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One year after the devastating earthquake

By Prajwal Shrestha – The Indian blockade has become a big excuse for the government as the government has failed to show its performance in helping the earthquake victims. With great fanfare, 12 Baisakh (24 April) was marked as the devastating earthquake memorial day by organizing different programmes. President Vidya Bhandary went to Barpak, Gorkha, epicenter of the 25 April earthquake last year and PM KP Sharma Oli went to Chautara in Sindhuplanchok, another district strongly affected from the earthquake. So what? The locals, victims of the earthquake, are still taking shelter under the one year old tent and the Reconstruction Authority has already said that it is impossible to resettle the victims in temporary constructions before the rainy season. After waiting for a long time for the government support, many of the victims have started to construct new houses by taking loans as the Reconstruction Authority is yet to complete the survey on the damage of the houses of the local people. As the victims were unable to replace the one year old tents, they are compelled to use old tents which cannot stop rains this year. During the winter season, many victims having old age were killed in the quake hit districts. There was no presence of the government. Even the donor community had asked the government why it failed to spend the fund granted by them for quake victims and reconstruction works of the destroyed structures.
The Reconstruction Authority has said that due to the delay in constitution of the Authority and also due to the Indian blockade, it could not accelerate the reconstruction works. If the one year after the 25 April earthquake is properly evaluated, there has been no achievement except from false promises from the political leaders.
Even during the time when the countrymen were suffering hard from the devastating earthquake, the leaders of the major political parties were busy in sharing power only. The major three parties endorsed the 16-point agreement and became busy in promulgation of the constitution by keeping aside the plight of the earthquake victims. The political leaders were seen so cruel that they could not sense the seriousness of the situation on the humanitarian ground. Still, people from the quake-hit areas are saying that they have not seen the government authorities.
The government and the political parties could use the post-quake situation as an opportunity for reconstruction. If reconstruction works were started on time, the country’s economy could be accelerated. Contrary to that, the government has not been able to use the allotted budget amount due to which the donor countries/agencies have questioned about the efficiency of the government. If the government fails to spend the funds allotted in development projects, this is an indication of failure of the economy. In this regard, Nepal is heading towards a failed state. It is surprising to note that even after warnings from the donor community that it would take back the committed amount for reconstruction projects if the government fails to start the reconstruction projects, the political leaders are least bothered. They are fighting for sharing power and making money through corruption and black-marketing.

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