of construction

Despite various questions, the six-year reconstruction journey of NEA was memorable. That is why in a conversation with online news, CEO Gyawali said, “We have risen from the terrible destruction beyond imagination. Now it can be said that post-earthquake reconstruction has been completed in Nepal.”

What is the basis of that? Gyawali says, “People who were in pain of losing their relatives were without roofs. They could be relocated to their homes.”

According to him, the work of private housing reconstruction has been completed more than 92 percent. The construction was delayed due to lack of private housing or immediate needs, or the homes of landless and dependent people who could not work at the same pace.

CEO Gyawali says that the people’s strength is the biggest factor in speeding up the reconstruction work. Recalling that the parliament was blocked for seven days with the demand to distribute Rs 300,000 in a helicopter at the beginning, CEO Gyawali said, “Some donors came to ask us to build a house and hand it over.”

He said that the people have come up with the concept that the people should build their own house by assessing that the skills and consciousness of the people to strengthen their house will not be as it is now and the situation will become more complicated if the condition of the donor is accepted.

According to NEA, a total of 829,667 beneficiaries had signed grant agreements for private housing. Out of this, 828,763 people have already received the first grant. 7 lakh 3 thousand 3 hundred and seven people have completed the house and have already taken the third installment.

“Schools, health institutions, government buildings were built according to the government’s own plan,” he said.

He has twice served as the executive head of the authority. Gobind Raj Pokhrel also believes that the reconstruction campaign has achieved a lot in some areas.

“Our rebuilt homes and structures are stronger and stronger than before,” he says. He said that the awareness that houses and physical structures should be strengthened while building them has also been awakened through this.

Dr. According to Pokhrel, manpower development is another important achievement of the reconstruction campaign. “We have been able to produce and train engineers from earthquake-proof masonry engineers,” he said.

Pokharel says that the reconstruction of private houses has been completed on time as the people have been given the responsibility to build their own houses.

“Private houses are built on time as the people build their own houses. The government provided the grant money in a transparent manner and on the basis of installments. The money reached the hands of the people. The technicians reached out.

Former CEO of NEA and former Secretary to the Government of Nepal Yubaraj Bhusal has said that the pace of reconstruction of Nepal can be considered satisfactory even if it is not as fast as in Gujarat of India.

“The achievements we have made in post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation should be celebrated,” he wrote in the authority’s document.

Reconstruction in statistics

Reconstruction Beneficiary

  • Beneficiaries who have signed grant agreements: 8,29,667
  • Beneficiaries who took the first installment: 8,28,763
  • Beneficiaries taking second installment: 7,50,459
  • Beneficiaries taking third installment: 7,03,307

Private housing reconstruction

  • Reconstructed house: 7,03,307 (based on third installment taken)

School building

  • Goal – 7553,
  • Reconstruction completed – 6,647,
  • Reconstruction continues – 936

Health Institution Building

  • Target – 1197,
  • Reconstruction completed – 751,
  • Reconstruction continues – 354

Cultural heritage

  • Goal 920,
  • Reconstruction completed – 606,
  • Reconstruction continues – 288

Government building

  • Goal 415
  • Reconstruction completed – 388
  • Reconstruction continues – 20

Security building

  • Goal 216 (Through Reconstruction Authority)
  • Reconstruction completed – 216
  • Reconstruction continues – 0

Beneficiary management of risky settlements

  • Total Beneficiaries – 4,720
  • Land purchased and managed in safe place – 3,462
  • Beneficiaries receiving government land for safe settlement: 629
  • Land managed in other ways – 629

Management of landless beneficiaries

  • Total Beneficiaries – 12,757
  • Permission to build a house in the same place – 11,580
  • Decided to provide land purchase grant – 1,177
  • Land Purchase Grant Provided – 757

Construction worker training

  • About 1 lakh people

Experienced engineer

  • About 6,000 people

Neglected economic reconstruction

Do physical facts alone show success in reconstruction? Former CEO Pokharel says that along with the immaterial, economic and social reconstruction should also be looked at. He asserted that the quake had provided an opportunity for economic reconstruction in the affected communities.

The government had provided only three lakh rupees to build a private house. However, that amount was only a source of encouragement for the earthquake victims. While it is natural for them to incur additional debt while constructing houses, the government did not want to come up with any program to provide a sustainable source of livelihood to the affected people.

