Tuesday, 3 October, 2023

Sindhuli quake victims not getting govt grant


By Baburam Devkota
Sindhuli, Dec. 18: The earthquake victims of Sindhuli, who constructed their personal houses, have not received the tranche of the grant provided by the government since mid-July this year.
The officials at the district’s Project Implementation Unit (Building and Residence) informed that the victims have not received the tranche for the current fiscal year.

“We completed the construction of our houses and provided necessary documents to the engineer. But we have not received the installment of the grant. The concerned authorities say that it will be provided soon, but several months have already passed,” said Keshav Tamang, an earthquake victim of Ward 4 of Kamalamai Rural Municipality.
According to Tamang, he has reached the Unit’s office several times seeking installment of the grant only to return empty handed.

The victims stated that termination of the Grant Management and Local Infrastructure Office in August had caused the problem.
After the termination, the Urban Development and Building Division in the district has been authorised to supervise the reconstruction.
However, with six years passed since the massive earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, the reconstruction of houses has not been completed in Sindhuli.

Until mid-July, 33,674 of the 40,310 registered victims have received the third tranche of the grant. Similarly, 38,515 and 36,569 victims have received the first and second installments respectively.
The government has been providing Rs. 300,000 to each victim for constructing their houses under three installments.
Likewise, Rs. 50,000 has been provided to the victims to repair their partly damaged houses.

As per the Project Implementation Unit, 10,734 of 12,758 victims listed for the grant to repair their houses have received the first installment but only 656 received the last.
A total of 1,321 and 1,987 victims have been removed from the list of eligible recipients of the reconstruction and retrofitting grants respectively.
The reason for their removal has been stated to be the delay in signing the agreement with the government for the reconstruction works.

Meanwhile, accountant of the unit, Tilak Karki, informed that the district has not received the grant amount since the start of the fiscal year 2021/22.
“The central government authorities have not forwarded the grant amount due to which the problem has arisen,” said Karki.
Karki also said that even the office employees have not received their salaries since July.

“The unit had hired a total of 29 employees under contract basis in July. They left the job on Wednesday after their contract was not extended. Moreover, they left without receiving their salaries,” said Karki.
Officials argued that they are in regular consultations with higher authorities to solve the issue at the earliest.