53% quake victims in Valley receive first tranche

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KATHMANDU:  About 53 percent of total eligible earthquake victims in the Kathmandu Valley have received the Rs 50,000 first installment of the house reconstruction grant.

According to the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), so far 22,731 victims in Kathmandu, 18,000 victims in Bhaktapur and 9,512 in Lalitpur have received the first installment. The total grant amount is Rs 3, 00,000, which is provided to the victims in three installments.

The NRA has identified 94,072 earthquake victims in the Valley as eligible for the house reconstruction grant. About 71,683 of the total eligible victims have signed the grant agreement with the NRA.

“We have already started grant distribution in the Valley,” said Yam Lal Bhoosal, spokesperson at NRA. “We will also begin distributing the second installment of Rs 150,000 very soon.”

However, the earthquake victims from Kathmandu Metropolitan Ward Number 23 who have yet to receive the first installment have come down heavily on the government. They said they signed grant agreement more than two months ago.

“I have been waiting for the grant for a long time. The government bodies do not seem serious about providing even the first installment,” said Raju Bajracharya of Basantapur. “So I started buildings the house on my own.”

He also complained that the government bodies have not done anything to provide subsidized loans to the victims for house reconstruction. “The government had also announced to provide up to Rs 250,000 in subsidized loan to the victims for house reconstruction, but we still don’t know if we will get the loan or how to get the loan.”

The NRA has said 626,036 earthquake victims are eligible for house reconstruction grant in the 14 districts including Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur most affected by the earthquakes. Of them, about 510, 130 victims have already received the first installment and about 720 victims have also received the second installment of housing grant, according to the NRA.

–  REPUBLICA

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