“Yes, we have not been able to rebuild the economy. A poor family in Dolakha has built a house with a grant, even though it is a small loan,” he says.

He said that the quake-affected people have to make a living in the traditional way. Pokharel argues that the poor and destitute citizens should not only live in a physically strong house, but also be financially strong.

“It simply came to our notice then.

According to him, the opportunity to rebuild the settlements given by the earthquake in an integrated and systematic manner has also been lost. He said that this generation has lost the opportunity to rebuild the slums due to failure to take the right path in time. According to him, the isolated house of Tuppa in a remote village could have been made relatively accessible at the same time.

“We have lost the traditional style and art houses as well,” he said.

Many villages have lost their originality and beauty after the reconstruction, and the government is to blame. Pokharel says that an incentive policy has not been brought to protect the houses made of different types of original and traditional styles, crafts and art, including two-sided, stone-covered ones.

“It would not have been necessary to build a stone house in the village by sitting on a pillar house in the city. For that, the affected people should have been present with proper support and policy like a carrot in one hand and a stick in the other hand,” he says. I got lost. ‘

CEO Gyawali also admits that it has not been possible to attract tourists by constructing houses in the traditional style in the slums of the heritage area. According to him, the concept of integrated settlement also had the potential for large-scale projects. However, he said that these works could not be carried out due to lack of resources.

“Reconstruction was estimated to cost around Rs 9 trillion, but it had to be completed at around Rs 5 trillion,” he says.

Although reconstruction has played a big role in job creation and economic activity, he opined that in the future, work should be done through local government to link manpower with economic gain to sustain the village.

Work amidst challenges

NEA was formed on December 26, 2072 BS after the promulgation of the Earthquake Affected Structures Act 2072 BS. The age of NEA was 5 years. The NEA, which was completed last year, had to add another year due to the epidemic of corona virus that came during the reconstruction.

In the meantime, the source has the same challenge, says CEO Gyawali. Gyawali, who is having a successful tenure as the NEA leader, has been working with the government led by the UCPN (M), UML and Congress.

“At one time, it seemed that the ministries were my opponents,” he said, referring to the practice of not getting the budget when the authority wants and holding development budget in other ministries.

According to the Post Disaster Needs Assessment Report, the 2072 earthquake is estimated to have caused a loss of Rs. 706 billion in Nepal. The quake killed at least 8,970 people. 22,300 were injured.

Two months after the earthquake, the then government convened an international conference on 10 July 2072. From this, a commitment of Rs. 410 billion was also received. According to CEO Gyawali, NEA has achieved remarkable success even in achieving this commitment.

Let’s start another preparation

As the Act made the NEA autonomous, it was largely prevented from affecting the work after the change of government. Although the main reconstruction work has been completed, the final phase of the work remains to be done. NEA has handed over these works to the concerned bodies of the Government of Nepal including manpower, resources and planning.

CEO Gyawali says, “We have learned a great lesson that we should continue to work on risk reduction, not just waiting for disaster.” Accordingly, the Reconstruction Authority has suggested strengthening the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority.

Until now, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority has been working under the Ministry of Home Affairs only for relief and rescue. However, the landslide victims in various places have not been able to get houses as they have not been able to give priority to reconstruction.

CEO Gyawali said that if an earthquake like the one in Central Nepal goes to East or West Nepal now, there would be huge human loss and suggested to spread the knowledge and technology learned in reconstruction across the country.

The physical construction work of Dharara, Singha Durbar, Shantibatika section of Ranipokhari, Harihar Bhawan and Ranodwip Durbar under Narayanhiti Museum has been handed over to the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction under the Ministry of Urban Development.

The rest of the work of reconstruction of cultural heritages will now be done by the Department of Archeology. Construction of education, health and other infrastructure of tourism has been handed over to the concerned ministry.

Facilitation, coordination and monitoring of the reconstruction and rehabilitation works being carried out by various ministries, departments and agencies handed over from the National Reconstruction Authority will now be done through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority.

Current and capital expenditure under the National Reconstruction Authority The authority has also been given the responsibility of preparing the consolidated financial statement of 078/079 and the work related to audit.

In addition, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority has decided to take care of the technical assistance, research and reporting work related to the seismic housing reconstruction project and MDTF being implemented as per the agreement with the World Bank.

“Disasters can strike at any time,” says CEO Gyawali.



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