October 24 ,2017 , 05:15 PM
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Worsening plights of quake victims


WM Correspondent

Although about seven months have already passed since the catastrophic Gorkha Earthquake, the fate of hundreds of thousands of people affected by the disaster continues to hang in the balance.

 As massive Rs 92 billion is allocated for the reconstruction and rehabilitation process by the goverment following the quake. Similarly, foreign donors alone committed a whopping Rs 440 billion  for the same purpose during the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction, held in Kathmandu on June 25.

However, not a single rupee of the amount has far been used for providing housing facilities to those who were left homeless by the deadly tremors.

Apart from killing over 8,000 people, the quake rendered at least million people across the 14 affected districts of the country homeless. 

Before the conference,  the government had through an ordinance formed the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to oversee all post-quake reconstruction works.

The Sushil Koirala-led government had even appointed then NPC Vice-chairman Govinda Raj Pokhrel as its CEO.

But, the failure on the part of the government to replace this ordinance with a bill rendered the NRA invalid, thus leaving reconstruction works in the limbo.

Because of the absence of the NRA, the reconstruction policy document, , is being bereft of parliamentary approval.

Such draft prescribes blueprints for earthquake-resilient houses, use of materials, areas for government funding and plans for settlement re-establishment.

It is primarily the unethical competition among the major political parteis to appoint the person of their own chose as chief executive of the authority that has hamepered its reactivation.

Obviously, the political bigwigs are on the prowl to have their hands in the honeypot of the reconstruction budget.

There is a plan to mobilise as much as Rs74 billion from the National Reconstruction Fund under the NRA.

Such brazen greed is  just contributing to further fester the already severe woes of the victims.

They have alreay started facing more problems in their daily living with the winter getting increasingly cold.  

 Additinally, acute fuel shortage triggered by the Indian blockade along with the Terai unrest is impeding planned deliveries of relief supplies to the quake-hit communities.

The winter is sure to have much more adverse impact particularly on such communities living in high altitude.

Any further delay in the supply of food and shelter materials to these high altitude areas (that are going to be cut off with the  snowfall of this winter) amounts to a big humanitarian crisis. 

Friday, Nov 20, 2015 1:16 pm

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