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No reconstruction work at all in a year!

By Our Reporter It should be a matter of great shame for the government that it failed to do anything concrete to address the woes of the earthquake victims even in a year after the devastating earthquake of April 25 last year. When the nation marked the first anniversary of the earthquake on Sunday, all the quake survivors were living in the same temporary makeshifts erected a year ago. The Prime Minister and ministers of the jumbo cabinet did not feel any shame to make announcement in the programmes organised to mark the first anniversary that the reconstruction drive would begin soon. They have been saying the same thing from the very day they were appointed in the top political posts.
The delay in initiating the reconstruction drive has only revealed the incompetency of the government in delivering goods. Instead of launching the reconstruction drive in unity, the political parties fought for the post of the Chief Executive Officer of the National Reconstruction Authority. The UML and the Maoists objected to the CEO appointed by the Nepali-congress led government and his appointment got annulled resulting in the delay in constituting the NRA. The quarrel over the CEO only showed how the political parties here give more importance to partisan interest even during the time of crisis.
Once Sushil Gyawali was appointed new CEO of NRA, the government could not equip it with needed manpower. The government even has failed to send the required number of civil servants to the NRA. Instead the VDC secretaries dared to oppose the government plan to mobilize them for the reconstruction works.
Moreover, the government has not developed the designs of the quake resilient houses while it has failed to control the illegal construction of the houses in the valley. Many people could be seen building houses and adding floors breaching the building codes. The authorities designated to monitor the construction of houses never reach the construction sites. The engineers working in the KMC and Ward offices still encourage people to build house illegally by receiving bribe from the people.
Nearly 9,000 people were killed while over 500,000 houses had collapsed in the quake a year ago. The government needs to support for the reconstruction of the 500,000 houses of the people as well several monuments of the World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu valley.
Things suggest that the quake survivors will be spending one more rainy and winter season in the temporary makeshifts. Now the monsoon is just two months away and most people in village have to engage in farming during monsoon. So they cannot build houses in monsoon. Also carrying construction materials to villages in monsoon will be a difficult job. After monsoon, festival season will arrive and there will be dearth of construction workers during the festival time. Above all, the government has not trained the required number of construction workers which is sure to cause an acute shortage of construction workers. Hence, the real construction is likely to begin only after the festival season, which means people will start to build their house only in November and the construction works will not complete before May next year.
The delay in initiating the reconstruction works has also tarnished the image of Nepal government in the international community. Most of the international organisations and friendly countries have expressed their concerns regarding the delay. Journalists from around the globe keep on asking their friends in Nepal about the delay while the donor countries have worried about the proper use of the grant they provided.
Instead of speeding up the pace of reconstruction, Prime Minister KP Oli recently said that the government was building temporary houses for the victims this year again. Building temporary houses even a year after the quake will be only the waste of resources and time. The announcement made by the government has revealed how incompetent the incumbent government is in addressing the problems of quake survivors.

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